When there's a labor shortage, you must eliminate, delegate or automate

By Kelly McNeely

Many contractors who work in commercial construction are not only struggling to find skilled labor, but also higher level leaders such as Project Managers. When the hiring pool is dry there are some things that you can implement in your day to day practices to get more productivity out of the people that you already have.

Eliminate! 
Employees spends a certain amount of time each day that is wasted on unproductive activities. These might be things like excessive meetings, office politics, and web surfing. Eliminate these disturbances from your own work day and try and put practices in place to do the same for your employees.

Delegate! 

Are there tasks that you are having one of your high paid managers performing that could be delegated to someone less skilled? For example if you are having your foreman gas up the vehicles before arriving to the job site this could be something a less skilled employee could do to add an hour to your foreman’s work day. Revisit the day to day tasks that you have your highest producers perform to see what can be delegated to less skilled employees.

App photo

Automate! 

There are hundreds of apps and software tools available to general contractors and subcontractors that simplify and automate processes such as time sheets, daily reports, bid management, scheduling, punch lists and much more. If you are still using excel spreadsheets, paper time cards, and email there is definitely a more efficient way to manage these processes. You owe it to yourself to take a look!

Kelly McNeely is a Business Development Consultant and Employee-Owner with The Blue Book Building & Construction Network. The Blue Book Building & Construction Network is a 104 year old company that has been providing tools and services to the construction to help the commercial construction industry connect online, in-print, and in person. If you’re interested in learning more about One Team, which is a free bid management software powered by The Blue Book, feel free to contact her at 608-514-4321.