Building a Better Company Culture in the Construction Industry

Back in the day, a lot of folks thought building company culture meant putting up a motivational poster or two and giving out free morning coffee, but I’ve got some bad news – that doesn’t cut it these days. As much as we all love a good ol’ cup of Joe, it’s not going to be enough to build the kind of company culture that helps maintain a happy, productive workforce. And that’s a big problem. Anybody who’s been in the construction industry long enough can tell you how important it is to maintain good standards and take the necessary steps to be sure your employees all feel like they’re really a part of the “team” – that them showing up every day matters and more importantly is appreciated. 

A company’s culture is a big deal and obviously has huge implications on employee retention.  In order to build a better company culture, busybusy helps reduce poor job estimation, provides more employee/employer transparency and improves communication from the field to the office. Isaac Barlow, the owner of busybusy, wanted to find a way to help construction teams feel productive, instill purpose, and improve the overall work experience of every team member. 

Watch: busybusy founder, Isaac Barlow, talking about culture within the construction industry

I know that pointing out how important culture is seems obvious but we all get busy constantly pushing to hit deadlines, so culture gets neglected. Building a strong culture is not just important though. It’s a necessity. It helps reduce employee turnover, ensures you have the kind of productivity you need to keep your job sites running smoothly, and ultimately plays a role in all aspects of your company’s success. So if a couple of posters and some free coffee aren’t going to do the trick, then how do you go about building the type of work environment that you need to help ensure the success of your business? There are a few essential things to keep in mind, beginning with a particularly important word: accountability.

Improving Field Crew Management

Accountability is a big word in the construction industry. There are many things that need to be taken into consideration on the typical job site, and one of the most important things that must be done throughout the entire process of managing any job is holding everybody accountable for their work. This is true no matter what that work is and what role an individual plays on the team, from the guys on the crew all the way up to the guys working in management.

It’s important, of course, that members of your crew know they’re going to be held accountable for any errors in judgment or mistakes they’ve made. But perhaps even more important is for everybody to know that they aren’t going to be blamed for anybody else’s mistakes. 

For example, one of the biggest issues on many job sites is time theft. Whether intentional or not, time theft is a huge problem. All too often, people overreport the amount of time they’ve worked when left to report their own time because they fail to  account for late arrivals, early departures or extra breaks they might have taken. The occasional bit of wasted time might not seem like too big of an issue, but that time theft adds up. This can lead to losses in profits, unnecessary and unwanted overtime for the rest of your crew and jobs taking much longer than estimated to complete. To better understand where time theft could be happening in your own business and to determine areas of improvement, try using busybusy’s free construction calculator 

Simply using an employee time clock app with GPS rather than traditional methods, like paper time cards makes a tremendous difference. Even busybusy’s free time clock app can give crews the ability to clock in and clock out quickly and easily while still giving a GPS location. Meanwhile, location-based reminders with an employee time clock on a mobile device can make sure your crew clocks in as soon as they reach the job site. By holding the right people accountable, nobody has to worry about the fact that they could potentially be blamed for someone else’s mistakes or that others’ mistakes have the potential to affect their job or their income.

A huge culture perk when using an employee time clock app that many ownership groups don’t consider is how the app becomes a conflict resolution product for the company.  Here is what I mean by that.  If you think an employee is rounding hours or leaving early sometimes without reporting it how do you confront that person?  It’s really hard to have that conversation without upsetting the person you are confronting because it seems like you are implying or straight out saying they’re lying.  If you have an app that has employee GPS to show you where they were when they clocked in, clocked out and if they left the job site while clocked in, you no longer have to make assumptions. From a culture standpoint it is much easier to say “the app shows that you were at home when you clocked out” or “the app shows that you left the jobsite and that you were gone for an hour and a half while you were clocked in, so I updated your timecard to reflect that.”  Now you aren’t the bad boss who is being accusatory; the app handles the conflict and the employee/employer relationship becomes stronger.

Accountability is just one of the things an employee time clock app such as busybusy can help with. The features offered on time tracking apps often also include other functions such as the ability to log equipment usage and take GPS & time-stamped job site photos, information that can all be recorded and sent to the cloud in real time. We hear time and time again that employees like being part of a company that makes tasks easy.  Using one app to do multiple job site tasks definitely helps with culture. Which takes us to the next important factor when it comes to ensuring a better cultural fit for crew members: collaboration.

Encouraging Collaboration With Construction Management Software

There are many things that a construction management software can do for your business. It can be easy to get stuck thinking about all the technical details, such as the data you’re able to collect with tools like an employee time clock app. However, it’s also important to remember how the use of these kinds of tools can play a part in encouraging collaboration and communication with construction crews. If you choose an app that is well designed and easy to use, you get more collaboration and communication than you’ve ever had, but if you choose a crappy product the only communication you are going to get is “this sucks” It’s easy when you see busybusy for the first time to know that it was designed for the construction industry and that your people will actually use it. 

Having construction management software that everybody can use to keep track of what’s happening on the job site, from logging work time to making daily reports, has a side benefit. While it’s been said before, it bears repeating that having the most accurate data possible allows you to make better decisions, which can be useful in everything you do, including bid management and improving overall productivity.  Your estimators don’t use the data you are giving them right now because they know it’s not accurate.  Get a tool that improves accuracy, because once you have labor cost accuracy, all other parts of your business improve too.

As I mentioned above, you will be surprised how much the right construction management software not only promotes but encourages and improves communication and collaboration, making the process much more efficient. From recording basic details such as employee work hours to helping with key functions such as document management, construction project management software can offer all of this, and much more. 

Whether seeking an employee time clock app or a full suite of construction management software, having an interface that’s simple, clean, and efficient to use makes it easier for everybody to jump on board and begin collaborating. 

The right employee time clock app will help with your organizational culture in many ways. From helping ensure that everybody is held accountable for the work they do, helping make sure everybody gets credit for how hard they work, making communication simple and effective, not having to deal with annoying paper time cards,  a good app like busybusy has a host of features that can make a big difference without the need for a major cultural overhaul on the job site. Quick and easy data logging and the ability to make easy to read daily reports, which in turn helps you keep your team accountable, are just some of the benefits.

 

If you would like to learn more about how busybusy can help your business grow and succeed by promoting a great company culture, download the busybusy app (also available on Google Play) and in just two minutes, see how easy it really is to use.