2020 has been a rollercoaster year for the construction industry. It’s not every year you’re faced with a global pandemic that shuts down projects, causes new safety precautions to be taken, and forces much of the industry to periodically work from home.
This year has taught us a lot about how resilient the construction industry can be, but it’s also shown us how important it is to constantly work to improve communication and collaborative efforts. In a recent Procore survey, it was revealed that 75% of survey respondents believe that from now on there will be an increase in the use of collaborative technologies in the construction industry and workforce planning is no exception.
In a lot of cases, workforce planning is still being managed by one or two members of the operations team using a series of spreadsheets, or in some cases – whiteboards. However, as the construction industry is continually shifting towards more collaborative technology the need for web-based and mobile applications for workforce planning, like Bridgit Bench, has increased substantially.
Improving collaboration doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process that will require you to encourage input and communication from and amongst your team. The juice is worth the squeeze. Working to improve your team collaboration can help to:
Increase engagement with your workforce planning
Keep meetings efficient and productive
Keep stakeholders aligned on strategy
Uncover new methods of problem solving
Not to mention the impact it can have on your bottom line. In a survey done by Google and Raconteur, when asked what organizational changes would have the greatest impact on overall profitability, 56% ranked collaboration-related measure at #1. In this post, we’re going to explore different ways to get your team involved in your workforce planning.
Curious about how your larger team can use workforce data to inform their work? Check out our latest episode of “Off the bench” where we talk about getting the most out of your workforce data.
3 ways to get your team involved for collaborative workforce planning
1. Increase transparency
Low visibility of your workforce plan and data is the best way to stifle collaboration regarding your construction workforce planning process. While spreadsheets systems can certainly house plenty of workforce and project data, they’re also prone to human error leading operations managers to often hesitate granting access to their workforce plan.
By giving your team access to your workforce plan, you’re allowing them to:
Gain a better understanding of your workforce strategy
See how and why allocation decisions are being made
Offer data-driven insight for new methods of problem solving
Stay updated at all times
Do you need to give access to your complete workforce plan to your entire team? Well, in short, no. There is certainly some information that should remain private. There are also actions that can and should be limited to select members of your team, but giving your construction management team access to view and stay updated on their projects and overall workforce strategy is a great way to keep everyone engaged.
Construction workforce planning tools like Bridgit Bench allow administrators to create custom permission groups that they can assign to specific users. That way you can increase transparency across your Project Managers and Superintendents and decide what level of action they can each take. For example, you may want Project Managers to be able to add roles to projects without allocating any team members, and give your Superintendents access to view your workforce plan without being able to make any changes.
Gone are the days of one or two people carrying the weight of workforce data maintenance. With construction workforce planning tools that allow you to create custom permissions you can share the load.
Delegating updates to your workforce plan helps to get your team engaged in the workforce planning process. That’s not all, by spreading the work you’ll also be:
Increasing accountability amongst your team
Giving your team the chance to learn and develop new skills
Developing better trust between your team members
Improving efficiency, productivity, and team collaboration
Delegating will give those responsible for single-handedly maintaining your data more time to focus on higher level tasks.
3. Create agendas that encourage input from your team
Setting an agenda for your team meetings and sending it to relevant stakeholders ahead of time can help ensure your meetings remain collaborative and productive. If you are responsible for running the meeting, you’ll want to make sure that everyone is aligned going in. On top of that make sure to include who on your team will be expected to update and discuss key projects. Sending your agenda early gives a chance for everyone to send any information or questions they would like discussed by the team. If your construction manpower planning tool allows you to, we suggest isolating one project at a time and systematically working your way through each of them.
Your construction manpower planning meeting agenda should include:
Team members expected to attend (Operations, PMs, Site Supers)
Key projects that will be discussed
How long you intend to discuss each project
Information that attendees will be expected to bring forward for specific projects
Bridgit Bench is the leading construction workforce management solution and was built with collaboration in mind. We provide an easy-to-use construction workforce planning tool that helps get the team involved in the planning process, without running the risk of unwanted changes.