As a business owner, you probably have a lot of questions about construction workforce management, also known as WFM. Construction workforce management has recently become more popular, although it has always been important. People are just now figuring out what it is, how it works, and the benefits of integrating it into your business. Businesses are always looking for ways to gain more profits, and thanks to the development of relevant technologies, construction workforce management is a great way to do this.
What is construction workforce management?
So, what is construction workforce management, exactly? Construction workforce management is a complex aspect of human resources that works to ensure that a construction company has the necessary team members doing the right things at the right time. The main point of construction workforce management is to increase the productivity and efficiency of your employees and ensure that they aren’t wasting time on time-consuming tasks that can be automated or streamlined.
Another goal of construction workforce management is to standardize processes across departments so that the entire company operates the same way. All these factors play a huge part in customer satisfaction and therefore you’re left with a software solution that streamlines workforce management.
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What does construction workforce management consist of?
Now that you know what construction workforce management is more generally, you are probably wondering what it actually consists of in terms of programs. Most of the aspects that are traditionally part of workforce management exist in the realm of human resources. Probably the number one thing that people think of when they think of construction workforce management is for scheduling purposes that allows a company to build a schedule for its employees.
Other features in this area also include time off, absence/leave requests and time clocks. Another great feature of construction workforce management includes a centralized payroll system that integrates the time clock and employee information such as direct deposit into a single system. Benefits are also another area that can be integrated under workforce management in order to keep track of things like insurance information or sick days.
Onboarding can also be part of a construction workforce management system that allows companies to onboard their new employees through a single artificial intelligence system and keep track of all the different tasks required. It’s no secret that construction workforce management increases employee experience which is where productivity all starts.
Lately, with the help of technology, construction workforce management has expanded into an area previously termed “workforce tracking.” Workforce tracking is what it sounds like – the tracking of data over time to include trends and forecasts in different reports. Some of these areas include demand forecasting that allows you to look ahead in terms of your staffing needs to predict gaps and changes.
It can also help with planning out your labor budgets and monitoring your employee’s performances as well as their skills. Finally, it can feature asset tracking so that you can keep track of all your company’s resources in one place instead of having that information scattered between different departments.
Why it’s important?
There are so many underrated benefits to construction workforce management solutions besides the obvious ones of saving time and saving money. While saving time and money are the overall goal and are certainly important, there are so many other benefits of using construction WFM software that should be discussed.
The first benefit of workforce management can’t really be concretely calculated but is still extremely beneficial – increased employee satisfaction. Your team is your most valuable asset, and you need to treat them as such! By investing in your team now and making their lives easier, you increase employee engagement and you can help decrease employee turnover and save yourself money in hiring and training costs as a result.
Second, an employee who is happy and feels valued by their company is more likely to work harder and be more productive. Employees who are over-worked and feel that they aren’t listened to will become stressed, less efficient, and more likely to leave the company if things don’t improve. This is obviously a worst-case scenario, but employees will feel more valued and less stressed if efficient construction workforce management practices are implemented.
Any good management team knows the importance of happy, less stressed employees as they are a reflection of your company and are directly linked to customer experience.
The next benefit of an effective construction workforce management system, also known as a WFM system, is that it can help your management team function more effectively and efficiently than they would otherwise. With the help of construction workforce management tools, such as workforce management software, management will have all the tools they need to create the best schedules with the employees that are well-suited for the tasks at hand.
Construction workforce management can also assist with communication between employees and management – which is very important because things often seem to get lost in translation in this area. When everyone is on the same page about tasks, projects, results, expectations, and schedules, it leads to a very productive and in-sync team.
Construction workforce management eliminates a lot of the little administrative tasks that people in management positions might have to do throughout the day – thereby eliminating the possibility that they forget to do these administrative tasks (like accounting for an absence) and allowing them to spend their time in more valuable ways.
A great benefit of construction workforce management tools is that they are often automated and instant. You can see everything that you want to see without having to pour through a ton of data that you don’t have time to sort through. This can also allow you to constantly monitor certain tasks and performances to keep up with every aspect of your business in real time.
Performance management is just part of workforce management as a whole. And as your business grows, your workforce management can grow with it! The best tools can adjust as you go and allow you to add on different features that you might need in the future.
Finally, the two main benefits of construction workforce management are increased revenue and productivity. It can help you ensure that you aren’t scheduling people and therefore paying them when you might not need them which also increases employee engagement. It can also help save you money in terms of decreased employee turnover – which can cost you a whole lot of money in the long run.
As a result, you can invest all the money that you are saving into other areas to help grow your business such as staffing, inventory, technology, real estate, or equipment. At the end of the day, all the time that both your employees and management save by streamlining and automating human resources procedures will lead to them being more productive and bringing in more money as a result of that increased productivity.
How to implement?
The bottom line is that construction workforce management is an investment into your company. Whether you’re a small construction firm or a big general contractor, WFM software is important and easy to implement. Construction workforce management systems can help increase productivity and cut labor costs in real-time.
Like anything else, you get out of it what you put into it. The good news is that you should be able to find a system that fits what you are looking for in your company and customize it to fit your exact needs. The key when it comes to workforce management tools is simplicity – whatever system you choose needs to be easy to use so that your employees and management can actually increase their productivity while they are using it. Otherwise, it’s not achieving its purpose and you are losing money on your investment.
At the same time, you need to remember that implementing and transitioning a workforce management system will not happen overnight. It will take time and it is definitely a long-term investment. It might be best to start small and incrementally incorporate additional features into your construction workforce management solutions in order for everyone to gain a solid understanding of the system and its functions. However, with the right tools, training, and effort, utilizing construction workforce management software will definitely be worth it in the long run.
Lauren Lake is the COO and co-founder at Bridgit. She holds a degree in Civil Structural Engineering and is well-versed in construction workforce management and resource planning processes. Lauren has been named to the Forbes Manufacturing & Industry 30 Under 30 and Best Of Canada Forbes Under 30 Innovators lists. Lauren has presented at industry events and conferences, including BuiltWorlds, Canadian Construction Association, Procore Groundbreak, and more. Follow Lauren on LinkedIn and Instagram.
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