5 Tips for Boosting Construction Worker Productivity on the Job Site

25 July 2017

High productivity on your construction job site will save you time and money, not to mention the boost to your reputation when you bring projects in on time and on budget, but how can you ensure that your employees are working at maximum efficiency? 

We've collected some useful tips to help your workers boost their productivity on the job site.

SEE ALSO: Time Management Leads to Successful Project Management: Work Smarter, Not Harder

Tip #1: Improve Training Processes

The demand for construction workers is increasing as the industry booms and the baby boomers begin to retire, but the overall worker turnover rate was at 20% at the end of 2014, which is high for the industry.  Even more alarming? The turnover for workers 25 and younger is at 38%— more than a third of young workers quit, leaving you with a gap in your workforce. 

With frequent turnaround on the project site, how do you ensure that your new workers are up to speed, maintaining a reasonable level of productivity? Improve your training processes. 

When you have a rock-solid training program, you'll know that everyone who works on your jobsite has been properly indoctrinated into the way things work. From safety proceedings to notation processes, they'll be able to walk on and complete their work quickly and efficiently, without wasting their time or their supervisor's time, either. 

Tip #2: Convenient Safety Reporting

When a worker comes across a potential safety hazard on a worksite, what's the protocol? Do they have to stop what they're doing and make a series of phone calls? Write a report? Do they have to notify their supervisor, who then offers a second-hand explanation of the issue to the required chain of command? How much time do they spend notifying several different people of the issue, and are you sure that EVERYONE who should know about the issue has access to the information? 

A tool such as NoteVault's CrowdSource Safety will allow anyone on a jobsite the ability to report safety observations and potential risks as well as harassment or inappropriate behavior to the necessary stakeholders anonymously. No one will fear retribution, so they'll be free to report issues and raise awareness, reducing incidents on the job site and increasing productivity. 

Tip #3: Introduce Mobile Technology

Construction firms who are reluctant to embrace the latest forms of technology are losing $1.7 billion, thanks to outdated communications such as paper forms.  Failure to let go of old-fashioned methods of communication is leading to significant financial loss— not to mention the $6.9 billion lost due to inefficient processes. 

How do you increase your productivity? Take the plunge and start using new tech on your jobsites. You'll be more mobile— you'll no longer be shackled to your desk dealing with paperwork when you'd rather be visiting job sites to check progress for yourself.  Need to approve a report? You can do it on your smartphone or tablet. 

Additionally, mobile technology will improve the quality of the reports submitted to you. Would you rather have notes scribbled hastily on the back of a filthy packing slip, or would you rather have professionally formatted, neatly typed notes that you can access anywhere, anytime? Notation software with a cloud-based platform will give you the ability to find the report you need with the click of a few buttons— you'll spend a lot less time digging through file cabinets and sifting through mountains of paper. Goodbye, paper cuts! 

Tip #4: Expedite Your Daily Reports

How much time does your team spend laboring over their daily reports— if they complete them at all? If your team is like most, the answer is either too much time or not enough to make the report worthwhile. 

Failure to quickly and accurately complete the worksite's daily reports can lead to more trouble down the line. Mistakes happen, and should that mistake lead to a lawsuit, the project's daily reports could be the thing standing between clearing your name and paying huge fines. 

You want your team to make thorough reports, but you don't want them to spend valuable hours writing them. The solution? Utilize mobile technology, enabling workers to dictate their notes as they go, producing a thorough and professional report that's delivered to you daily– no fuss, no muss. 

Tip #5: Make Communication Easier Than Ever

When communication between workers on the job site and management is not efficient, it can lead to unnecessary errors. These errors might require work to be redone, putting the project behind schedule and wasting time and money. 

As the number of non-English speakers on construction sites rises, the language barrier between workers and management becomes an increasingly pressing problem. When management is unable to convey important information, particularly related to safety,  workers' lives are in danger. When workers are unable to complete their daily notes in English, the risk of litigation looms large. 

A notation software with a human transcription service will allow workers to dictate notes in their native language. Professional transcribers with construction experience will translate speech-to-text into English, ensuring that management will get reports they'll understand. 

SEE ALSO: 4 Drains on Your Construction Team's Productivity

By adopting new technologies, construction-related businesses could radically improve productivity for on-site workers, executives, and project managers, while improving productivity can save time, minimize cost, and ensure profitability of projects overall. Click here to download The Construction Executive's Guide to Increasing ROI.

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About The Author

Heather Dueitt is the Director of Marketing and Communications for NoteVault. She brings more than 15 years of experience to the team including teaching at New York University and is a regular contributor for Forbes. Prior to moving to San Diego, she worked with top-tier global brands including Samsung and Dove and her campaigns were awarded over a dozen industry accolades. Heather comes from a family of civil engineers, architects and contractors and has grown up around the AEC industry.