The Difficulties of Managing an Onsite Workforce

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  Posted by: electime      10th October 2023

With a large project that can take several months and involves several trades, there are many difficulties that can arise. Managing these can be key to a project finishing on time and on budget, so action needs to be taken to ensure these difficulties do not become problems that could impede the smooth running of the site.

Ensure there is a safe working environment

At the top of the list is ensuring there is a safe environment for everyone to work in. This might seem overly fussy to some of the workforce, but seeing that you are taking time to make sure they remain safe, you can gain their trust, which will help further along the line. Also, if you place a strong emphasis on safety, they are more likely to be conscious of it themselves.

Finding the correct accommodation

With large projects, you will have workers from outside the local area, and these will need somewhere decent to stay. If the accommodation is poorly organized, you might find that workers turn up late, intermittently, or jack the job in entirely, leaving you facing delays. Using Comfy Workers or a similar resource will help you find a house of houses that your workers can use as a stable base throughout their contract.

Communicating expectations

To ensure the site runs smoothly, it is not just the health and safety rules that need to be communicated to the contractors onsite. They need to know what they are expected to do and the quality standards they need to adhere to, as well as the other trades they will be interacting with and their relative schedules. They will also need a point of contact for any queries so any conflicts can be either avoided or resolved quickly.

Implement changes effectively

It is rare that a construction project runs exactly to plan, and changes normally have to be implemented either through a client changing their minds or advances in technology, which now means there is a different way of doing things. These changes need to be introduced with the minimum amount of disruption to the workforce, who don’t want to start thinking that you will be moving the goalposts every five minutes as this can damage the relationship with them.

Feedback and rewarding landmarks

As a natural extension to this, you also need to be receptive to feedback from the various skilled workers you have onsite. After all, they almost certainly have a better grasp of the nitty-gritty parts of the jobs than you do. This can help resolve problems faster, and you can also involve as many people as possible in celebrations of certain points in the process, such as the topping-out ceremony.

A few final thoughts

Managing an onsite workforce is not easy, but there is no need to make it harder than it needs to be. If you provide the workforce with what they need when they need it, you are likely to encounter far fewer problems during a project.

This will not avoid all problems, but communicating clearly and listening to feedback can mean the workers feel like they are being listened to. As a consequence, this can develop into a relationship of mutual trust, which can make the life of everyone involved far easier.