Productivity and efficiency are ongoing challenges for businesses in the construction industry. Although this sector is a driver of global economic growth, there is always room for improvement when it comes to productivity.
Despite various challenges, the U.S. construction industry is projected to grow 5% over the next four years, with an estimated value of $10.65 trillion by 2023. But productivity isn’t keeping up with demand. According to McKinsey, construction accounts for 13% of the global GDP but has experienced a productivity growth of just one percent annually over the past 20 years.
A variety of things occur in the construction industry that can lead to inefficiencies, cost overruns, and losses in productivity. Here are some of the ways your construction business can increase productivity and improve its overall results.
1. Use a Planning Tool
If you’re still planning your construction projects using spreadsheets, checklists, and clipboards, it’s probably time to up your game. Interestingly, the construction industry only spends about 1% of its $10 trillion revenue on information technology, but there are tons of planning tools available.
You don’t have to break the bank to find a good online planning tool for your business. A cloud-based project management tool can help your business stay organized in real-time. Using your mobile device, you can review plans, issue change orders, review daily reports, order inventory, and much more.
2. Communicate Clearly
Even if you invest in a construction planning tool, it can only do so much for your productivity. You still need to communicate clearly with your workers, business partners, and clients. Lack of communication is one of the leading causes of poor productivity in this industry. It’s why workers don’t have the materials they need, tasks get completed incorrectly, and people show up at the wrong job site.
Communication is one of your most essential productivity boosters. How you choose to communicate might depend on your particular style. You can let your job crew and partners know what works best for you, whether it be regular emails, phone calls, or text messages. The point is that you keep your team constantly informed about what is happening with your project to avoid delays, errors, and frustration.
3. Invest in Training
Not every construction company does things the same way. You might get workers with experience, but they aren’t necessarily experienced in following your processes and meeting your productivity goals.
Your construction teams won’t perform to the level you need and expect if you don’t invest in their skills and knowledge. Creating a comprehensive training program for your workers will ensure they have the resources and tools they need to do the job right the first time.
4. Prioritize Safety
The construction industry is a hazardous one. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 20% of worker deaths in the U.S. each year are in the construction industry. However, construction workers make up only about 6% of the U.S. workforce.
Nothing can impact morale and productivity faster than a serious workplace accident. Your construction business should make workplace safety and health a priority. Beyond being the right thing to do, OSHA requires it.
5. Set Realistic Goals
You’ll want to set realistic goals for your projects even if you offer incentives for meeting various deadlines. You can use the data provided by your project management tool and your analysis of previous jobs to create a series of baselines. When workers meet established goals, make sure there are rewards in place.
If the goals aren’t realistic, it’s only going to lead to frustration. Your team members need to feel as if their work is meaningful and appreciated. A high-stress environment could lead to more errors and reduced productivity.
6. Keep an Updated Inventory
It’s easy to let your worksite become disorganized while you are constructing the roads and buildings of tomorrow. If you want to remain productive, you’ll need to address this issue because it impacts productivity. When your site is a mess, you aren’t sure about your material levels, and damage to materials is more likely to occur.
When you prioritize safety, your sites will become tidier. At the same time, keep a close eye on your material inventories so that you have the items you need on hand when you need them. Otherwise, you’ll be looking at delays and lost productivity.
7. Support Your Workers
Construction is tiring and hard work. If you want your productivity levels to soar, you’ll need to be a great manager and support your workers. It might seem counterintuitive, but it’s vital that you give your workers enough breaks and time off. If you don’t, they’re going to get burnt out quickly and may seek employment elsewhere.
Though meetings in the construction industry can be seen as a productivity killer, they’re vital for a successful organization. To save time and resources, consider holding them on the job site instead of having employees come to the office. Make them quick and informal so your team can get back to business.
It’s one thing to support your team physically with quick meetings, consistent breaks, and time off. It’s another to support them emotionally. The construction industry holds the second-highest suicide rate of all industries. It’s crucial that you value your workers’ mental health and have suicide prevention training and resources readily available.
8. Outsource Your Accounting
Your productivity can suffer significantly if you are spending a lot of your time on administrative tasks like billing, filing taxes, and tracking financial results. When you outsource your company’s accounting, you’ll receive the experience of a financial department without the hassles and expenses associated with hiring internally.
Your business gets the benefit of experienced and knowledgeable finance and accounting professionals who will take these tasks off your plate and free up your time for core business functions. The valuable insights they bring to the table can help your business achieve its goals.
Contact New Lyfe Accounting to Improve Productivity in Your Construction Business
With demand in the construction industry steadily increasing, the pressure on businesses in this sector to improve productivity is also rising. However, you can’t do everything by yourself and expect to remain competitive. New Lyfe Accounting offers qualified and effective CFO services for construction companies. We are much more than just bookkeepers and accountants. Our team acts as your financial partner and support system to help your business navigate the complexities of the construction industry and pave a pathway for growth. Reach out to us to schedule a free strategy session and learn more about what we can do for your business.