4 tips to better manage your field crew

As a construction project manager or business owner, efficiently managing your field crew plays an important role when it comes to staying in budget and on schedule. But more importantly than budgeting and scheduling efforts, the proper management of your field team can easily lead to a boost in profits.
Comparable to almost all other industries, having the leadership skills to manage a team is critical to the success of the business. For construction specifically, there is a lag in productivity compared to other industries due to the low adoption of technology. In fact, the construction industry currently faces a $1.6 trillion productivity gap. As it turns out, yelling “faster, faster, faster” doesn’t necessarily mean your team will work more efficiently. Truthfully, managing your field crew starts long before ground breaks on a new project. 
Building a foundation for a successful field crew requires processes, discipline and proper resources to get the job done. Here we’ll dive into 4 Tips to Better Manage your Field Crew:
1. Collaboration
These days, collaboration is such a widely-used term, so what does it really mean? For the construction industry, the best way to think about collaboration is when an entire team is working towards one common project goal. Seems pretty simple right? Wrong! With all of the moving pieces between your crew and subcontractors, there’s a lot to keep track of. When it comes to collaboration, using a project management tool like Contractor WorkZone can help ease the process. The benefit of using a mobile project management tool is that your entire crew is pooling information into one consolidated location, making collaboration much easier and digestible. No more lag in communication, just easy, real-time updates.
2. Resources
One of the most common questions any project manager or business owner has is, “What is my field crew spending their time on and are they using the right materials in the most efficient way?” The best way to have a handle on this is to develop an inventory management system for your resources. This includes a list of all equipment and tools, where they’re located and a system to manage preventative maintenance scheduling. By jumping ahead of your resource inventory, you’ll spend less time chasing your equipment down or dealing with emergency fix-ups. It’s a relief to know your crew is using the equipment you intend for them to use.
3. Career growth
In today’s construction world, there’s a widespread issue of not being able to find quality employees, resulting in a labor shortage. Whether the younger generation just isn’t interested in the trades, or they’re not loyal to their company, it’s felt across the entire industry. One way to help combat this problem is to help coach the younger generation into growing their career. For those in the field, lead by example. Giving direction to your field crew can teach them how to better predict roadblocks, manage a schedule and ultimately accomplish a successful project due to your guidance. When they feel part of something important, they become more invested in the company and their career growth within the business. This benefits you, and the project.
4. Hold them accountable
In addition to leading by example, you also have to hold your field crew accountable. As a field leader, it’s important to not give in to excuses from your crew. Project managers or business owners are held accountable for profits, and ultimately the success of the company and should require that those working on-site have the same mentality. Effective project managers require quality work from each field member and recognizing where there are shortcomings can help move the project in a positive direction. 
As the saying goes, “it’s easier said than done,” but these four tips to better manage your field crew can be the start of improving your business processes. By using a mobile construction app like Contractor WorkZone, you can easily accomplish all of these tasks with features like meeting notes, daily reports, site instructions and more. Maybe it’s time for you to take a step back and dive deep into how to improve your field processes today. Good luck!