Recruiting new talent and bringing them up to speed is a tall order when faced with demanding projects. Here’s how builders and remodelers can maximize productivity from their current workers to make room for growth. 

It’s no secret that the construction industry is struggling to recruit young workers. That’s why in today’s constrained labor market, it’s more important than ever that builders and remodelers have strategies for motivating their crews to accomplish more with less help.  

If this sounds like your situation, here are a few ideas to consider to help your workers and managers be more efficient in the long run. 

Delegate tactically 

Although it seems tough if you’re used to doing it yourself, delegating tasks to your crew can actually embolden them to take the initiative and put forth their best effort. 

We’ve seen this strategy succeed within one of the world’s most powerful organizations: the United States military. And building consultants like Clark Ellis, principal of Continuum Advisory Group, says strategic delegation is just as effective within the construction industry. 

“The smart delegation of decision-making can be a powerful productivity booster,” says Ellis. “I advise devolving tactical decisions, like warranty requests, to the most appropriate manager.” Ellis says that embracing this strategy can help transform an otherwise average company into a market leader. 

To streamline delegation, it’s worth crafting a policy to quickly decide which tasks go to which workers based on their skills and experience. Plus, the more times they perform a task, the more efficiently they’ll accomplish it. 

The costs of not delegating can be far more costly than the project itself, as workers who feel underutilized and limited in their ability to exercise authority tend to look for jobs elsewhere. Delegating is a smart way to keep everyone engaged and invested in the project’s success. 

Communicate clearly 

Clear communication is a core tenet of productivity, yet it is surprisingly overlooked. The more in sync your workers are with the project’s daily, weekly, and monthly goals, the better they’ll be at adapting to changes and hitting milestones on time.  

In a COVID world, more builders and remodelers have had to adopt virtual tools, like project management software and videoconferencing, to connect with clients and stakeholders. That same technology can be used to relay key updates to your crew and assign tasks without—unless absolutely necessary—having to coordinate off-line. 

This can feel overwhelming if you don’t have much experience with these tools, and that’s OK. JELD-WEN has resources to help you find the right solutions and the best use cases for them. It’s also likely that younger workers will have experience with them and could be a great asset for picking the right ones and getting the rest of your crew on board. 

Take advantage of manufacturer resources 

Training new workers is essential, but expensive and time consuming. And the reality is that few builders or remodelers have the time or the budget to offer even informal education. That’s why many turn to leading manufacturers to help fill that gap. 

JELD-WEN is one such manufacturer offering a comprehensive digital library featuring all aspects of window and door installation, including product adjustments, finishing and refinishing, and replacements. They’ve also partnered with other manufacturers such as OSI, a construction sealant manufacturer, for on-site training to help new workers earn certifications that qualify them for better warranties.  

With so many great free resources out there to help train your new workers, consider building a mini library of links from manufacturers you trust. That way, you can send it to new hires ahead of time and feel confident that they’re learning the skills they need to be productive.  

For assistance with your projects, visit JELD-WEN’s professional portal. 

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