Business Tips

Construction project managers

5 ways to keep your project managers sharp

No matter if you’re a contractor in construction, HVAC or landscape, having high-performing project managers is crucial to your success in the long run and the short term. You can’t be everywhere at once, so hiring and training talented project managers to effectively run your job sites is a top priority.

But how do you keep your project managers sharp month after month, year after year? What tools and strategies can you give to them to make their jobs easier? Here are 5 places to start.

1. Equip them with project management software.

Managing multiple employees under any conditions is difficult, but on a construction or field service site it’s even tougher. And with just 10% of construction projects coming within 10% of their proposed deadlines, efficiency is key. To ease the load on your PMs, equip them with project management software to help their sites run smoother. With tools like Procore or BuilderTrend, your managers will be able to keep their crews on track to complete projects on time, and raise red flags to stakeholders if necessary.

2. Regularly host management meetings.

Hosting regular meetings is a simple yet effective way to stay updated on how your PMs are doing, whether it’s once a week or once a month. It’s also a great way to build team morale across your company’s management level. During the meetings, you can discuss safety concerns, troublesome employees, company policies and any other issues. These meetings can be as formal or informal as you find necessary—the most important thing is connecting with your PMs on a recurring basis.

Managing multiple employees under any conditions is difficult, but on a construction or field service site it’s even tougher.

3. Provide them with robust time tracking software.

Shuffling through paper time cards, policing buddy-punching and other related tasks take precious time away from project managers. With feature-rich time tracking solutions like ExakTime, your managers will be able to rest assured that you only pay for hours worked, that employees are in the right place at the right time—plus they’ll get real-time job site info whenever they can’t be on site. ExakTime also allows managers to easily export over 40 types of powerful reports—enabling you to zero in what operational costs can be cut and what processes need to be sharpened.

4. Ensure they stay current.

No matter what industry you’re in, it’s important for your employees from the top down to be excited and knowledgeable about your space. This way, they’ll be informed on trends taking place at a high level across your industry and can navigate accordingly. To start, make a list of email newsletters and blogs in the construction and field service industry—whether ExakTime’s newsletter, Construction Dive, AGC’s SmartBrief newsletter or something different—that your PMs can read through on a regular basis to keep them informed on all that’s new in their space.

You should also make sure they stay current with industry certifications and leadership training. To start, you could have PMs read and report on articles they’ve read along with their takeaways during your management meetings. You could also pay for them to attend leadership conferences to equip them with the tools and techniques to manage their crews most effectively—and the list goes on.

No matter what industry you’re in, it’s important for your employees from the top down to be excited and knowledgeable about your space.

5. Make it bigger than construction.

A phenomenon that’s all too common in the United States and beyond is employee burnout. After doing the same job month after month, year after year, many workers lose the drive and motivation that originally jump started their careers. One easy way to help avoid PM burnout is making their job about more than just construction or their respective industry. Having a mission or civic duty that goes beyond the actual job can help push employees through the hard times when they’ve lost interest.

For example, if you own a residential construction company you can position your company’s service as more than just house building. Instead, your team is helping to build a family’s dream home where they’ll create memories they’ll never forget. You’re creating a place where the family will feel safe and secure. You can also participate in philanthropic events like soup kitchens to ensure your employees feel that they’re a positive part of the communities where they work. By shifting the positioning of your company’s purpose, you’ll get PMs more excited and proud to come into work.