The global pandemic has impacted varying industries around the world. The construction industry is no exception—a recent study considered how the pandemic has affected construction project productivity. Simply put, for a construction project to turn a profit, productivity must be achieved. This productivity problem in the construction industry can improve with greater attention to project management. And the easiest way to put in place successful project management? Effective employee productivity tracking.

So you’re in an industry where it’s become normal to expect limited output for labor input. How can you use this secret to break the cycle and exceed productivity expectations?

Your company doesn’t have to conform to the industry standard.

Use our top ten tips to track and improve employee productivity on your projects today.

1. Embrace project management technology

There are a ton of solutions out there when it comes to apps for managing your construction business.

Task management on the job is no exception. Asana, Basecamp, and many others are easy-to-use applications to keep everyone on the team on the same page.

They’re also an excellent tool for employee productivity tracking. They generate an overview of who is doing what and how quickly tasks are being completed.

These tools can:

  • Keep your employees on task by clearly defining job responsibilities 
  • Manage expectations by keeping everyone aware of deadlines
  • Create an open line of communication when it comes to managing and executing projects

2. Check in daily

Daily check-in meetings might feel like micromanagement, yet when appropriately conducted, they are efficient and helpful to gauge concerns, performance, and ideas. 

Daily check-ins show employees that managers care about performance and want to stay in the know regarding productivity.

Ask your employees daily:

  • What was accomplished today? Are we on track to achieve our goal?
  • What obstacles are currently hindering faster progress?
  • What can I do to support you?

In addition to tracking employee productivity, this is a great way to increase morale by demonstrating and supporting the team.

Add a mobile construction app that allows you to take notes, capture photos, and communicate between field and office when on site.  Not only will this detail at your fingertips help during daily check-ins, but you’ll have access to play-by-play action and daily updates with your mobile device wherever you are!

3. Focus on results, not hours worked

When measured and compensated solely on a specific number of hours worked any given day, employees may be inclined to ‘phone it in’ or ‘kill time’ until it’s time to punch out. It is more important to focus on results and measure employees by the value of contribution and productivity. 

Productivity will increase when there’s an incentive to complete tasks. After all, who doesn’t want to go home early after a job well done?

Rather than twiddling their thumbs to fill time on the clock, your employees will feel motivated to complete their work efficiently and correctly. They will feel empowered to do their job well and appreciate leaving when the day’s work is done rather than when the clock reaches 5:00 pm.

4. Set clear expectations

For your employees to be productive, they have to know what they’re working towards.

Set clear goals as an organization, for individual teams, and individual employees, so there is an obvious focus at all times.

  1. Goals should be clear, specific, and measurable
  2. Be realistic, so expectations aren’t impossible to achieve
  3. Communicate the goals clearly and to the whole organization

Goals should also be centered around more than just one type of performance. Include goals for:

  • Day-to-day tasks
  • Business growth and development
  • Profitability
  • Problem solving and innovation

5. Track performance

When it comes to employee productivity tracking, this one may seem obvious.

Yet, the reality is that many companies don’t consider performance to measure success. It’s easy to focus on ‘time spent’ on projects instead.

First, set clear expectations for a team and each individual. Then be sure to track how well they’re performing their duties – not how many hours are being put in,  but how well goals are being met.

Have a struggling employee? Rather than assume they’re lazy, ask them, “What can management do to help you achieve your goals?”

Some technologies and apps can help make your employees’ tasks easier to complete and improve performance tracking. Consider those that allow you to electronically capture what’s happening, in real-time, right in the field using your mobile device. That will enable you to improve productivity tracking and transform field reporting into productivity insights

6. Be transparent with communication

Communication is the key to productivity because everyone needs to work together to meet the organization’s goals.

Be upfront and honest when sharing performance tracking  with your employees:

  1. Clearly outline goals and objectives.
  2. Explain how performance is being tracked.
  3. Identify expectations for performance.

This open communication allows your employees to feel assured and confident about meeting expectations and how their performance is being measured.

7. Reward quality, not just quantity

It’s crucial to find a system for measuring quality when it comes to your employee’s work.

Think about customer service. It isn’t easy to measure but is very important to your brand’s reputation.

When you put systems in place for employee productivity tracking, think about quality. How can you use it as a way to track job performance?

For example, did you get feedback from a distributor about an employee going above and beyond? Maybe your employee had to take a bit longer than usual to deliver at this level, but the value received in return is priceless.

Be sure to measure and reward quality performance.

8. Use positive reinforcement practices

Happy employees are more productive employees, and happiness doesn’t necessarily mean more money. 

There are changes you can make to increase employee happiness — and productivity — including:

  • Show compassion
  • Show gratitude
  • Focus on meaningful work
  • Treat employees with respect
  • Avoid laying blame
  • Provide feedback
  • Reward good work with promotions

9. Measure short-term and long-term goals

Track-specific key performance indicators for both long-term and short-term goals.

This will keep employees motivated by recognizing small accomplishments while they work toward milestones.

It also paints a striking picture. It highlights the impact the little tasks are having at pushing towards the big goal.

10. Track high-level business performance

Are your profit margins reflecting your team’s productivity? The bottom line matters. Period.

Set efficiency aside for a minute. Make sure the metrics you use to measure performance can be directly related to your profit margins.

Then use a system for employee productivity tracking that paints an accurate picture of the company’s performance.

Next steps for employee productivity tracking

Are you ready to take managing your labor and employee productivity tracking to the next level?

The first step is to ensure you measure time accurately and effectively in the field. Improve timeliness, increase accuracy, save dramatic amounts of time, and gain consistency by implementing our system for digitizing timekeeping in the field.