Subcontractors or “subbies” are the people that work hand-in-hand with the contractor to make sure that a construction project gets done successfully and efficiently.
In the construction industry, builders and subcontractors need to have a license to be credible. You don’t just hire any subbie off the street to work for you. Still, if you don’t know how to properly manage your subcontractors, regardless of how great they are with their jobs, they will not be efficient.
Some contractors take on a project, tell the subbie to do their work, and that’s it. There’s no communication that could improve their efficiency at work. Keep in mind that the contractors have to set rules, systems and processes so that when something goes wrong, everyone would know what to do next.
To manage your subcontractors effectively, here are some tips that might help you out:
1. Have Clear and Open Communication
Even before hiring a subcontractor, it is crucial that you tell them your expectations. This way, you’ll know if they are up for the job or not. Once you hire them, you have to provide them with all the information and details they need to complete the job to your standards.
Have regular but short meetings as a way to remind them of the goals that you have for the project. There should also be targets or schedules for them to hit. This way, you can be sure that the whole project is done on time and with less or no mistakes at all.
2. Boost Your Subcontractors Morale
Imagine if you were a subcontractor and you were hired by someone who keeps on yelling at you for everything that you do. Would you still want to work with that person? You might stay for the pay but the pressure and stress would eventually kill you.
Yelling at your subbies to show authority is a wrong move. Not only will this promote more mistakes on their end due to too much pressure, but it also creates dissatisfaction. It will kill their creativity, which will lead them to produce subpar results. They want to finish quickly so they won’t have to deal with you anymore, regardless of the quality of their work.
Boost their morale by praising them for good work. It doesn’t mean that you have to treat them like little kids. Treat them just like how you would want to be treated yourself. Remember, subcontractors are still part of your team, so treat them like the A-Grade team you want.
3. Follow-Up On Tasks Regularly
Now let’s clear this up straight away. Following up does NOT mean that you are breathing down their neck watching their every move. However, it is important for you to check on your subcontractors regularly. It is to keep them accountable for their role and the project. Besides, it would be best if you made sure that the deadlines and targets are met.
Following-up with your subbies is an excellent way for you to check if they are satisfied or happy working with you. Also, if there are any problems they need to discuss. Allow them to ask any questions they have about their tasks and you check if your instructions were clear.
It’s important that you manage your subbies effectively. Not only will this make sure that you finish the project on time, within the budget, and with high quality, it would also mean fewer problems for you because there will be no disputes.
Remember, if a subcontractor messes up, you as their superior also messes up. You are, after all, a team. Manage your team effectively so that you all work towards realising the same goal.
If you need any help on how to manage your subcontractors or train your team, book in here to have a free quick chat with one of our business coaches.