Finding, managing and retaining staff is a daily struggle for tradie businesses, as we all know, time is money and this is never truer than when your business is paying for staff. Naturally every business owner aims to have a highly productive, functioning team but how exactly can you achieve this?
How do I effectively manage staff?
Cloud software will improve your management skills on each job or project, efficient management of job and staff scheduling, tracking your staff’s billable hours and helping to create a culture of open communication and direction for your team. Businesses that adopt technology are viewed as progressive and cutting edge, especially in the trades, helping to attract new employees to your business as it grows.
5 Staff Management Tips For Tradies
- Use job or project management software to streamline workflows
- Clearly define job information and responsibilities
- Scheduling and time tracking to chart staff availability and productivity
- Keep staff training up to date with regular training
- Develop a winning team culture with open communication
Job and Project management software
There are loads of job and project management software programs available today spanning from simpler setups for sole traders through to complex systems which incorporate things like inventory management. Prices vary too depending on complexity and features, be realistic about the features your business needs and don’t over commit to a system that is beyond your means or learning capability. Having the guidance of an industry app specialist like TradiePad to help with your choice can be invaluable, the wrong choice can be costly not to mention frustrating! Once the right software is in place and working well, the results will soon pay for your subscription over and over again.
The main aspect of any job or project management software is to allow you to create and assign tasks, providing an organised overview of all the work booked in for your business. This visibility allows you to schedule your team to achieve workflows, manage priority jobs and allow the ability to add in new jobs as they occur to the nearest field staff or whoever has availability.
Being cloud based allows your team to access these job details from the field in real time, providing them each with a schedule of daily tasks, any relevant job details and material lists plus the client contact details. Having all this data accessible to the team avoids miscommunication and phone calls back and forth, everyone can clearly see where they need to be and what they will be doing. Field staff can easily communicate information back from site, adding notes, photos and reports to completed jobs even sending invoices and collecting payment from the customer! Your job or project management system will become the central information hub of your business, keeping track of jobs past, present and future.
Time Tracking Software
Time tracking isn’t about stalking your staff! It’s vital data that you as a business owner can use to make sure you are making the most of your resources and time. Time tracking helps you delegate tasks evenly between your staff, giving each member of your team set responsibilities and accountability to achieving tasks within an acceptable time period. Being able to compare your employee pay rate with the time taken to complete a task will allow you to estimate and quote more accurately for future work. Time tracking will provide you with data which you can use for business improvement, look at the tasks that take the most time, can they be automated or outsourced? Or is there a member of your team whose skill set means they achieve that particular task faster? A lot of time tracking tools also incorporate GPS location data that can be used to cross reference and verify staff time records.
A business is only as good as its employees. Your team are the face of your business, the people who interact directly with your clients and greatly influence the credibility of your business. If you want a highly functioning team you need a couple things in play, proper training, clear communication and a great company culture. Regular staff training on your services, safety procedures and how to use your software programs properly will equip your team with the knowledge they need to function independently in the field. All the best job and project management software allow clear communication for your team ensuring they always know what their responsibilities and duties are on any given day. Hosting a weekly team meeting is a great way to boost team morale, identify any issues early and prompt idea exchange while providing valuable business information for the owner from their workers on the frontline. Meetings can be either in person or hosted online using apps like zoom, as long as the whole team is there to join in the conversation, your business is set to benefit.
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