Identifying the best ways of engaging all employees, contractors and subcontractors in quality documentation and reporting processes will help your company produce great results.
Having the greatest solution ever created will be meaningless unless your employees are going to use it. The same dynamic applies to quality documentation and reporting – and introducing new solutions to take your construction projects to the next level.
So, how do you increase the likelihood of success?
Answering that question requires focus on three interlinked pillars: buy-in, simplicity, and safety.
Facts, figures and story after story all point to lack of buy-in as one of the most significant obstacles to successful technology integration or process upgrade initiatives.
Construction and related industry spaces are no exception. Additionally, they have historically dealt with ingrained resistance to change. On major building projects, the issue can become compounded by the need to integrate technology into areas where there are multiple contractors and subcontractors.
Said resistance can be perfectly understandable. Why would a subcontractor who is on a contract where job completion means meeting the payment terms want to spend time learning new technology and integrating new solutions in their workflow?
One way of improving buy-in is to showcase how a new solution will make things easier. For example, focus on how it makes workflows more efficient without employees or subcontractors losing time. If your system is relatively straightforward to use, this part can become self-evident.
Another great way to increase buy-in is through evidence of success. This can come from previous projects, statistical evidence, other companies or other sources.
The mantra should be ‘keep it simple’ when communicating the upsides of a given solution or upgrade to your setup. You might want to add a ‘show, don’t tell’ as well.
Communication should focus on the main advantages that a solution offers the people using it.
One particularly effective strategy is to identify three main advantages and focus on communicating these clearly throughout every part of your project team.
For example, employees and workers will not necessarily respond well to a message like ‘our new solution produces better documentation and reporting plus easier compliance.’ Instead, ‘the new tool helps you increase workmanship quality, plus saves us all time and money.’
The show don't tell-approach often involves hands-on experience. If, for example, contractors are worried about the complexity of a new tool, a good strategy can be letting them try it out independently.
Enabling contractors and employees to get hands-on experience and then going through any necessary training also means that they are not 'starting from zero' but already have a frame of reference where the solution is concerned.
One of the issues affecting how employees and contractors may feel about a new solution is whether it is seen as an upgrade or a means to replace workers. The question asked will be, ‘why should I use this new tool that might mean that my colleague or I end up working part-time or completely out of a job?’
This should not be the end goal. The primary purpose for companies with upgrades should – in 999 out of 1000 cases – be to give employees and contractors deeper insights and more time. Upgrades should help them focus on the aspects of their job that increase workmanship quality, give them the most job satisfaction and sense of accomplishment, and helps deliver the optimal project outcome.
Concerning quality documentation and reporting, an upgrade can be a tool to track progress visually and efficiently over time that simultaneously ensures that workers remain safe on site. Any potential issues can be spotted and remedied early in the process.
This also lowers the risk of future renovations paid for by the contractor or project leader – or having to do a job several times to remedy errors.
For employees and contractors, reporting and documentation carried out by surveyors can feel like a teacher stopping by to grade homework before jetting off again. It can feel like the focus is squarely on what is wrong – without any advice on avoiding similar mistakes in the future.
To ensure buy-in and fully engaging your entire workforce in quality control – and upgrading quality – you need a solution that empowers and enables everyone. Workers should, in other words, be in charge of gathering quality evidence.
Building on that, increasing the buy-in and use of new solutions by staff, employees, contractors, and subcontractors should start with a structured process and plan that follows the steps below:
Undertaking all the above may seem like a laborious way to increase productivity. Also, what might be in it for you and your company may seem unclear. Wouldn’t it be just a well to let surveyors handle all quality and documentation work independently?
There are many reasons why that is not the case. For one thing, workers are your eyes and ears in the field. If something is going wrong or could be going better, they will know before anyone else. Documenting faults and errors – and how to remedy them – can, in part, happen during the quality documentation and reporting processes.
Furthermore, experienced workers can help you spot potential pitfalls. With the right documentation tools in place, they may be able to communicate that with visual evidence. That experience can help explain potential pitfalls to new and inexperienced project members.
For both you, the contractors and subcontractors, a major reason to invest in upgrades is that work happens faster, has fewer errors, and be carried out more safely. Research has shown how just minor improvements to setups can lead to an 80% increase in construction productivity.
To achieve such results and encourage buy-in and use throughout all layers of a project structure, you need a site inspection tool to provide impartial, objective, data-driven insights. These are some of the core qualities of Captego. Better still, the solution can be installed and used on the most prevalent piece of hardware that already inhabits building sites everywhere: smartphones. In other words, there are no extra costs to hardware. Furthermore, payment structures are per-use-based and can scale to meet your exact demands and needs. The same applies to the setup of documentation and reporting formats. Contact us to hear more.