Crew Productivity: Here’s What Other Business Owners Do

Ever wondered how other construction business owners improve crew productivity?

I surveyed construction business owners and here’s how they answered the question….

“What is your #1 tip on how to increase crew productivity?

Click here for More Free Productivity Tips for Contractors: Help Your Crews Make You More Money

Painting Contractors

  • Cat of nine tails…ancient torture whip
  • Repetition, organization. Stilts instead of ladders when possible, 18 in rollers and 4 inch brushes. You want production then use tools to get production.
  • Incentives, bonuses, and as mentioned the proper tools for the job.
  • Depending on how long they’ve been employed…..share in 10% of the gross profits as bonuses end of the year. Tried, tested and very successful.
  • Get in there and work With them. Don’t expect them to do all the work and you just check in on time to time. Employee/employer relations can go a long way.
  • Getting them to buy into “mental ownership”

Click here for More Free Productivity Tips for Contractors: Help Your Crews Make You More Money

  • Treat them like humans.
  • Shake there hand and thank them for working for you every day and buy them lunch on Friday.
  • An old boss of mine would show up at the job 2 hours after lunch with chips and soda. We would sit in the shade and sip on a soda while going over the job. After the 15 min break we would be refreshed feeling and everyone would have a good idea of what needs to be done to end the day. It just seemed to work well.
  • Great management. The correct tooling and financial rewards. I am on my own now. Not the same money as 18 guys but less headaches and a happier life.
  • After close mentoring a way of trust is leave them on their own on a bounds price.
  • what decreases productivity…..there is always THAT one who kisses the bosses butt and THAT one is the least productive while causing trouble between employees!.
  • Compliment and thank you.
  • It is mind boggling how far a simple thank you and a little appreciation goes.
  • I have been employee and boss. Biggest thing I hear guys complain of is “I never hear thank you or good job.” And donuts on Friday. Simple things. I could go on. Most things cost less then a raise and boost moral. Then quality and production come from that.
  • I offer bonuses bring lunch praise all of the above. My guys do no more and no less then what I ask for but they do show up everyday and no more then 5min late at the most ever. The one that goes the extra mile is me it seems like.
  • Work with them regularly.
  • Paint alone. No headaches! And you sleep good.
  • One thing I’ve done is give out “Extra Mile” rewards. When somebody did more than they needed to, they got a Tshirt that said “I Went The Extra Mile” and a $50 gift card…and the awards were given out publicly. Guys wore those shirts like a badge of honor.
  • Lead by example and motivate them. Habe incentives at the end of the week or job.
  • Some times I take all my crew to the movies or breackfast it gets a little crazy and fun when you are talking about 25 painters but very good memories, that can talk about it for weeks!.
  • To start off we need to get paid right. Give bonus and raises and some of us drive a lot that we need fuel paid but we don’t get it paid. Also have all our material on time and not cheap out. I’ve had bosses who cry about buying tape and plastic or whatever we need to complete the job and that’s frustrating and you tend to slack.
  • Don’t give them more money just tell them you have 8 hours to get this much done if you get done early you still get paid for 8.
  • Be one of the lads with them, make sure they know you’re a friend not just a boss.. take them for a beer or 2 watch a game now and then, once a month take them all to a cafe for breakfast.
  • Rewards depending on the job. Small job buy lunch or let them go home early while paying the full day for big jobs tell them if we beat the deadline by a couple of day they get bonus.
  • This is the 100 million dollar question. Getting them to show up is the #1 topic… Then get aggressive with communication, and try to make them part of the team.
  • It’s not always about bonus money, who wants to sweat all week to make an extra 50? Nobody wants to be pushed to work or treated like a machine or cog, treat them like humans, treat them like you’re family… if you can’t be friends with them then either find a new crew who you mesh with or stop being a boss.
  • Seems to me when im around shit gets done. But maybe thats cuz im that good. Lol no really i tell my guys all the time how good there doing. Give a bonus here and there. Beer on payday. Lunch at least trwice a week. But thats just me. A happy employees is a good thing.
  • I take my guys out to eat 3-4 times a month. Give them bonuses when they finish a job early. Have BBQ at the house couple of times a year. And at the end of the year we go out for a great lunch at the beach. This year I payed them for the 4th of July. Let’s not forget Christmas bonuses.
  • My foot up their ass.
  • Hire the right people.
  • Happy employees = happy customers. Happy customers = profitable business.
  • Quarterly profit shares. They are granted the opportunity to conserve as much as possible, to maximize profits quarterly.
  • two words….but no one has used them yet. Piecework Pay: Incentive plan under which employees receive a certain rate for each unit produced.
  • Piece work is only good I think if you have 3or 4 guys that have worked with each other awhile . I think it causes animosity . Not a fan . Just my opinion. I’m sure it works for some but not in every case .
  • I do piecework and having learned by working hourly that being said I would much rather work at a good hourly rate I don’t like the idea of racing the clock I do quality work a would rather not let anyone but me decide how long that should take.
  • Fair wages of course but more importantly challenge them with more important roles and tasks. Make them feel like they can move up if they work hard.
  • Hungry people that want to better themselves ( you can’t teach work ethic ,respect, and responsibility )I have bonused my guys out bought them lunches gave them extra hours paid them a piece rate I’ve come to the conclusion that I must just be the worst person in the world but the best person in the world on Friday got a roll with the punches and have the headaches of having other people push the brush for you.
  • You need to find what drives your individual workers. For some straight money does the trick. Maybe one is trying to get a car, a vacation, school? Know their goals and help them with a plan to achieve them and see how far they will go!
  • Take care of your guys, give them incentives like if you estimate a job and finish a day early…Throw your guys a bone man. I’m on the low end, I’m part of a crew so I’m telling you what we’d like to see. Work our asses of and never anything extra, so you have to make them want to do it for you.
  • Profit sharing, respect, and proper equipment.
  • It’s not fun watching your boss pull up with his four Corvette s two beamers and whatever else. Your triing to pay bills and put food on the table.
  • A cattle prod.
  • How long it should take is determined by how much the customer wants to pay (budget). What I tell the crew is: prep – patch – paint according to budget (or quicker for bonus).
  • I explain it to them like this: If someone wants to give the customer more than they paid for, they are welcome to do it on their own time. If customers buy one loaf of bread, will the clerk keep giving them a second for free? Wouldn’t that get them fired?
  • Don’t Hire employees.
  • Pay on Mondays.
  • Music, candy, and taking a minute to work side by side for a chat about life.
  • Appreciation goes a long way…
  • Music, buy them lunch once a month buy them beer now and then.. little things like that.
  • Completion bonuses- let them know the man/days you estimated for certain job to take. When they bring it in early, with stellar satisfaction from the client, and youve judged to work to be up to the standard you want, split the remaining man/days worth of labor with them in a 50/50 or 60/40 ratio. Divide the profit proportionally with the foremen or lead men getting slightly larger ratios, and adjust for how many days each painter participated. Be clear that they are not guaranteed the bonus because things can go wrong with the client or the margin that are unforeseen. Unhappy client or subpar work means no bonus. The other obvious ways to keep people vested, , as mentioned, are to be present as much as you can, yet allow them to solve their own problems, and figure out what makes each person tick. For some people its money, for some people its flexibiliy with family, for many its the desire to learn, grow, and be appreciated . Whatever combination it is, try to look out for those needs, and try to make it clear that the more they produce, the more you will compensate them for. Nothing says ‘thanks’ like cold hard cash, and sometimes what I do is tel them to knock something out and ill pay them for an extra day or a holiday. Every situation is different. The best thing you can do is to get the right people together with the right chemistry that have intrinsic satisfaction from producing good work and bringing in profit at the same time- I trying to get my people to self regulate as much as possible, because it takes my ego and personality our of the mix, and im not constantly playing ‘motivational boss’ which I think makes me look foolish.
  • The more money they make me in a timely, and clean, professional manner. Bonuses and lunch’s for the crew. Take care of the people that take care of you… It’s only right !
  • Occasional lunch, summer time bbq for crew and sales people at Sherwin Williams, (because they always recommend us), and bonus if completed before due date!!
  • Work as hard or harder than your workers. Is an impression that builds good morale my plan is proven.
  • Bonus . raise .and theres always taco bell.
  • guys .if u take care of your workers you will b better off .treat your help the best you can thats your. Money those guys bust thier hindends for you .rember that
  • I thank my guys every day after work and give them any day off they need or want. Also beer… lots of beer. And golf.
  • Treat them well and pay them properly, just ask yourself what kind of money you would be insulted by and keep going higher until you feel you’d be happy being paid that.
  • The beatings will continue until morale improves.
  • Pay them piece rate rather than hourly knowing you have a check waiting when you’re finished is very motivating and people respond better to praise than they do criticism so always point out a job done right rather than a job done incorrectly.
  • Tell them Thank you and shake their hand.
  • Make pair system and give target everyday . Tell them that once they finish, they can go home get paid for the day, no matter how many hour they work. This will improve their productivity, and u can give target more than what they finish in day, don’t increase too much target. Always be friendly with people and never get angry. Give them credit and take the blame.
  • Performance pay. Set a hour budget for the job. If they beat it with out complications they get the money. 10 hr job done in 7 they get the 10 hrs pay.
  • Okay all joking aside even tho meth works, i treat my employees as team members not employees, the success of all of our jobs is shared accordingly whether it’s bonuses, validation or future ventures.
  • Attach compensation directly to production.
  • My number 1 tip is this: Have lots of them to choose from. Then you are in the driver seat. Not them!
  • An honest compliment can do wonders for attitude adjustment and tend to eager to please.
  • And I believe if justified or positive criticism. It’s your duty to do this and don’t worry its not always going to be followed up with ..”So do I get a raise?”
  • My guys work 6 hour days and get lots done. Therefore they get a very good hourly wage $$.
  • Unfortunately, there isn’t a silver bullet. You have to combine motivation through monetary compensation, bonuses, social recognition, personal recognition, and decent monitoring and oversight. Ask an Olympic Athlete what he did to get so good – it will never, ever be one thing.
  • Fire a couple workers. That works every time.
  • You want production out of your employees? Do you want to run your business properly? Then run your business like a business!Get on the phone, drum up work, keep the work going. Hire a lead hand who is equipped with all of the necessary gear. Make your timelines realistic for jobs. For F€£% sakes don’t micro manage! Most of all treat your guys once in a while. We all do this for a living.
  • Ban mobile phones when working. The policy is working so far. Got sworn at, at first but thanked later by the folks that work for me. The 20 year old didn’t mind at all. The 54 year old moaned like hell at first but soon got over it. He then told me i’d done him a favour.

Concrete Foundation Contractors

  • Motivation mate. People skills. Barbie to end the week and say thanks. Bit of a bonus when you can?.
  • Cash and raises if their making you money they deserve to make money too.
  • One of the tips shared at last year’s Concrete Foundations Convention was establishing a pay scale that demonstrates reward for progress and performance. Motivation comes from knowing where you can go rather than hoping you’ll get somewhere.
  • Yep tell them they are doing a good job. Buy them beer after a hard day or a long week.
  • Treat them like you want to be treated…..don’t yell at them or degrade them. Explain how things have to be done and why it has to be that way. Don’t have them do anything you wouldn’t!!! That works for me.
  • Recognize the performers and cash bonuses if you do bonuses.
  • I’ve found that money just leads to more money, most people you can’t please for long, even with lots of incentives. The best way is to set an almost on achievable expectation so their forced to pick up the pace if they want to get off before the sun goes down. Simple appreciation of the work. Bonuses like food and beer and stuff are big helps. But letting the employee’s know you appreciate them is big.  Always know your employees names and take a minute out of the day to talk to a few.  Especially your laborers…Those guys get enough shit from everyone else.
  • Go drill instructor on their ass’s and if they don’t like it let them quit. If you pay well and treat them good and it’s not good enough then tough love lol.
  • Team meetings and being the cheerleader. Make sure you say thank you daily. Paid time off and cash bonus.

Roofing Contractors

  • Give them incentives, other than competitive pay. I used to give the guys a set number of squares to put down in a few weeks and if they got it, I’d give them company jackets. Happy hardworking employees and free advertising.
  • Treat them with respect, expect nothing but the best from them. Take everyone on a big fishing wknd if the company is making lotsa money ..feeling appreciated goes a long ways.
  • Give them a goal. Can be financial, even comparison against a rival company. You just need to know what motivates each man, be it pride, money, whatever, and create goals that allow them to feed that desire.
  • Bonus on every job. It works the best we all know cash is king.