Contractors may be the driving force of your company’s productivity – especially if you have an increasing number of field projects with each passing year.
It is imperative to keep your contractors happy while making sure that you maintain a proper balance of authority and respect among your team.
Here are several key ways that you can keep your contractors engaged, employed and even somewhat excited to show up to work every day:
- Make Your Vision Clear and Precise
- Research Budget Constraints and Price Points
- Maintain an Open Line of Communication
- Find an Automated Way to Record Journal Entries
- Safety, Safety, Safety
- Always Be Respectful and Courteous to Your Contractors
- Reach Out to Rejected Contractors
- Trust Goes a Long Way from Both Ends
Make Your Vision Clear and Precise
The best goal is a well-defined goal that is measurable, simple and realistic.
When these three core elements are in place, the work is typically done well and gets positive reviews from clients, customers and critics alike.
To achieve this goal, though, it all starts with how you communicated the project details and specifications to your team. Chances are that they want the project to be just as successful as you do, which is why they need to fully understand what you want from them without any exceptions.
As you discuss the various stages of the project with the contractor(s), make sure that you relay simple directions that are easy to follow.
Since the actual contract has not been written yet, the discussion stage will allow you to express all your concerns to ensure that everything runs as smoothly as possible. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out to your contractors and encourage them to do the same.
Research Budget Constraints and Price Points
Your contractors will appreciate it if they are able to dive into their workload as quickly as possible without the hassle of dealing with an abundance of administrative and billings tasks beforehand. The more you can remove from their shoulders in this regard the better your operation will be overall.
Make sure that you carefully research the budget along with the most competitive rates for labor and materials available within the area.
Behave cautiously when you encounter an allowance number that was added to the budget as a simple placeholder. A recommended approach is to sort and organize all your product selections and materials before you receive an itemized bid for the project.
Doing so will make it much easier for you to be on the same page as your contractors when it comes to the costs and payroll wages associated with this type of change.
Maintain an Open Line of Communication
The last thing that your contractor wants is to be left out of the loop when it comes to pertinent details and other valuable information that they need for their assigned projects.
There are too many stories told and experiences shared where a client felt as if certain details were on a “need to know” basis even though the contractor performing the work needed to know them more than anyone else.
Make sure that you speak with your contractors daily – preferably in the early morning hours before his or her shift begins. Keep in contact with your contractors by maintaining an accurate list of their cell phone numbers and email addresses to be able to stay in touch with them even when in the field.
Find an Automated Way to Record Journal Entries
Years ago, most contractors and clients were encouraged to maintain project journals to document their daily progress reports as well as any brainstormed ideas, purchase order numbers, receipts and delivery schedules.
However, thanks to the Internet and other advancements made in productivity software applications, there are automated software packages that can essentially serve as virtual project journals on your behalf.
In addition to never having to worry about where certain entries were recorded, you can simply log into the cloud solution program and quickly gain access to whatever information you may need.
Safety, Safety, Safety
One of the worst things that you can do is to allow your contractors to be placed in imminently dangerous situations. Safety is of the utmost importance and should never be compromised – regardless of your budget or the estimated amount of time remaining on your project.
Make sure that your contractors completely the necessary safety training and briefings that are available through your company or a third-party firm. Doing so may seem redundant, but this important information will help prove to each contractor that his or her life is of value to you and your company.
Otherwise, your contractors may get the idea that you simply want them for their impact on your bottom-line revenue and nothing more. When conducting safety briefings and training, make sure that you document each course/seminar in addition to the names of the people who attended.
Always Be Respectful and Courteous to Your Contractors
Keep in mind that your contractors are people, too. It is very easy to overlook this when you are facing a tight deadline and your team of contractors is performing like a group of award-winning workhorses. If you want it to stay that way, though, then you must maintain a friendly yet firm attitude with your contractors that accommodates to their various needs without risking the quality and timeliness of the project(s) assigned to them.
For instance, a simple greeting where you address them by name each day will go a long way in improving your retention rates and overall engagement. Each contractor will know that you care specifically about him or her to the point of learning their correct name and making a diligent effort to greet them as such each day.
Consider serving hot drinks on cold days and cold drinks on hot days. Always remember to compliment your contractor on the work that they have accomplished. Regardless of the project size, a little commendation will go a long way when it comes to keeping your contractor happy and coming back for more.
Reach Out to Rejected Contractors
Even after you have chosen the perfect contractor to handle your project(s), there will still be an extensive list of contractors that missed out on the opportunity. Instead of ignoring those leads, it is highly recommended to stay in contact with them. Let him or know of their overall value within the company’s operational cycle.
Never feel as if you are “too busy” to follow-up on the calls and resumes that were sent out to you immediately following the news story. Instead of ignoring their calls for a substantial amount of time until they “get the hint”, it would be in your best interest to still stay in communication with the strongest leads.
Just because you are fully-staffed today for your project does not mean that the same principle will apply later. You may need to turn to your “reserve list” to fill in the necessary gaps and keep your team moving toward a championship.
Trust Goes a Long Way from Both Ends
You more than likely encourage your contractors and employees to trust you – especially when it comes to handling payroll and other important tasks that detrimentally affect their health.
Make sure that you are showing a substantial amount of trust for the people who work for you. Once you have taken them through the necessary hurdles and loops just to qualify to join the team, do your best to avoid hovering and lurking in the shadows of your worksite.
This type of nosey micromanagement will make any contractor uncomfortable and force them to quickly look for job listings in the “Classified” section of the newspaper.