Subcontractors or “subbies” are the people that work hand-in-hand with the team to make sure that a construction project is done successfully and efficiently.
That’s why it’s important that you, the business owner of the construction company, don’t just hire any subbie off the street to work for you.
This is also the reason why effective subcontractor management is important.
However, there are contractors who don’t manage their subcontractors at all. They just take on a project, tell the subbie to do their work and that’s it.
There’s no communication at all…
So when something goes wrong, the subbie gets the blame, even though no lines or rules were set for them in the first place.
In order to manage your subbies effectively, here are some tips that might help you out:
Even before hiring a subcontractor, it is important that you tell them your expectations.
This way, you’ll know if they can actually do the job or not… right from the start.
Once you hire them, it is your duty 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 will be done in a timely manner and with less or no mistakes at all.
Imagine if you were a subcontractor and you were hired by someone who just shouted at you for every little thing that you did.
Would you still want to work with that person? Or would you plan of some devious ways to get revenge?
Okay… So maybe “revenge” is a little harsh… But you definitely wouldn’t do your best work.
Shouting at your subbies to show authority is a bad move.
Not only will this promote more mistakes on their end due to too much pressure, but it also creates dissatisfaction.
It will no longer be their desire to produce good results.
They just 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, subbies are still part of your team, so treat them like the A-Grade team you want.
Now let’s clear this up straight away, this does NOT mean that you are breathing down their neck watching their every move.
However, it is important for you to check on your subbies regularly.
This is to remind them of their accountability to the role and the project. You need to make sure that the deadlines and targets are being met.
Following-up with your subbies is a great way for you to check if they are satisfied or happy working with you, or if there’s any problems they need to discuss.
This allows them to ask any questions they have and you can double check that nothing has been lost in translation.
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 good quality. It also means less problems for you because there will be no disputes.
Remember, if a subcontractor messes up, you as their superior also messed up.
You are, after all, a team.
So it’s important that you manage your team effectively, in order to have one goal in mind that you are all working towards.