Construction Workforce Management defined
The refined business practice for self-perform and MEP contractors that is evolving with software tools finally fit for the task
What does Workforce Management look like in construction? Different at every contractor.
Each contractor has different people, and they all have different processes that work. As a result, Workforce Management takes on a different form in each and every business that we interact with. But there are some core ingredients that exist, and we can help tie them together into a business practice framework that specialty contractors can benefit from.
A variety of definitions for Workforce Management are out there. One of them we see often is “the process by which employers strategically allocate people and resources to maximize individual efficiency and effectiveness.” Workforce Management is about maximizing our individual people. Ultimately, the objective is optimize to productivity and maybe reduce some risk.
This is prevalent in other industries, and and it’s an odd thing that it’s taken so much longer for it to really get identified and established in construction the way that it has this last 5 to 10 years. Take the medical industry, for example. We don’t just have hundreds or thousands of doctors meandering about aimlessly doing different things, different ways in different hospitals. We have these methods as practices to be able to say I’ve got a pulmonary specialist out of Kansas City who I could leverage in New York, for example. The U.S. Army is similar. We don’t have hundreds of thousands of soldiers and just reacting to each and every different scenario where we need them in different places. We have them all in one system, we are tracking their trainings, their documents, their experiences, etc. And we’re trying to develop the best possible soldier through intentional experiences and assignments and developing their careers on very intentional trajectories or paths.
Fortunately, a shift is happening in construction now. We’re finally getting the tools that can help us make Workforce Management more sustainable and more achievable day in and day out. And with the right tools in place for teams to use, it’s time to bring some discipline to the fragmented Workforce Management in the construction industry today. We’re talking about being proactive and intentional with how we plan every one of our people across every one of our jobs.