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3 Big Ways Managers Can Use Workforce Data for Growth

A woman draws a picture on a whiteboard to demonstrate an idea to a male coworker.

LaborChart is growing. There’s excitement at our headquarters because we’re adding people to our sales, engineering, marketing and customer experience teams. 

I have a responsibility as a leader to figure out the best way to develop our talent. It’s something that every manager considers because there’s a direct line between the growth of your employees and the growth of your company. 

The key to getting the most out of a team is to understand exactly who you are sending up to the plate every time. I built LaborChart to help contractors get more information about their workforce, including who was assigned to each job, what their skill sets and certifications were and previous jobs they’ve worked. 

In order for managers to easily access that information, labor scheduling, and the old way of managing labor with whiteboards and spreadsheets, had to move to the cloud. 

When many contractors digitize their workforce data, they experience a sort of epiphany: When their labor is scheduled properly, they can dig into how their labor is actually performing. 

We invite you to dive into three big ways that construction managers can use workforce data and effective labor scheduling for business growth: 

1. Recognize That Repetition is Not Progress 

Contractors get work done. They move projects forward. They complete huge tasks. But when it comes to workforce management, many contractors are stuck in a rut. They’re still using whiteboards and spreadsheets to manage their labor. And with these old tools comes a lot of repetitive, unproductive activities. Don’t confuse busy work—repetitive administrative tasks that eat up valuable office time—with productive work. It’s easy to get bogged down in updating spreadsheets and readjusting magnets or columns on a whiteboard. These actions may allow you to move projects forward (in a slow, manual way); but you’re not moving your company forward. 

The right system of labor scheduling lets people focus on the important tasks—understanding the true costs of a project and the skillsets of your labor—rather than the administrative tasks mentioned above. You have to break the Groundhog Day cycle and take real steps forward to improve your workforce management system. 

For example, instead of focusing on clearing out one workforce management whiteboard for a new one, you can take time to focus on analyzing your workforce data and success metrics; a much more productive use of you or your team’s time. 

2. Seek Out Transparency  

So, what happens when you stop doing the same thing every day because it’s the way you’ve always done it? You gain perspective on what you’re doing and who you’re putting in charge. 

When I talk to our customers, I hear that the LaborChart platform adds visibility and transparency to labor scheduling. Managers know where their people have been, where they are supposed to be and where they’re headed next.

“I can get so much information right from one source. I’m looking at a high level at all our projects,” Kyle Sutter, the Director of Construction for Westphal & Company, says. “I make my decisions on where people are going through LaborChart. It’s how we know people are getting to the best spots.” 

Workforce data transparency lets you identify and develop the next generation of leaders in your company. With visibility into your labor schedule and field productivity, you can put start to field test younger, up and coming leaders. 

3. Develop Your Team 

You’ll never know if someone can take on responsibility if you don’t give them the opportunity. A digital workforce management platform lets you reduce the risk while empowering the people that work for you. 

With LaborChart, for example, you can establish a labor plan, which sets guardrails around the less experienced project manager. If a foreman deviates from the established labor plan, you’ll see exactly when that happens. This allows you to have meaningful conversations about areas of improvement before a project moves off course.  

When you eliminate uncertainty, you can start to think globally. Minimize risk. Put a plan in action. Evaluate the results. 

Developing your people is the fuel for scaling your company. Get your labor scheduling right—that’s how you learn if you have the right people and exactly what your team is capable of doing.

Ben Schultz is founder and CEO of LaborChart. Prior to LaborChart, Ben was a fourth generation electrical contractor for 12 years. He's a husband, a father of three, and enjoys playing golf, spending time with family, and coaching his kids' sports.

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