What is Workforce Management in the Construction Industry?

A male and female construction worker managing their workforce on a tablet.

I spent nearly 43 years in the construction industry. I know the ins and outs of the business. I’ve seen some companies thrive and unfortunately, others fail. One of the biggest noticeable differences between the two is usually workforce management (or a better way to say it — how contractors engage with their people). People are a company’s most important asset and that’s why it’s important to focus on them when building a strategy for your business.

Let’s take a look at what construction workforce management is and how it can help your contracting company succeed.


Workforce Management for General and Specialty Contractors 

Most think workforce management is the same thing as scheduling labor. But labor scheduling is only a portion of the full definition. Yes, you have to schedule your people, but workforce management means managing your roster beyond a schedule. From data management and communication, to people management and planning, workforce management is a complex undertaking that can open new doors for your people and business.

Before and after image of LaborChart customer W. Bradley Electric managing their workforce on whiteboards and now on their tablet.

You might be wondering, what do each of these mean for the construction industry? How do they play into workforce management? Let’s break it down. 

Data management: Organizing and housing all of your people and project data in a secure manner that creates time savings and new efficiencies.
Communication: Efficiently sharing project, scheduling and additional updates on an individual or workforce-wide basis to ensure everyone stays in the know and has all of the information they need to be successful.
People management: Ensuring your roster stays motivated, develops new skills and stays up-to-date on certifications so your organization can tackle any project at any given time.
Planning: Having information you can depend on to ensure your company can forecast ahead for new projects and know when to ramp up your workforce. 

When paired with labor scheduling, the elements listed above help paint the full picture of workforce management. Let’s keep going so you can see how valuable these factors can be when rolled into one plan. 


Workforce Management Software for the Construction Industry 

Your company is doing fine, completing jobs, winning work and getting by. You’re doing what you’re supposed to do, but deep down, you know there’s something new you can bring to the plate. Other companies might be adopting new technology and evolving and so can yours. You can be the person that hops on board the digital workforce management ship first and steer your company to the future, because the future is now. 

Digital workforce management platforms provide real-time information about people’s skills, certifications, location and more, while also communicating project updates to your entire roster or only those who need to know. Having one source of truth you can access at your fingertips builds confidence within your organization, makes bidding for future jobs more accurate and gives you extra insight into what makes sense for your business.

Contractors around the world need to start addressing (some already have) their biggest costs and most important asset – their people. By identifying and onboarding a workforce management software, they can do exactly that and gain direct and actionable insight into their workforce.

What people think vs. what workforce management really is graphic.


Digital Workforce Management Solutions for the Future

Like many others, you want to optimize the productivity of your staff and effectively forecast labor needs for future jobs. Without even knowing it, you just defined workforce management. 

From a basic point of view, it’s simply knowing where your people are today and where you need them in the future. No matter the industry, workforce management plays a vital role. In the construction industry, it means everything. You can only schedule, not manage your workforce, on a spreadsheet, whiteboard or piece of paper. You can try to keep up for a week or two, but there’s no planning ahead, active communication or real-time information at your fingertips. You might be thinking — that’s not possible, no one in the construction industry can pull that off. 

Here’s the thing — construction companies are already doing this. They’re using digital tools to learn from their past, plan for the future and win future jobs. Companies that aren’t adopting new technology are slowly falling behind and might eventually disappear. LaborChart is the leading workforce management solution for the construction industry and we’re helping companies around the world realize their full potential. 

From Slotegraaf Construction in Ontario, Canada to P2K in Atlanta, Georgia, LaborChart is helping construction companies optimize their workforce and identify new management efficiencies.

If you haven’t already, give us a shout and book a demo today.

Watch our latest workforce management videos.

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Sr. Workforce Advisor
Gary Fuchs is a Senior Workforce Advisor at LaborChart. Prior to LaborChart, Gary was VP of Construction at Westphal Electric. He and his wife Cheryl are proud parents of three daughters and 10 grandchildren. Gary enjoys woodworking, golf, hunting, fishing, and working with LaborChart. In his past, Gary was a volunteer firefighter and basketball official.

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