What’s the Secret to Labor Scheduling that Everybody Loves? Controlled Transparency

A male and female construction worker laughing and pointing at a tablet.

You have a system that works fine right now. Your superintendent (or maybe you) control the spreadsheet or whiteboard that keeps assignments moving forward and projects on track. And that might be why you think you don’t need a digital version of your whiteboard

But what if I told you that LaborChart isn’t only a digital whiteboard? What if it’s a way for you to not only maintain control and order over labor scheduling and forecasting; but also make it easier for everyone in your organization to access the information that matters to them without revealing sensitive data in the process? 

LaborChart offers you control and team members access via a digital workforce management platform that has been designed for controlled transparency. 

By locking down project data in a whiteboard or spreadsheet, you're maintaining control; but you're also preventing communication.

Whiteboards and Spreadsheets Throttle Progress

By locking down project data in a whiteboard or spreadsheet, you’re maintaining control; but you’re also preventing communication, collaboration and innovation. 

Spreadsheets are naturally a very guarded system. You don’t want lots of people in a spreadsheet, messing it up or overwriting important data. The superintendent or project manager in charge of a spreadsheet needs to keep it close to their vest. Unfortunately, this means there’s very little transparency into the data that supports key decisions about projects. A static whiteboard makes it difficult to coordinate information across departments within an office and share that data to project managers in the field.

A spreadsheet is also only as good as the last time it’s been updated. But a cloud-based workforce management platform has data that exists in real-time. You can create a single source of truth for your organization, which will better align employees at multiple levels within field and office operations. 

A construction worker on a tablet with the text: "Controlled transparency means that you still have controll over labor scheduling; but you're able to give people access at the right level."

How is Digital Workforce Management More than a Digital Whiteboard? 

A digital whiteboard shows information laid out in a manner that’s familiar. Your construction data is easier to update and more mobile. You can see projects, assignments and labor across multiple devices. But LaborChart isn’t solely a digital whiteboard. 

With a cloud-based workforce management platform, you can retain the control you need while also increasing transparency around assignments for your team. Controlled transparency means that you still have control over labor scheduling; but you’re able to give people access at the right level. With LaborChart, you can design custom permissions which give individuals or classes of labor the information they need without giving it to everyone. 

Consider two sensitive fields of information: wage rates and medical conditions. A digital workforce management platform sets users up with the data that is critical to assessing the health of a project and keeping your people safe. 

If you’re tracking projects in a spreadsheet or via a whiteboard, you likely have to request wage information from your accounting platform to understand what the actual job cost is versus the project wage cost. But with a cloud-based digital platform, you can integrate accounting data and allow project managers to view the composite wage rate. By granting the right people access to wage information, you can improve your bidding and ensure you have the proper labor mix on a project. 

Once the project has kicked off, a digital workforce management platform can be a vital part of your safety protocols. An employee’s medical history or allergies can be stored in a QR code that’s on a sticker in a hardhat or a company badge. Without revealing an employee’s private medical information, you can still provide rapid access to that information in the event of an emergency situation. 

a computer with text "when you hit save on your spreadsheet you wipe out your past everyday" overlying the image

Controlled Transparency Drives Innovation 

With multiple, customizable permission levels in LaborChart, your use of our cloud-based workforce management platform will evolve over time. You determine who can access what information and when it is available. You’re creating a responsive, flexible approach to labor scheduling that adjusts to the changing landscape of construction. 

When you hit save on your spreadsheet, you wipe out your past every day. When you save your spreadsheet, you wipe out all of your scheduling history. With a digital workforce management platform, you can see the historical performance of projects. This is a huge advantage over spreadsheets. Dig into how labor was consumed on a project or what happened with a given job or crew. And then you get to determine how to share that information with a project manager to help them staff up and understand who works well together. 

LaborChart can also help you improve forecasting by keeping key people in reserve for large projects. If you’re going to need a superintendent that’s in high demand, you can show the management team and communicate in a more transparent fashion why you’re assigning him to a given job. You can quickly build and execute a labor plan

By making information easier to access, you’re going to have meaningful conversations at every level of your company that will create a culture of accountability. You’ll gain valuable insight from project managers in the field and discover that it’s easier to communicate decisions made in the office. Transparency leads to collaboration. Collaboration leads to innovation. And innovation, well that increases productivity and improves your bottom line. 

You don’t have to give up control to improve transparency. Reach out to see a demo on how controlled transparency can help your company. 

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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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