Four Ways to Improve Productivity for a Roving Work Force
It’s difficult enough to promote productivity in a workforce of hourly employees at a single site. But when that workforce is at multiple sites, or roves from place to place during any given day, it gets exponentially more difficult. A business like a landscaping company, with 80% of its hourly workforce out in the field at any given time, working on tight schedules, can be nickeled and dimed to death with 15 minutes here and a half hour there of downtime, above and beyond scheduled breaks. Here are a few ways to get a handle on the problem:
#1: Track your trucks with GPS.
Installing relatively inexpensive GPS technology into your vehicles will let you know at any given time whether your people are moving from place to place on schedule. You may not be able to keep an eye on the tracking at all times, but you will be able to see trends: who’s getting where they need to be when they need to be there.
#2: Hire a roving supervisor.
It’s simply human nature to be a little more diligent when you know someone’s watching. By hiring a supervisor who can show up at any job site at any time, you show that someone could be keeping an eye on your workers even when they’re not aware. A roving supervisor can also act as a quality control device.
#3: Let people have a say about their hours.
When you give people input into their work hours, you remove some excuses for slacking off. Let people take time off for scheduled appointments.
#4: Consider time tracking software.
There is some good technology out there that can help you know how much time it’s taking to complete a given project in real time, including AjeraComplete from Axium, an electronic time sheet that people can fill out using their mobile. Applications like this enable you to track hours on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, so you know how much time is truly billable and how much is not. Knowing time is being tracked can be a positive force for productivity.
The point of all these measures isn’t to create an intrusive Big Brother for your hourly workforce, but simply to cut down on costly down time in a reasonable way. You need to let people breathe. But you can’t afford to let them fall asleep.