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Building Confidence: The Impact of Construction Software on Onboarding in a Labor-Short Market

Building Confidence: The Impact of Construction Software on Onboarding in a Labor-Short Market

It’s a tough time for subcontractors needing to maintain a skilled workforce, with a tight labour market adding pressure to construction businesses across Australia. Finding new people and getting them started is an urgent issue, but taking up the time and effort of existing staff to get the new ones plugged in adds pressure that no one needs. Construction software can be a game changer in getting the new teammate onboarded quickly and thoroughly.

Whose turn is it to train the newbie?

When the team is understaffed and under pressure, who has time to train the new person? While new staff are needed to add to the team and get more work done, getting someone new trained up on what needs to be done is more work for existing team members. When the pressure is already on, the extra pressure to teach the new guy while working hard can be a lot to bear.

There are risks in onboarding a new team member in such a way. Vital information can be missed out, leaving the new person in the dark on what they need to do the job successfully. The mistakes they can’t help but make are dangerous for the project and leave the new person feeling undersupported and embarrassed.

Getting the new person quickly up to speed is important for both the new person, and the rest of the team.

Traditional ways of onboarding

The traditional ways to onboard a new team member are time-consuming and prone to error. Plonking them down with a big procedure manual is inefficient, as their frame of reference to use the information is limited until they are in amongst it.

Pairing up an experienced member of the team with a fresh hire is another traditional way of training a new recruit. Two issues arise, being the reduction in productivity of the established staffer, plus the risk of passing on their bad habits to the new guy. It also adds additional pressure to the team who are already overworked.

What is construction management software?

Construction project management software is a system that manages information about the projects and the team to give everyone what they need to be up to date in the work and well connected to the company. It’s the source of all project information that all field and office team members use, contributing information from their area of the work and making it available to other team members who need to use it to do their job.

Subcontractors need to capture and share project information as they get the work done. The right construction project management system is the one that has been built with deep understanding of the work your team does. It should make it easy to communicate what people need to know, quickly and easily.

Streamlining onboarding with construction management software

Onboarding new team members is often seen as a time-consuming and complex process, especially in the construction industry where every minute counts. But what if we told you that the right construction management software could turn this challenge into an opportunity? With tools designed to simplify and automate tasks, construction software like Neo Intelligence can make the onboarding process not just quicker but also more effective.

In this section, we'll explore how leveraging technology can help new hires hit the ground running, from digital site diaries to signing in/out and task assignments and beyond. Let's dive into the ways construction management software can revolutionise your onboarding experience, ensuring that new team members are not just added but truly integrated into your operations.

  • Signing in and out using an app on your phone – so normal for digital natives, signing in for work via their mobile phone is easy and fast.
  • Task Assignments – “What do I do now, boss?” is an ask from the past when you are using construction management software. Clear task management via a phone app puts the information for fieldworkers on what to do next literally in their hands. A smoother and easier start for new hires, they can get up to speed and remind themselves of the next step easily.
  • Compliance Checks via Custom Forms – ensure that tasks are being done exactly as planned, with customised forms that explain and checklist all the details of a task. This helps a new hire to get it right, and for their work to meet compliance from day one. So important when existing staff are stressed and have no extra time to cross-check the new guy’s work.
  • Capturing important details using a digital site diary – From day one, encouraging the new hire to start logging entries in the digital site diary can serve as an empowering experience. It not only helps them understand the workflow and the nuances of the job but also gives them a sense of ownership and responsibility. This practice can be a game-changer in terms of team cohesion and productivity. By contributing to the digital site diary, they're not just observing but actively participating in the project's progress. This real-time involvement helps them quickly align with the team's goals and fosters a sense of belonging, making them an integral part of the team from the get-go.

Build confidence from day one

A streamlined onboarding process using a construction management system built for subcontractors by subcontractors can instil confidence in new hires. Starting a new job is hard, so giving them detailed project and task information via an app gives them the ability to read at their pace, re-read as needed and fully absorb what they need to do. Confidence and competence have a ripple effect on job satisfaction, productivity, and ultimately, staff retention. The benefits of the new guy knowing what to do and enjoying the work benefits everyone, as the much-needed labour boost reduces pressure and makes the working day easier for everyone.

Considerations when choosing construction software for onboarding

When choosing construction project management software, look out for strong onboarding features, particularly when running a subcontracting business in a labour-short market.

  • Different apps for different roles – look for a system that has different mobile apps for different types of team members, including a Supervisor app and a fieldworker app so that people get the information they need, without overwhelming them with information they don’t.
  • Notifications - make sure that the inevitable changes to the schedule are clearly signalled to the new hire, using notifications on the system. These notifications not only make it easy to let everyone know where to be quickly, but if the construction scheduling software allows them to respond, you can have increased confidence that they will actually be there.
  • Digital sign in with geo-location – build trust in your new team mate with a system that helps you to verify where and when they sign in for work. By introducing this to them on day one, it is much less likely that you will lose money with labour theft.
Supporting your team by hiring and onboarding new team members quickly and well is even more important when the labour market is tight. Bringing new people up to speed, and making sure that they are able to do the work to the same quality and detail as everyone else ASAP, delivers the benefit of your investment in a new hire to the whole company faster. Choosing the right construction management system can transform the onboarding for your team into a process that builds confidence and competence faster than ever before.