I hope you had a good holiday with family and friends and you are refreshed and ready for the new year.
2014 was a tough year for many people and companies. What will 2015 bring for You? How You start the year could dictate how well the first few weeks will go for you and whether your project will be a success.
It’s often difficult to get started after the holidays. You have probably lost track of exactly where you were and what needs to be done. You may still have that holiday, lethargic feeling – wanting to relax and do nothing. Some may even be tired after the excess partying or travelling.
For those who are part way through a project what happens in the next few days could be critical to the success of the project. If the project doesn’t gain momentum quickly several days could go past with minimal progress. Also, don’t forget most workers will also be in the holiday mode – reluctant to work, eager to catch-up with colleagues and probably not concentrating on the tasks they ought to be doing. Over the holidays many of us can quickly forget things and we need to be reminded. Accidents happen quickly when people aren’t concentrating.
Here are a few suggestions on what should be done on your construction project:
1. Have a brief look at the updated schedule/program so you are reminded of the important tasks that must be accomplished.
2. Assemble the project team and:
2.1 welcome them back wishing them a successful new year
2.2 remind them that safety is important
2.3 congratulate them on last year’s achievements
2.4 set the targets for the next week and remind them of the next milestones
3. Have a meeting with key staff
3.1 repeat the steps in 2 above
3.2 ensure everyone understands what they need to do
3.3 check what the team needs
3.4 find out any problems that occurred on the construction site over the holidays
3.5 ask for an update on the worker attendance
3.6 reallocate responsibilities to cover for absentees
4. Walk the project to refresh yourself regarding problems and what needs to be accomplished.
5. Make contact with suppliers and subcontractors to ensure they understand what’s required from them in the coming weeks. Understand problems they may have so you can work around them if necessary.
6. Make a list of what needs to be done and start getting tasks completed.
7. Check that outstanding invoices have been paid. Follow up unpaid monies.
8. Refresh yourself on outstanding information and outstanding contractual issues
9. Call the client or their representative. After exchanging pleasantries ask them for any project concerns or problems that arose over the holiday period. Remind them of tasks they need to accomplish such as providing information, paying valuations and resolving outstanding claims. Remember they could be as reluctant as you to be back at work, yet, their support is essential for the project progress.
10. Go through mail and emails that came in over the holiday period. Answer the most urgent.
11. Call your manager and give them an update on what’s happened on the project. Remind them of any outstanding help required from them.
12. Have all the workers attend a brief induction reminding them of the dangers on the site.
13. During lunch and tea breaks take the occasion to have a social chat with key staff. This will show you care and also provides an opportunity to understand any problems they may have. Remember, not everyone might have had a chance to have a happy holiday with their family and some could have suffered personal tragedies or losses in this time.
Remember you are back at work – make sure that everyone else in the team is firmly with you. You cannot build the project on your own.
Try and ensure the team doesn’t work additional time on the first day – remember many will have travelled a long way and may be fatigued.
The rest of the week will be as important to ensure the entire team is motivated and committed to achieving the targets safely and to the required quality standards. The construction team will be looking at you, and if you are happy passing the day with casual chatter and being lethargic they will follow suit.
Stay focussed. If your first week is a disaster you can be sure the following weeks won’t go well either.
At the end of the week stop an hour early and have drinks with your staff. This will allow time to discuss the holidays and catch up with the events that happened in their vacations.