The other night I watched a program called Resort Rescue followed by Hotel Impossible. The programs visit hotels which are performing poorly and suggest improvements. Now I know there are many similar programs from reviving restaurants, businesses, hotels, shops, etc. Many follow similar lines. But can construction learn from them?
In these programs the hotels were generally a mess and the rooms were sometimes dirty and in a poor state of repair. Service was poor – sometimes even rude. Customers were writing bad reviews. I’m sure you wouldn’t have stayed there!
In one program they installed cameras around the hotel to record what employees did as they went about their work. What happened shocked owners. Employees were seen stealing liquor, smoking pot and drinking alcohol on duty, they goofed off watching their favorite soaps on TV instead of cleaning the rooms. One chef microwaved all the food (including burgers). Others were disinterested, provided poor customer service and did whatever they wanted.
It got me wondering – do you know what your employees are up to while they should be working? Are they stealing from you – both physically as well as company time? Are they doing their work safely, productively and delivering the quality product both you and your customers expect?
Now I’m not advocating you rush out and install cameras around the project, even though this might provide interesting information. But, every good project manager, supervisor and construction manager knows what their crews are doing. They’re regularly in the field checking quality, safety and productivity. They know when someone in the crew is goofing off, arrived late or left early. Generally good managers have a decent relationship with their crews and know when something isn’t right. Are you a manager who sits in the office doing paperwork and attending meetings, or are you out in the field a couple of times in the day?
“Do you know how to correct that?” “Nope, I spend most of my time in the office, check with Jeff”.
I also know managers who can walk the field looking at the project, failing to see obvious problems because they aren’t really seeing. Maybe they don’t know any better, but often it’s just because they’re preoccupied with their own world – a world of telephone calls and meetings.
Watching these programs reminded me how most of our problems in construction are caused by people. Although the hotel industry may seem distant from construction I was surprised by how many problems were similar. I guess most industries have similar people related problems.
How people can wreck your construction project and your company.
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The opinions expressed in the attached articles are those of the writer. It should be noted that projects are varied and different laws and restrictions apply which depend on the location of the contractor and the project. It's important that the reader uses the supplied information taking cognisance of their particular circumstances. The writer assumes no responsibility or liability for any loss of any kind arising from the reader using the information or advice contained herein.
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