5 Easy Ways to Increase Your Crew’s Productivity

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When working with companies to improve their profit, one of the most common area owner’s believe they can do better is increasing their company’s productivity.  Increasing productivity and efficiency by just a small amount can generate your company huge returns in revenue so it’s no wonder people want to do better in this area.

Here are 5 easy ways to increase your crew’s productivity so you’re moving onto that next job sooner.

1) Ensure Foreman Are Prepared Ahead of Time

Have any of your crew members forgotten a tool or materials in the morning and had to drive back to the shop? If we assume it’s a 30-minute drive to the shop, that’s one hour for each person or three hours total for a typical crew to go pick up the forgotten item in total.

The fault might not be entirely theirs of course.  Plan ahead and print or e-mail a job planner to your foreman so they have a checklist of all the necessary tools and materials in advance! You can also use free apps like LMN’s 4 O’clock 4 that will get your staff thinking about what they’ll be working on the next day.

2) Have Clear KPI’s for Your Staff

Giving your crews a clear understanding of how much time they have to complete a job is crucial for holding your staff accountable.  Estimated hours’ vs actual hours can be a great measurement tool to use depending on the type of job. If your foremen are using LMN’s Time app they can see this progress at any time during their day! Keep in mind though that the KPI’s should be different depending on a staff members job role.

For instance, your drivers won’t know what they’re supposed to have done in 8 hours on a large job, but if you tell them they need to do 10 dump runs in 8 hours then they’ll have a clear understanding of what’s expected of them.

You might be surprised by how much having clear goals for your crews can have on their productivity. People want to achieve their goals and feel like they’ve done a good job!

3) Crack Down on Those Extra Long Breaks

This is probably one of the more obvious points that most people think of when talking about increasing productivity.  Let’s break down the numbers though so you can just see how powerful cutting back on extended/extra breaks really is.

For a conservative example if you take a crew of 3 and say they take an extra 5-minute break in the morning and an extra 5 minutes in the afternoon. That’s 10 minutes per employee or 30 minutes in total for a crew. 30 Minutes, 5 times a week is 2.5 hours a week or 10 hours per month.  If we multiply 10 hours by your average wage rate that’s how much money in labor you’re losing every month for just one crew.

Now think about the opportunity cost of completing the job later and not starting a new job sooner.  10 hours could be 1 extra day of work every month per crew.  By addressing this issue, it can have a significant impact on your revenue and bottom line!

Motivating staff through incentive is one of the best ways to ensure breaks are kept on time even when your supervisors aren’t there or aren’t looking.

4) Create a Bonus System That Rewards Productivity

Offering a fair incentive program that rewards performance is a great way to get employees thinking about productivity.  We recommend setting up a system that uses sales to determine productivity and bonuses. Set a sales goal for your crews to achieve and if they go over and above that goal, reward them for their performance. Afraid of this affecting quality of work? Make sure they’re doing their own warranty work so they won’t want to go back to a job instead of increasing their sales.

To determine what that sales goal should be and exactly how much of a bonus they should receive, check out this blog on the subject: Incentive Systems for Landscape Foreman.

Don’t forget to share with your crews the math on how much time they can save a month by making small adjustments.  When this translates into jobs being completed faster and more sales that means more money for them!

5) Use Equipment More Often

The cost of owning equipment and paying for things like maintenance and insurance can seem high and not like the best investment but don’t forget the benefits that equipment can have on your bottom line. Efficiency through equipment will save you labor hours, labor costs (and headaches) and will lower how much labor you need. For more information on this subject, Mark Bradley the CEO of TBG Environmental wrote the article “Horsepower for productivity” where he discussed what types of equipment will have the biggest impact on increasing your crews’ productivity dollar-for-dollar.

As you can see, by implementing a fair bonus system and informing your staff just how much these short disruptions can add up is a great start to becoming a more productive company.

Have any more tips that you would like to add? Feel free to suggest them in the comments below!