Well managed contractors are well managed by the business owner and management team. These top contractors have regularly scheduled management meetings that allow them to stay in touch with their estimators, project managers, field supervisors and foreman. Meetings allow managers to leverage their time and be the leader instead of the ‘make every decision’ supervisor, constant decision-maker and full time problem-solver. Meetings allow owners to delegate and keep people accountable and responsible to achieve results they want.
As the business owner and manager, meetings make life much better as you create a better run company, free yourself to do what you should do and allow for time to plan, strategize, sell, and focus on making more money.
Most construction business owners are very impatient, impulsive and don’t like to have a set rigid schedule every week. When job problems come up or a customer calls, they want to have flexibility to jump immediately on the issue and take care of it. And because owners like to be in control and micro-manage their people and projects, putting out fires becomes their way of doing business.
Therefore, they especially don’t want to schedule regular weekly or monthly meetings with managers and supervisors. And when they finally decide to put regular meetings on their calendars, owners always find several better urgent reasons to cancel or postpone these meetings until next week or never, whichever comes first!
Meetings make people accountable
Can you imagine a baseball game without a scoreboard and player statistics to see who is winning and does the best out on the field? Without scorecards and weekly feedback, results don’t matter much to supervisors. Therefore, the meeting leader must create a scorecard tracking system to record each attendee’s performance on every job for all to see every week. This will improve job performance and allow your foreman and supervisors to know, track and hit their goals rather than working blindly without anything to aim at.
When you hold regular field supervisor meetings for example, each foreman and supervisor is challenged to achieve specific results, track progress, report on last week’s progress versus their weekly target, and then discuss plans for the upcoming week. They report on their job schedule, crew hours, equipment hours, safety, quality and performance.
Every attendee is then committed in front of their peers to hit weekly goals. This teamwork approach creates a competition among peers to be the best and beat their project budget and targets. To help you get started improving your meetings, email GH@HardhatPresentations.com to get a copy of ‘Field Tracking Systems For Contractors!”
In order to take back control of your company, the owner and management team must set a series of mandatory meetings that meet every week and month. Set them at the same time and never postpone or cancel them. When you cancel meetings, it shows they’re not a top priority, and it’s ok to miss for supposedly more important reasons like bids, inspections, customer demands, field issues, or any other weak excuse that can and will come along. And when the owner can’t make a meeting, still hold them by delegating the meeting leadership to a key manager to handle the agenda.
Start and end every meeting on-time within a set amount of allotted time. This allows attendees to plan their calendar around these regular mandatory meetings. Use a written agenda or template to keep the meeting moving, and assign someone to take notes to document what was agreed to and who is accountable to make things happen. If your company has projects and jobs spread out long distances away from your office, use a conference call service or conferencing software to still hold meetings on the regular schedule.
Mandatory annual management meetings
Strategic planning session
Every year your management team must take a day or two to sit down and plot out the strategy for the upcoming year. Engage a facilitator to help your team review your last year results, look at what’s working and what’s not, and identify areas for improvement. Set new targets and goals. And create implementation action plans to improve your company.
All company town hall meeting
At least twice a year, get everyone in your company together for a ‘state of the company’ review session and discussion. Talk about your successes, failures, goals, results and plans for the future. Also use this time for training and to recognize key people who made a difference in your company’s performance.
Use this opportunity to facilitate roundtable group discussions on ways to improve scheduling, communications, productivity, equipment use, estimating accuracy, customer retention or other areas your company needs improvement.
Mandatory monthly management meetings
Monthly company strategy session
Every month owners and managers must meet to discuss their company's overall strategy. The best place to start is by reviewing you strategic plan goals and action items. The agenda must include reviewing results and strategies for:
- Overhead and profit
- Organizational chart
- Systems and procedures
- Work flow
- Project management
- Sales and marketing
Monthly BIZ-DEV sales strategy session
Creating a marketing and sales activity calendar will allow you to review your business development progress every month. Identify key markets and customers you want to seek and do business with, develop a plan to find and cultivate new customers, strategize how to better your customer relationships, look at ways to improve your bid-hit ratio, and explore how to increase your margins with better customers and lower competition.
Monthly project management review meeting
I call this ‘accountability time” as each project manager and supervisor presents his or her specific job results to the company management team. In these monthly meetings review every project job cost report, schedule update, change order log, project receivable, problems and issues, accomplishments, and progress.
This meeting will hold people accountable to follow the company systems, manage their projects properly, do their job as expected and hit their targets.
Mandatory weekly management meetings
Sales, proposal, estimating and bid follow-up meeting
Every Monday morning get your sales, marketing and estimating team together to review your revenue stream, current and cumulative contract awards, sales activity, lead flow, customer relationship meetings, jobs bidding, follow-up required for jobs already bid, and strategies to improve your bid-hit ratio.
Superintendent and foreman weekly meeting
Every week you must get together with all of your field foremen and superintendents together to review their individual project progress, goals, results, schedule, activities, manpower, workload, equipment requirements, material needs, subcontractor performance, safety success, and customer issues.
Each foreman or supervisor reports individually on his or her project and commits to hitting weekly goals for all to hear. Together the group will work together to help each other with ideas and suggestions to meet or beat schedules, budgets, safety and productivity goals.
Make meetings mandatory
Use these mandatory meetings to get everyone on the same page and achieve your project and company goals. The dynamics of holding regular meetings builds teamwork, creates accountability, holds people responsible, and frees up management from having to visit every job every day and make all the decisions for everyone all the time.
George Hedley CPBC is a certified professional construction BIZCOACH and popular speaker. He helps contractors build better businesses, grow, increase profits, develop management teams, improve field production, and get their companies to work. He is the best-selling author of “Get Your Construction Business To Always Make A Profit!” available on Amazon.com. To get his free e-newsletter, start a personalized BIZCOACH program, attend a BIZ-BUILDER Wealthy Contractor Boot Camp, or get a discount at www.HardhatBIZSCHOOL.com online university for contractors, Visit www.HardhatPresentations.com or E-mail GH@HardhatPresentations.com.