The process of hiring and managing staff for a construction site includes many details that should not be overlooked by the project manager. Although one’s decision to hire subcontractors offers the supervisor an opportunity to employ workers with specific knowledge and skills and reduce possible expenses, some procedures should be brought to one’s attention. First of all, the system of rewards and recognition may influence the quality of the final product. Second, the manager should create and maintain a structure of safety requirements and ensure that all subcontractors comply with the outlined regulations. This paper aims to describe such aspects of project staffing as workers’ recognition and rewards, safety requirements, and compliance for masonry subcontractors.
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Recognition and Rewards
It is important to remember that by recognizing high-quality work, managers can build worker’s trust, strengthen their partnership, and ensure stable and satisfactory working performance. Furthermore, a system of bonuses can influence worker’s performance and eliminate the possibility of conflicts. However, one should note that these rewards do not have to be financial to affect the result of one’s work positively.
For instance, building a solid foundation of workers with experience in the field and offering them regular contracts may encourage them to put much effort into their work. As subcontractors often do not work on a performance-measured basis, it may be hard to regulate the result of their activity. In most situations, project managers rely on mutual trust and one’s history of past projects while choosing a subcontractor. Thus, loyalty may be the best bonus for some workers.
However, some rewards are still possible outside of the negotiated price. For example, according to Hinze et al., rewarding workers if they safely perform the job may encourage them to comply with the safety standards outlined by the manager (2). Although it is not a required component of the contract, the recognition of safety compliance may enhance future performance of these subcontractors. The appreciation of quality may also come in many forms. The manager can monitor workers’ performance and offer some feedback about their operations.
Safety and Compliance
When hiring subcontractors, a manager should remember that he or she will be responsible for their safety and the protection of the surrounding areas. Therefore, it is vital for managers to create a system of regulations and implement it into the working process in order to avoid any incidents. Moreover, the issue of subcontractors following the outlined rules should also be recognized. The concern for safety should arise at the very beginning of the hiring process.
According to Burg, construction managers have to ensure that they are hiring qualified and educated staff (9). In this case, managers should check the history of subcontractors’ past places of work and assess the level of their performance in regards to safety. Furthermore, it is essential to infer about the educational and training programs that the subcontractors went through. This knowledge helps employers to see whether the workers need additional training. Then, one must compare the minimum requirements for the present task with the abilities of the subcontractor and evaluate the readiness of the latter to complete the work without any risks.
After hiring qualified and educated staff, the manager must ensure that the contractor has specific guidelines for each task on the site. For instance, masonry workers’ responsibilities may include building or repairing stone, brick, tile, or ceramic structures and surfaces which exposes the workers to some potentially dangerous materials and instruments (Florez and Castro-Lacouture 539). The safety instructions may include the need to wear protective clothing and gear and to secure the access to the occupied territory.
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The safety of the subcontractors is the responsibility of a contractor. Thus, the manager has to provide the hired workers with a written plan of action for each of the tasks. Moreover, it is necessary to appoint a person responsible for communicating the proposed safety measures to the workers (Burg 10). This individual should be able to explain the actions to the workers and deliver the information about the project to the contractor. Subcontractors should interact with the appointed person and confirm their understanding of the processes.
Although the hired personnel should be trained in safety measures, additional education can be provided to eliminate the possibility of accidents (Sears et al. 152). During the working process, managers should conduct multiple safety inspections to see whether the subcontractors are acting in compliance with the established safety regulations. These check-ups may reveal some issues connected to worker’s abilities and knowledge and provide more information about their performance. Moreover, these inspections can also be a way for the subcontractors to voice their concerns and propose some new ideas. Engaging workers in a conversation may contribute to their compliance and overall performance as a result.
While the regulations for safety and recognition for subcontractors may differ from one project to another, managers should remember the basic principles for these processes. The reward system for subcontractors includes their established pay and some non-financial recognition in the form of stable recruitment and reliable connections. The protection of workers may also be encouraged through some rewards. Managers should acknowledge the issue of safety on every step of the hiring and working processes. It is necessary to hire trained staff and engage in safety-promoting activities before and during one’s work. Written safety plans, additional training, communication, and regular inspections should allow managers to ensure the safety of the subcontractors and increase the rate of compliance.
Burg, Frank. “Contractor and Subcontractor Safety Responsibilities on Multi-Employer Worksites.” ASSE Professional Development Conference and Exposition. American Society of Safety Engineers, 2014, pp. 8-11.
Florez, L., and D. Castro-Lacouture. “Labor Management in Masonry Construction: A Sustainable Approach.” Proceedings of the International Symposium on Automation and Robotics in Construction. Vol. 31, Vilnius Gediminas Technical University, Department of Construction Economics & Property, 2014, pp. 536-543.
Hinze, Jimmie, et al. “Construction-Safety Best Practices and Relationships to Safety Performance.” Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, vol. 139, no. 10, 2013, pp. 1-8.
Sears, S. Keoki, et al. Construction Project Management. John Wiley & Sons, 2015.