Why do construction sites today see so much more of a disconnect between their field and office?
Is it because of the level of requirements demanded from both parties? Or perhaps it’s a lack of understanding from the field on why they’re being required to fill out all of this paperwork. Or maybe, it’s as simple as management forgetting what it’s like to be in their worker’s shoes.
In this episode of Between2Cranes, Gabe and Amandeep are getting to the bottom of why this disconnect happens and what needs to be done to bridge the gap.
Reflecting on his own experiences in both positions, Gabe recalls what the transition was like from boots on the ground to managing a team behind an office desk, “when I transitioned to a management role, it was almost immediate the disconnect that happened between me and the field.”
Naturally, management quickly becomes concerned with policies and paperwork and to prove due diligence from all angles. And that makes sense, because protecting the business is an important part of the job.
But bridging the gap between the field and office starts with gaining a better understanding and appreciation for the other party’s perspective.
And for managers, that means putting themselves in their workers’ shoes again. It can be easy to forget what it’s like to be in the field with boots on the ground, but it’s also part of what makes a good leader.
Listening to how workers are feeling can help strengthen the business in other ways, too. Not only does it improve communication between the field and office and help reconnect everyone, but it’s an opportunity to learn what can be improved. If workers are feeling that paperwork is slowing them down, how can you make it faster? If workers aren’t understanding the purpose of the forms they’re doing, how can you keep them engaged and combat complacency?
And that’s where technology enters the equation.
Physical paperwork means physically taking forms from the field to the office and relying on manual processes to manage those. Which takes time. But when you’re paperless, there’s real-time updates. The office can instantly understand what is going on in the field as its happening – a powerful feature for reconnecting the office to the field.
A digital platform also relieves a lot of the administrative burden that comes with paper-based safety. Meaning safety officers can actually spend more time out in the field with their crews, listening and learning from them. With a centralized safety platform, the entire organization is connected on a single hub. Reducing communication errors and breaking down the barrier that stands between the office and field.