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How to Manage People in Construction

Leave your ego at the door. Simple.

Most of us probably start our working career under the supervision of someone that we don’t like. They treat us unfairly and we say, “oh man, if I ever was a boss I would never be like that!”

Then how is it that majority of us turn out to be exactly the same as the people we couldn’t stand working for? I chalk a lot of that up to ego. After a big promotion, a raise, or a jump to a management position, all of a sudden a strange thing happens and we totally forget how we got here. We are now “above” those people and we are “better” than them now.

We forget about what it was like back on the tools. We start to mold into that guy that we use to hate.

This is the biggest conflict between workers and management.  Managers can’t forget where they came from! Think about this; remember being on the tools and a certain task would take you an entire day to do? Then why would it be rational for you to think that your workers can do it in half the time?

This is an example of something that I have experienced first hand. As soon as workers make the jump to management, every task they ever did, they can do it faster and better than the workers currently doing that task. Instead of relating to them saying, “Ya, I understand that this is really difficult to do, I remember. What will it take to get this done on time?” They let their ego get involved.

Let your workers come up with solutions and problem solve, help them grow. Don’t just be around to fix all the problems, all the time. No one learns anything that way.

Do I dare mention a manager actually working with his crew if things fall behind? Don’t forget you’re part of this team and as a good manager you are there to keep it all on track. Don’t let your supervisor hardhat and flashy high visibility vest stop you from helping your workers complete the tasks given to them by you. You’re not immune to touching tools ever again in your career just because you made the jump to management.

Try some of these tips and I promise your workers will have an all-new respect for you. Once you get that from your workers it changes every aspect of your job. Don’t forget to leave your ego at the door.

A boss is someone who gives demands from above his workers to reach a goal. A leader is someone down on the ground with them helping reach the same goal.

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