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  • Red QS

Managing Gen Y Onsite

Updated: Oct 29, 2021

Mmmm. Young people. Now you know I’m broad brushing here….. not all young people are as I’m going to describe….. but you know you would be telling me fibs if this WASN’T something that you had come across before.

As a QS, the PERFECT guy onsite works very systematically, they reduce waste wherever possible, multi-task wherever they can. They stick within my labour constant allowances for each task, and they record their time accordingly so I can easily back cost.

They show up a bit early so they have time to get their tools out and have their cuppa prior to the workday starting, and they don’t leave early. They bring their wet weather gear with them so that they can handle a few showers or a bit of chilly weather and keep on trucking.

They only take the breaks allowed and eat a wholesome lunch so that they come back in the afternoon refreshed and re-energised to carry on.

They don’t overindulge on weeknights and are like spring chickens in the morning. They are organised, spot problems prior to them becoming an issue. They are polite onsite and a stoked to be at work and to have a job they love.

Sound familiar? Possibly not?

Of course, that is the dream scenario, and we are all human of course!! But if any of those things not happening are causing you to lose $$$… then they are worth addressing and I have some tips for that.

  1. I find the younger generation enjoy structure. So rather than assuming that they know exactly what needs to be done each day, write a list and get em to tick it off!

  1. Offer incentives…. This works especially well when you are trying to get guys to work within the confines of the labour constant allowances for each task. You’ve allowed 20 man-hours to put up the plasterboard? 6 pack of beers for everyone if they can do it in 18!!!!

  1. Have a strike system for guys who are not ready on time…. 3 strikes and they have to clean the portaloo! No one wants to be the loo cleaner…..

  1. Throw them some ‘whys’, walk through how the job has been costed so they can actually see that for every second they are not on task and you are paying for it…. Their likelihood of getting a payrise decreases because you won’t be able to afford it.

  1. Have some basic rules around communication, encourage eye contact and full sentences. The amount of grunters I see on site boggles the mind! Remind them how much of an impact how they respond to a client asking them a question for instance could have on the overall relationship on a job. This is one I use with my teenage boys…. It’s never just ‘yes’, it is ‘yes mum’ or ‘yes Mrs Brown’. Using someone’s name also helps to maintain a level of respect.

  1. Lead by example…. One thing I have found is that if you are not walking the walk, you cannot expect the generation behind you to either. They are pretty quick to spot what might seem like an unfair situation and then disengage.

I’m aware this may SOUND like a ramble about Gen Y and others that may come across in the same way, but actually, it matters because you can lose some serious cash when your guys aren’t pulling their weight, or at least aren’t working the way a job has been priced. If you priced a job according to how they work and they were not towing the line you probably wouldn’t win it in the first place!!!!

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