It’s the ongoing challenge – how do you reach frontline workers? What is the best way to communicate, provide information and – most of all – ensure that information is just being shared, but absorbed and understood?
“This is critical,” said MindForge President and CEO Stokes McIntyre. “Your frontline workers, no matter if they're self-perform or subcontractors, are the ones who install the work, and their decisions can make or break your success. If important information isn’t relayed to the frontline team accurately and in a timely manner, there will be costly setbacks that could result in production delays, or – worse – injuries or deaths.”
But with the remote nature of construction work and the fact that project leadership may also be responsible for multiple initiatives at once, this is a task easier said than done.
“With hundreds of decisions daily, ensuring that your frontline workers make decisions that help you deliver safe, profitable, high-quality projects can be challenging,” McIntyre said.
This is where MindForge comes in. Developed with the help of industry leaders, MindForge is a software platform that allows you to establish a communication network with your front line workforce and third party subcontractors. The tool not only allows for ongoing communication between team members – organized by location, job function, role or project – but also provides tracking mechanism. And for training, the platform not only provides access to curriculum topics, but allows administrators to assign training, track compliance and monitor individual progress easily and effectively.
Trust, but Provide Tools
“Ultimately, you must trust your field crews,” said McIntyre. “You can't stand behind them moment-to-moment telling them how to do their job. You need to trust that they'll make decisions that lead to the project's and your company's success. But that said, you have to have the right tools as a leader to help your management be successful – and ensure that communication and training is a priority.”
Without that emphasis on continuous improvement, companies run the risk of seeing costs go up, a higher need for redos, increased number of safety incidents and reputational damage – opening the door for another contractor to come in and take your work.
You have to have the right tools as a leader to help your management be successful – and ensure that communication and training is a priority.
So, how do you influence your field workforce when they don't work in your office, you have to rely on a chain of command to get information to them, and you can only train them in person periodically. How do you help them perform their best work?
You steer their decision-making by influencing how your workers orient themselves to the situations they face.
Airforce Colonel John Boyd coined the OODA loop, which stands for Observe, Orient, Decide, and Act. It's a mental framework we use to interact with our environment.
“Think of it like crossing the road,” said McIntyre. “You observe your surroundings, orient yourself to the situation, decide whether it's safe to cross and act accordingly.”
Creating a Plan
Boyd identified six factors that influence how we orient ourselves to our observations:
By actively influencing these factors, you can steer your frontline workers' decision-making and ensure success.
MindForge can help you with these goals.
MindForge is designed to help you easily connect with your field workers and provide them with the information, skills, and experience they need to succeed. MindForge lets you broadcast your values, expectations, and "how you work" to influence how your field crews decide to perform their work.
“No doubt, your success is in the hands of your frontline workers,” said McIntyre. “But by influencing their decision-making through knowledge, skills, experience, culture, motivation, and values, you create a win-win for crews, your clients, and your company. Utilize tools like MindForge that help you create a partnership. Trust them, guide them, and give them the tools they need to make good decisions. And if you need a tool to help you do it, look no further than MindForge.”