If you’re managing a team of people in landscaping, then efficient crew scheduling is something that should definitely be on your radar. Needing to schedule your crew has its own challenges, especially if there are more than 10 or even 50 people that you will have to manage. But creating an efficient crew schedule is even tougher — as there are just so many variables that you will have to look out for in order for the workflow to run smoothly. If you’re having some trouble, fret not. This article will provide you with some simple tips that will make a world’s difference to your crew scheduling process.
Aim For Increased Productivity
For all types of sectors, like landscape businesses, productivity is something that is desired and ideal for a smooth work day.
Landscape businesses often include manual and physical labor such as construction jobs, ground maintenance, as well as ice and snow removal. These jobs require the painstaking and often long labor hours of the crew.
To put it simply, if more things and tasks get completed during a set amount of time, the more productivity the workers contribute, which ultimately leads to increased profits for businesses.
However, being productive for the entire day is easier said than done. Human beings are prone to distractions and physical fatigue after long hours of work. And in the landscape business sector, you’d know that the crew members definitely go home with an overworked and tired body.
The best way to maximize productivity is to become proficient in time management principles. A simple way to achieve this is to follow the triple-A rule. The following are the three key aspects.
The first “A” stands for “awareness”.
Having awareness is the first stage of achieving ideal time management skills though it is often overlooked. Knowing something and being consciously aware of something are two very different things. Being aware implies that one is more involved in the process and understands the implications that certain decisions have in different situations.
In the case of crew scheduling, being aware means that you have to be familiar with the minor details and logistics of the tasks that the crew is assigned.
For landscape businesses, there are several things that you should take note of to exercise awareness. For example, knowing the duration of each task, the ground and weather conditions where the task will be performed, and planning the most ideal time of the day to conduct the task are all essential to maximizing productivity. Other pointers include taking inventory, identifying crew members with more experience and authority, as well as setting attainable goals.
Essentially, being aware will help you to familiarise yourself with the nitty-gritty, yet important factors to crew scheduling. Understanding the dynamics of the nature of the work and the crew members will help you to better plan the crew schedule.
The second “A” is “assignment”, which refers to the actual doing of the assigned job by the crew members. It has to go hand-in-hand with “awareness” as your valuable insights will determine where, when, and who gets the job done.
Practicing effective assignment strategies could look something like scheduling time blocks and break time for the crew members, incorporating equipment checklists and frequent checks to ensure that they are available and working well, as well as assigning more experienced crew members to the more difficult task.
By optimizing the assignments and time and resources used, work will more likely to run smoothly and ultimately increase productivity.
Last but not least, the final “A” refers to “adaptation” which is just as crucial as the previous two to achieve good time management and productivity.
Unfortunately, regardless of how “perfect” your crew scheduling may seem, most things almost always don’t go as planned. That’s perfectly fine and should not be too big of a worry. You’ll first have to anticipate any disturbance and prepare for them. That way, if and when something goes wrong, you’ll be more mentally prepared to deal with them.
In landscape businesses, practicing adaptation can look a little something like making a plan B for bad weather, maintaining open and frequent communication with the crew members on the ground, as well as getting feedback from everyone involved in the project to see what can be improved.
By applying the rules of the triple-A, you’ll get a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of the dynamics, logistics, and people related to the job. Being aware of the involving factors, then applying them to the assignments, and finally prepping for any potential adaptation will help you greatly in achieving better time management and productivity.
Get Help From A Scheduling Software
Now that you’re familiar with the rule of the triple-A, an additional step that is highly recommended is to download reliable scheduling software into your company’s system.
Technology has seen great developments and you should use that to your advantage. As more and more people value the idea of productivity, new and improved software that is easy to navigate is available on the market today. They all have their pros and cons, hence, you should check out different business management platforms to see which software is more suitable for you.
Most types of software are designed to be easily navigated such that you are able to create the most efficient crew schedule possible. Different templates designed for different work purposes are available for businesses with different needs. Look around and give them a test drive before finalizing your decision!
Like most complex things, crew scheduling can be broken down into smaller and simpler steps to make things easier. With the rules of practicing awareness, assignment, and adaptation, you will find your crew to be happier and more satisfied, which eventually leads to better time management and increased productivity. Oh, and not to mention more profits! Your boss will definitely be happy about that and really, it is a win-win situation. So, don’t underestimate the value that efficient crew scheduling can have! All the best!