Treat your Tradies Right

A facilities manager performs an induction for a tradesperson. Two caucausian men in hard hats look at information on an iPad.

For many facilities managers, fostering positive, mutually beneficial relationships with contractors is critical to ongoing success. These contractors who show up on time, every time, are honest and whose work is to an excellent standard.

Good relationships between facility managers and tradespeople are likely to result in better outcomes for your facilities.

Making sure you’re on the same page is critical to fostering positive working relationships. Ensuring your standards and goals are aligned ensures all parties know what to expect, and when to expect it.

In this blog, we will look at some of the foundational aspects of working with trades and contractors.

Managing expectations

As with any working relationship, both parties are hoping to yield a net benefit from the engagement. While a huge part of the interaction, base compensation isn’t the be-all and end-all to the relationship.

Critical to managing expectations is ensuring sufficient communication with involved parties. Ensure all parties have the information they need, presented in a way they can digest.

Providing this information, and mitigating risk of misinterpretation, can positively contribute to the relationship with your trades, and reduce the risk to the business.

The golden rule of communication is the right information, at the right time.

Setting KPIs

Usually, contractors are engaged by facilities teams to complete a specific job, whether that be reactive or regular. A successful outcome, from your perspective, is if the job is completed on time, in budget, and to an acceptable standard.

These three factors should therefore, become the basis for creating KPIs for the contractors performing the work. However, as we know, the completion of the job relies on a multitude of factors, some of which are completely out of either party’s control.

When setting KPIs for contractors, it’s important to consider what is within each parties circle of influence.

A safe space

When engaging contractors or trades, both parties assume a multitude of various responsibilities and obligations. A number of these responsibilities and obligations will be related to compliance with health and safety requirements.

Both parties have a strong desire to ensure work can be conducted safely, and many exchanges of information are required to facilitate this.

Appropriate accreditations, licences, and insurances all must be supplied from the contractor before work can be conducted. Digitising this documentation, and storing in a way that it can be linked to contractual agreements can make these checks easier on both parties.

Fostering collaboration

As a part of suppling the right information, at the right time, consider how your team, and your trades, perform work. As individuals, we expect information to be available on-demand, and your trades are no exception.

Leveraging mobile-optimised software allows your trades to keep information about the job at their fingertips.

Respect their schedule

Contractors, much like facility managers, often find themselves juggling competing priorities and multiple jobs. While reactive work is always going to play a role, by planning regular maintenance works, you can offer contractors a greater level of stability.

By providing this additional notice, your trades can reserve space in their schedule in advance. Being able to factor your jobs in, in advance, reduces the risk of trades being unavailable on the day.

Digitising, and centrally storing information on planned work can support positive collaboration between both parties. Further to this, leveraging a platform that reminds you when a contractor is scheduled to come in and perform work, can help you know exactly who to expect, when, and for what.