10 Tips to Increase Productivity in Construction

12 Useful Tips for Increasing and Tracking Construction Productivity

Construction productivity refers to how efficiently labor, materials, and all sorts of processes are used to complete construction projects timely and profitable. When productivity is high in construction, it means that projects are completed faster, with optimized materials and labor, and positive results. Construction businesses seeking to improve their productivity must go through effective planning processes, hire skilled workers, adapt advanced technologies, and leverage project management practices.

Given the complexity and the level of uncertain factors in the industry, including variable site conditions, unique project requirements, and coordination among diverse teams, productivity is a challenge for most teams. Advancements such as modular construction, adopting digital tools to simplify management and improve efficiency, and staying up to date on the latest technological artifacts can help contractors and subcontractors stay ahead of the game. 

What is Production or Productivity Tracking in Construction?

As we already mentioned, construction productivity is all about ensuring you have the right processes, people, and tools to improve productivity. Construction production and measurement allow contractors and subcontractors to compare their original plans to the results and delivery of any project. Productivity increases when projects are delivered on time, meet all expectations, and are optimized adequately. For example, delivering projects by hiring fewer employees or reducing material expenditure are clear examples of productivity improvements. On the other hand, if the initial plans and bidding fall short compared to the actual efforts required to finish the project, you may have to rethink your production structure to better plan for future engagements. 

While there are many components to improve productivity tracking in construction, it often falls into three main categories: Equipment, materials, and time.

Managing your equipment refers to having the right technologies and techniques to do the work required most efficiently. While this may seem like something other than a priority, having the proper tools and equipment can make or break your business as a contractor or subcontractor. Ultimately, the construction industry is also a technology industry, meaning you can drastically improve your productivity and be more price-efficient if you have the right tools.  


Properly managing materials is also an essential part of the productivity equation in the construction industry given that conditions such as availability, price fluctuations, and quality can greatly affect your bottom line. Having the right partnerships with vendors that provide quality materials will help you improve productivity by avoiding do-overs, stock shortages, and quality issues. Likewise, being able to track accurately the materials used for the project and how they compare to an organized benchmark will help you monitor supply quantities and anticipate when more materials are needed.

Time Management:
Finally, time management is essential when it comes to productivity tracking. Having the right team with the correct availability and abilities, tools and materials, and clarity regarding the project will help improve productivity by reducing potential delays. While some people may have different skills or abilities, tracking how your employees operate will help you find what you can improve and the people you can promote to help you run a tight operation. Ultimately, delivering on time is also a reputational asset you must safeguard to grow your business, and having the right people on your crew and managing their time and skills to meet expectations makes a massive difference.

12 Tips to Improve Construction Productivity and Tracking

Unlike many others, the construction industry has multiple moving pieces, stakeholders, documents, deadlines, and complexities that make it difficult to track and improve. However, contractors and subcontractors can improve significantly by following our proven tips and strategies. 

1. Create a map of activities

A construction project develops at a swift pace. So, it isn’t easy to stay organized all the time. However, this can ruin your project and cause a lack of productivity. Therefore, before you start your project, creating a map of activities from the start is imperative. Your team needs to understand the entire workflow before they start working. This can be time-consuming, but it is essential to avoid mismanagement and resource misallocation. Moreover, this tip won’t cost you a dollar apart from time.

2. Improve communication

Even though you have created the map of activities, this doesn’t mean you have solved the problem completely. Poor communication is one of the causes of lack of productivity in almost any industry. For construction, in particular, it can have a substantial negative impact on the final result. You need to ensure smooth communication between workers and supervisors. Thus, you will prevent mistakes and manage to respect deadlines. So, you can invest in training your supervisors and help them learn communication techniques. They need to delegate responsibilities and define expectations.

3. Set realistic goals

Even though you offer various incentives to your workers to finish the project faster, you cannot set unrealistic goals. You need to evaluate the resources you have and establish realistic goals when it comes to the project’s deadlines. Your workers can be the best of the best, but they are still humans. What is more, when you set unrealistic goals and put too much pressure on your employees, they might make more mistakes because of the stress.

4. Keep your inventory updated

The investments necessary for a construction project are huge. Even though your budget is generous, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t keep an updated inventory. Your workers shouldn’t be allowed to receive supplies whenever they ask. They need to be responsible for their work and use the supplies you offer them wisely. Moreover, keeping an updated inventory allows you to order new materials when you discover that the stock will soon run short. In addition, an updated inventory helps you forecast your purchases and investments for the following period.

5. Site organization increases construction productivity 

A construction site is usually a mess. However, this is one of the leading causes of low productivity and hurdles in the construction industry. Contractors and subcontractors must keep their sites tidy and organized to prevent any accidents and equipment damage from happening. A messy site also becomes problematic when people don’t find their tools and materials, resulting in wasted time and productivity leaks. 

6. Delegate and distribute work wisely 

You may have very skilled and smart people on your team, but you can also have some less efficient colleagues. However, this doesn’t mean you should overload and delegate most responsibilities to the most efficient employees. On the contrary, you should split the tasks based on the people’s strengths. Each person has unique skills and strengths; your job is to identify them and use them to increase productivity. If you want fast results, learn to delegate and make sure that people do what they know to do best.

7. Safety before anything else

You must prevent injuries as much as possible to keep your productivity at the highest levels. Construction has higher risks than office-based industries, and many serious accidents can happen. Therefore, you must invest in an effective safety program and train your employees in safety techniques. Keeping the accident rates low will avoid delays, keep your employees safe, and help you avoid any extra expenses resulting from unexpected injuries.

8. Use prefabricated building systems

The recent trends show that many companies in the construction industry are using modular or prefabricated building systems. A modular building system is constructed off-site. Then, it is transported to your construction site. So, when you use this solution, your employees will spend less time creating the building. What does this mean? Improved productivity!

9. Employee training is crucial for increased productivity

A company doesn’t have a more valuable asset than its employees. Thus, if you want your teams to perform to their highest potential, you need to invest in them. With the high pace of innovation, you cannot afford not to update your employees. They need to know how to use the latest technologies and techniques and be able to teach their teams as well. Therefore, when you have well-prepared employees, your productivity will significantly increase.

10. Offer incentives and recognition. 

There’s no better motivation for your employees than to feel that their work is appreciated. So, when you notice that they are doing things right, you should always acknowledge their excellent work and present them as an example for others. You can take things even further and offer periodical rewards and prizes. This is the simplest method you can use to keep your employees motivated and so increase your productivity.

11. Make good use of worker feedback

In any business, listening to your employees is vital to improving processes, finding potential issues, and preventing them before they happen. When it comes to productivity in the construction industry, listening to feedback and building a culture of innovation and improvement based on observations will help you improve productivity. Plus, the more you can create systems to implement feedback, the better your internal culture and communication will be. 

12. Use the right digital tools for tracking

Nowadays, contractors and subcontractors need to modernize their operations to increase productivity, save time, and automate processes. Finding the right tools to help you accomplish your growth journey means understanding the vast array of options available, and you must choose what’s best for your business.

eSUB Cloud construction management software exists specifically to meet the needs of commercial construction subcontractors. We’ve designed a that includes tracking labor the way you need it and adapting to your specific requirements so that you can grow your business with a long-term partner while increasing your productivity.

Reach out today to schedule a demo, simplify your labor tracking processes, and learn how eSUB can transform your business into a well-oiled construction project tracking machine!