The job of a tradesperson or tradie does not require them to have a bachelor’s degree, but needs work experience, on the job training, and sometimes formal vocation education. Plumbers, Electricians, Welders, Carpenters, Heavy equipment operators, Tailors, et cetera are examples of tradespeople, as these jobs require specialized skills and knowledge.
Tradies differ from professionals in that professionals receive more advanced education and often have to use their skill and expertise to make decisions on situations where there’s no precedent.
That said, while the work of a tradesperson is considered a blue-collar job, they differ from other unskilled workers like truck drivers, gardeners, and painters, as these jobs require the use of significant amounts of physical labor. In contrast, tradies rely on specialized knowledge, acquired skills, and abilities.
For the tradesperson, workplace productivity is dependent on some factors, chief of which is having the required knowledge and skill set for the job, whether the tradie obtains this knowledge formally or informally is of little or no consequence. Another element of somewhat lesser importance is experience. Still, for optimum productivity, a tradesperson should complement these two main factors (knowledge and experience) with other attributes. Below are tips to boost workplace productivity among tradespeople.
Every seven seconds, a worker is injured on the job. The workplace of a tradesperson is one that is exceptionally prone to accidents. For instance, fire, electrocution, falling objects, machine malfunction, and other injuries are some of these workplace risks. The ILO estimates that there are around 340 million occupational accidents and 160 million victims of work-related illnesses each year.
The notion that forgoing personal protective equipment (PPE) will save money and maximize profits is wrong. This notion is, in fact, counterproductive. If a worker dies or gets injured on the job as a result of unsafe working conditions, the company will receive a penalty for not adhering strictly to safety guidelines, and such workers won’t be able to perform their duties for some time. Either one of these will lead to an immediate drop in productivity.
A safe and healthy workplace will not only protect tradespeople and save the company from being penalized, but it’ll also help workers feel safe and better about doing their work. This feeling of safety can lower absenteeism and raise the morale of workers, making them more efficient and productive.
For instance, a welder equipped with gloves, steel-capped boots, and helmets that keep the face safe from sparks will go about his work happier than one who does not have PPE. A satisfied welder is a productive welder.
Keep Up with the Latest Technology
In almost every sphere of human endeavor, there are advancements. Researchers keep developing new techniques and inventing new machines. All of these discoveries and inventions are a result of the need to improve efficiency and reduce costs.
Take advantage of mobile applications that significantly reduce work-induced stress and provide more accurate results. The most productive worker is one that keeps abreast of these changes, advancements, and discoveries so that they can apply them to the job.
Establish Reliable Communication Channels
The inability for tradies to communicate with their colleagues, superiors, or clients is often a cause of low productivity. Establishing reliable communication channels will ensure that all parties involved are on the same page at the same time; thus, unnecessary delays and costly errors that may jeopardize the project are avoided.
Use the Best Tools for the job.
A tradesperson is only as good as his tools. A mallet looks very much like a hammer; still, it is not a hammer. It will take the mallet a longer time to drive a nail into a block of wood than it would take a hammer. The same can be said of aluminum welding with a spool gun and welding without a spool gun.
To be more productive in the workplace, use the best tools available for the job as this will save both time and effort.
Set Clear Objectives
Goals and objectives lend a sense of direction. Clear objectives help in determining the best course of action to take. Thus, tradies can channel their energies into tasks that will most likely lead to the accomplishment of the objective, as opposed to a generalized approach that may indeed work, but will take more time and considerably more effort. For every project, there should be a well-defined plan of project execution at each stage.
Also, there will be times when troubles arise, and things do not go as planned; setting objectives make it easier to formulate new plans with the same end goal.
Outsource Secondary Responsibilities
Time is of the essence. To become more productive as a tradesperson, identify those tasks that are not primarily tradies’ work to do, you can then reassign to a third party. Paperwork and Administrative responsibilities can take up time that may be needed more on the actual project.
Every organization and business wishes to be more productive. A productive business is a profitable one, and increased productivity implies increased profits as well. The six points discussed above are ways to improve the productivity of tradespeople. These tips are not just postulations but measures you can implement.
For more useful tips on issues relating to tradies, other professionals, and the workplace, All The Things Workplace is a great resource.