If you are in the building and construction world, talking about trades is an all too familiar conversation. The relationship you build with your tradespeople like your electrician, plumber, concrete, or siders is contracted work, and implementing a good policy for your trades has never been more important. Labor shortages are still affecting the trade world post-pandemic. Here is a great interactive map by state from the US Chamber of Commerce to see how your area remains affected.
We want to talk about some of the ways that will help you maintain great relationships with your trade partners.
Pay expectations for trades is an important calculation to make. You need to include more than just a wage in your calculations. Often you need to include more than time on the job site. Trades may also include materials required to complete a job, mileage, and more.
The answer to how the work crews is paid is tricky. Do you pay them by the hour? By the job? Or do you pay them a daily rate for work on a site? The answer to those questions depends on the type of job and the amount of labor required to complete it.
The advantage to a day rate is that you have a contained cost per day for your work crews and trades. The problem is how do you know how hard they worked or how many hours they worked on a job? When you have a good relationship with your trades, it is understood how many people it takes to complete a job.
Thus, it is important to have a good relationship with your trades to work through kinks when they arise.
Typically, smaller jobs are priced at hourly rates. For smaller jobs, it is also likely that material costs will be included along with your labor costs. Hourly rates should be competitive based on certifications and experience. The more skilled the worker, the more compensation they will be expecting. Paying work crews fairly for their expertise is key.
In today’s competitive market for trades, it is important to understand that when work is plentiful competition is fierce to get the right crews for your project. A business that looks at each project as a “one and done” is not taking advantage of building a long-term relationship for future projects.
Today finding people who work hard for a fair price is fierce. Look ahead to future projects and find ways to secure your trade business. Helping them grow will build loyalty between trade partners and businesses. When times are great, help them to have consistent work.
When times get tough, partnerships with your trade partners are even more important. They are battling for the ability to keep their crews working throughout the year, so they don’t lose good people in the off-season.
One way to grow trust with your work crews and partners is to build incentives when a job is completed on time. Bonuses are a great motivator for anyone. Work hard, play harder, right?
There are times when one party may have more buying power for supplies required for a project. Sometimes it makes sense for the trade to acquire the materials, other times it can save trades time to not have to source everything. If the materials are already at the job site, that could simplify the job for your work crews.
Make sure you recognize your trades in the same way that you would be a regular employee of your business. Recognize them for big milestones, holidays, and a job well done. Showing gratitude is a simple way to build better personal relationships with your trade partners.
No matter how you utilize your work crews and trades, it is important to build a fair relationship built on trust and to treat them with the same respect you would pay one of your internal employees. Your future projects depend on your ability to hire the right people to get the job done. There is no substitute for fairness, good communication, and clear futures for all parties involved on a job site.
For more tips on building better relationships with your trade partners contact ClarityHR today.