A work crew foreman occupies an important leadership role on a job site. As a foreman, you must ensure your crew gets the work done efficiently and safely. But your job also features a distinctly human element. No matter what your crew does, you can learn how to be a supportive foreman.
The Delicate Balance of Middle Management
Your position makes you an intermediary between two important groups—your crew members on the jobsite and the general contractor and property owner for the job. You need to meet the needs of both. Always do your best to accommodate your customers, but be sure not to “sell out” your crew on the way to meeting those needs—you need your labor on your side.
Put Safety First
Speaking of your workers, as a foreman, you’re accountable for their safety on the job. As the construction field evolves, the concept of construction safety can prove a bit of a moving target, and the old ways of doing things might need a few updates. Keep up with new OSHA regulations and technology by keeping workers educated on safety risks and precautions.
Place Workers Where They Shine
All workers bring different skill sets and specialties to the job. Effective leaders, from white-collar offices to blue-collar work sites, recognize the varying strengths and weaknesses of their team members and tailor their roles accordingly to get the most from them. In your role as foreman, identify what your workers do best and put them in positions to succeed. This doesn’t just lead to maximum productivity at your jobsite—it’s an important morale-builder for the entire crew.
Communicate Well: Speaking and Listening
Understanding how to be a supportive foreman means not only delivering clear and concise instructions, but also being an effective listener—on-the-job communication is, after all, a two-way street. Listen to your workers’ concerns and do your best to address them. When it comes to sending messages, do so respectfully but firmly, keeping your emotions in check and staying professional. Building this mutual sense of trust leads to success on the site.