Supervising Large Crews
The ‘large crew supervisor’ must make a choice to reduce (or eliminate) his own productivity in order to keep five men up to speed, or allow their productivity to drop to maintain individual productivity.
Most large crew supervisors do a little bit of both and lose both productivity and quality. This is unfortunate as everybody loses when this happens. The combination that seems to work best is a full time working foreman with one or perhaps two crew members trained to require very little direct supervision. Divide large crews into smaller two and three man crews and teach them to function as separate work units. Productivity will increase – sometimes dramatically. When large properties require more man-hours than a three man crew can generate, divide the property into two zones and send two crews to produce the work. It will be much cheaper for the customer in the long run - and the contractor will look much better at budget review time, or when it comes time to determine if a viable profit has been made on that particular account.
Each two or three person crew should have production and quality goals for the specific snow event they are working. Even though they may be in competition on the same property, they should be evaluated on that particular snow event’s performance. And, they MUST be evaluated often enough to changes may be had as/if necessary. Also, set the goals aggressive enough that the crew must stretch to get there. Easy goals are easily achieved – harder goals are also achieved to the betterment of the margin for that account. Remember – it is all about the margin……