The relationship between contractors and subcontractors can be a fraught one. It is not simply a relationship from employer to employee. Collaboration is key to success and yet these strong relationships between businesses can be tough.
When every different job sees a changing team this can lead to great collaboration opportunities but also confusion as to where responsibilities lie. So what are the steps to a successful, creative and collaborative sub-contractual relationship?
Disrupting the norm
If you don’t change anything in the situation then there will be no changes in the outcome. Small changes when implemented on a wide scale can be monumental - these disruptions can also drastically alter the way that a project is run. The key to improving relationships is to identify common goals and aims that are universal over multiple teams. This can help team members to innovate in the way they do things, which is crucial to progression. Being open to contributions from every team member is also vital, you never know what someone may suggest or bring to the table.
Ongoing assessments of outcomes and targets should be an integral part of a successful working project - so it is useful to consider this when making plans and factor in the time needed to utilize these assessments.
Fragmentation of teams and groups working together is always a concern, but when everyone works together efficiently there can be great innovation in terms of development. What is vital is that this knowledge is then documented, recorded and passed on for future work.
Collaboration is essentially future proofing your business. How? It propels learning, whilst stretching and expanding the boundaries of your organization. Collaboration encourages new creative ways of thinking and testing the ground for experimentation. It breeds future partnerships and also fosters new relationships, therefore positive and proactive changes can occur from companies working together and collaborating. This isn’t about being set in your ways - push forward with creative thinking and try a new approach. Sometimes, you simply need to freshen up your approach by working with new people in order to make way for a more productive strategy.
New tech can break down barriers - it can improve job management and efficiency. Applications and cloud based management can increase productivity and help you to stay ahead of competitors. Using new technologies whilst employing and working with different teams creates a holistic approach to business and opens up new ideas with the potential to push creative boundaries. When everyone works to be part of a team and feels valued - there is a higher and more focused work ethic amongst employees. If new tech is used in the right way it can retain human interaction, whilst streamlining these communications.
Emerging software is not the only solution to improving intercompany relationships but it is certainly the first solid step you can make. Start small, propose ideas and remember that changes are best received when introduced gradually. If these changes are introduced sensitively and appropriately, they will really make a difference.
Author: I believe business can be a force for good, but all too often work ends up being painful as companies are overloaded with admin, paperwork and masses of emails. My mission is to improve the working lives of construction companies, giving them complete control of every job every step of the way and have some fun!