Working efficiently on an electrical job can make or break the overall success of a construction project. One of the main factors of efficiency when operating on an electrical project is the relationship between the electrician and the construction contractor.
It’s no secret that historically, relationships between general contractors and subcontractors can be rocky. It is getting increasingly more important in this highly competitive market to improve these relationships. Improving these relationships can establish respect and efficiency on the job site.
Here are a few tips for an electrician to work efficiently with construction contractors and improve those relationships:
1. Develop clear proposals
Creating and writing a written contract that thoroughly establishes all expectations saves time for everyone involved. Make sure to include all plans pertaining to the design/build of the job to keep a uniform consistency. Having written documentation helps to avoid disputes altogether because it leaves no room for miscommunication. Avoiding miscommunication improves efficiency by not wasting time debating what work should be completed, what it costs, or the timeline of the project. When working on a job site where many tasks are being completed at once, clarify at the beginning who is responsible for what. There should also be an established timeline for the project as well. This works to keep workers on track and establish an expectation and deadline. Overall, the project will remain organized and efficient.
2. Establish Good Communication
Communication is a two-way street, so it’s not only important for the contractor to communicate with the electrician, but it is just as important for the electrician to communicate as well. It is crucial for there to be open communication between the supervisor, the homeowner, and the electrician, so everyone stays on the same page. Using cloud-based construction software allows for real-time communication between the contractor and subcontractor to reduce miscommunication and save time. Another best practice for communication is to never go around the construction contractor to talk to the project owner about disagreements. Make sure to speak with the contractor first about any conflicts that may arise. Electricians are extensions of the general contractor, and so it is important to represent them well and produce quality work that reflects well upon you, as well as the construction contractor.
3. Follow Instructions and Protocol
As an electrician, it is common to be your own boss. When hired by a construction contractor, you must remember that you must follow their instructions when working for their client. An important thing to remember is that the contractor is the voice for the client, so following their instructions and protocol is crucial. Doing electrical work, the right way the first time saves loads of time on the job site. This also works to keep the general contractor and the homeowner satisfied. If the contractor wants something done in a specific way, it’s best to follow instructions and get it done right the first time.
4. Maintain Certifications
Keeping up with certifications and licenses is an essential aspect of being an electrician. Having the proper certifications allows you to prepare for different projects. Contractors are going to assume you have the proper permit for the job already, or you need to obtain it promptly. By keeping up with all required permits and licenses, it saves you time and gives an advantage over other electricians who may not have kept up on these certifications. Being prepared shows the contractor that you have the proper experience and are the right fit for the job and possible future jobs.
5. Be Transparent
For contractors and homeowners to be satisfied with your performance, it's crucial to remain transparent in all business workings. Using electrical contractor software can be extremely helpful in keeping track of all documents. Project management software can help by hosting a record of all labor hours and units, tracking materials, and documenting labor costs. Maintaining a detailed history of everything that goes into the job makes transparency with the contractor simple. The more transparent and organized you are, the more efficient you can work.
6. Go Above and Beyond
To establish rapport with contractors and stand out from the pack of other electricians, you must go above and beyond. If you win a project and proceed to do the bare minimum, the contractor won’t be likely to hire you for electrical work again. Showing the contractor that you care about a future job will increase the likelihood of being hired again. This enables you to establish long-term relationships.
When you’ve previously worked for a specific contractor, you begin to understand the way they run things and their process for completing a job. This creates a more efficient workplace for you and the contractor.