How many questions a day do you answer?
A Foreman’s responsibility is to answer questions, however, you could be answering more than needed. If you are doing nothing but answering questions all day long, either you’re a Foreman who needs to know all the answers therefore everyone comes to him for everything. Or you’re the nice guy, you know the one who does everything for everyone with a smile.
So how do you know if you are getting asked too many questions a day?
Tomorrow take note of every question you are asked, yes by the end of the day your list might be 10 pages long, it might be only half a page, but it’s data you need to see.
Next as you go through each question you were asked check it with a #1 (this is something you need to be asked), #2 (if someone else could answer it) and #3 (if the person asking the question could’ve resolved himself).
Let’s use some examples of a #1, #2 and #3 question below.
Q: Can we move a temperature PT Cable 1’ to the north- it interferes with an embed?
A number one is worth your time, it deals with a change to the contract documents and has a significant impact on the job, production and design.
Q: I need someone to help me with placing the form oil in the containment bin?
A number two could be avoided by the person asking the question to ask a fellow worker instead.
Q: Do we have saw blades?
A number one could be answered by himself if he knows the location of the tool trailer, gang box or wherever the saw blades are stored.
If you are continuously answering the #2 & #3 look at the overall planning and communication being done.
A number two can be avoided with planning; pre planning deliveries, order list, etc.
If your open to teamwork and set the expectation that we are all here to help when needed, then this one shouldn’t be a problem. But, if you’re over controlling then you will always be answering a number two question.
A number three can be avoided with a simple morning huddle meeting. Walking everyone through the site logistics, material, equipment and tools where they are stored and the procedure to note when something is low or needed. If everyone knows the storage locations and protocol for ordering this will save you a #3 question.
If you can limit yourself to number one questions only you’re managing and leading your team well. We can all improve and this is might seem small but time management is critical for your growth, you don’t want to get overwhelmed and you want to manage your time as efficiently as possible. Everyone wants to help, but, if you’re spending most of your day tracking down tools or materials leaving you with less time to focus on what you should be focusing on which is to run a safe and productive job.
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