Motivating for Quality

Quality excellence is achieved by finding what motivates people to do their best. When evaluating quality on a construction site, it is very important for project teams to recognize what is being done well in addition to pointing out the things that need improvement. When you catch people “doing good” and recognize them for it, they are even more motivated to deliver a quality product.

Signage recognizing the “Quality Crew of the Month” 
at PCL’s Commuter Rail Maintenance Facility
(CRMF) in Denver, CO.

 A lunch celebration for recognizing one of the 

 A JR Butler employee approves!


On a recent tour of a PCL jobsite at the Commuter Rail Maintenance Facility (CRMF) project in Denver, CO, I observed signs identifying the “Quality Crew of the Month” for October and November. The project quality manager Richard Kee explained that PCL management selects one subcontractor crew each month to recognize for their exemplary workmanship and attention to quality. 
Following the tour, I participated in a lunch celebration for the current “quality crew of the month.”  Little things like providing lunch for the winning crew for their quality work can go a long way. 
“You simply need to set your compass for positive quality,” project superintendent Ken Leeds told me. “It’s about instilling pride in the workforce so everyone on site can say, I built that!”


But what about elements of the project that are fabricated in a factory—do the workers there feel the same sense of pride in the project? More and more jobsite materials are preassembled in a factory and then shipped to the project site. This reduces the onsite labor components and increases the quality of the product as it is assembled in a controlled factory environment.
I recently toured JR Butler Inc., one of the most prominent glazing subcontractors in Denver that is leading the way in unitizing prefabricated glazing. I was impressed with how this glazing company instills pride in their workforce as they fabricate panelized window walls for various projects. The fabrication process involves cutting and assembling raw lengths of aluminum mullion profiles into typical panels. Panels then progress “down the line” for the installation of the glass, insulation, and exterior spandrel panels by different members of the JR Butler team. 
At each stage of the assembly, a worker applies a quality control sticker verifying compliance with his or her section of the work.  But what good is the quality sticker if the worker feels no sense of pride in the product or the final building project? None! 
At JR Butler, pride in workmanship begins with respecting the workforce from day one. They described a very thorough and extensive interview process to seek out only those workers who will be willing to learn and improve their skills. They mentor their new employees on social graces, financial responsibility, time management, and even fine dining etiquette. 
These actions focused on giving a person not only a job and a paycheck, but a sense of pride and ownership in their company. These are the same values that PCL works to instill in employees. By investing in employees, companies build trust and a sense of ownership in them. The result is improved quality of products in the ongoing quest to “Build it Right and Build it Once.”
TAGS: Quality



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