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My Supervisor has changed, what does this mean?

Having multiple Site Supervisors throughout a build can sometimes be concerning for clients but why are these changes happening? 

We say it all the time when asked ‘Who is the best builder?’ that the process and outcome of any build depends heavily on the Site Supervisor who is managing the project.

In an ideal world, a Site Supervisor would have a manageable number of houses to supervise, a pool of quality trades to utilise, materials are delivered to site at the time they are required, and there is time to do a thorough check of each part of the build to ensure the quality is up to scratch.

Unfortunately, this is not always the case. In reality, the phone is constantly ringing, the current skills shortage means trades are stretched and deliveries are being delayed and rescheduled daily, it’s difficult to plan and forecast, and clients are often disappointed with the unavoidable delays.

It is a very challenging time to be a Site Supervisor. The days can be long and hectic, and it can feel as if you are dealing with issues all day long. As a result, we are finding that many Supervisors are either moving to another builder hoping that the ‘grass is greener’, going back to working on the tools or leaving the construction industry altogether, cue ‘The Great Resignation’.

Some of our clients have experienced two, three, four or even five Supervisors throughout their building journey which can understandably erode the client’s confidence.

Some of the factors we are seeing having a significant impact on quality and leading Supervisors changing:

  • Pressures resulting from Covid-19 have severely changed the construction industry
  • Too many projects to manage
  • Supervisors simply being ‘schedulers’ without the time to do their own Quality Assurance checks
  • Trade shortages makes managing jobs harder and means also less choice
  • Phone ringing constantly
  • Potential to make more money ‘on the tools’ with less pressure
  • Clients are more stressed and on edge
  • Clients not understanding a Supervisor’s role and workload
  • Can’t get the job satisfaction from delivering a quality build
  • Pressure from builder to deliver projects quickly and meet KPI’s – unrealistic expectations
  • Builder’s employing ‘anyone’ rather than the most skilled Supervisors due to less candidates to choose from
  • They may have their own personal issues going on
  • Feeling tired and burnt out after a very difficult couple of years
  • Poached/offered more money by another builder

Some things to remember when dealing with your Site Supervisor:

  • There are a lot of factors that are out of your Supervisor’s hands at the moment. Things are taking longer, and some delays should be expected so ensure your expectations are realistic.
  • When there is a pattern of Supervisors moving on from a particular builder, it can raise concerns about internal issues such as processes, expectations and culture.
  • Always stick to the facts and take the emotion out of the situation.
  • Respect and appreciation go a long way.
  • Independent inspection reports can be helpful for very important should a new supervisor take over a project.
  • Keep one list for any issues that arise and tick them off as you go.
  • Good communication is key. Follow up phone calls or on-site discussions with an email.
  • Understand that your house isn’t their only job.

While we sympathise with the challenges, facts are facts, and the minimum standards are clear. Clients are paying a lot of money for a home that should last decades and deserve to have this delivered. The reality that homes have numerous quality and compliance issues and the way they are sometimes presented is both discouraging and disconcerting.

With the quality of construction slipping across the board and Supervisors coming and going, there has never been a more important time to engage an independent building consultant to complete new home inspections throughout your build.

Hopefully the above has provided an insight into some of the factors that are impacting Site Supervisors at the moment which in turn is reducing the quality of new homes in the Geelong area.

Have more questions or would like some independent support throughout your build? We’d be pleased to assist, please contact our friendly team today.

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