At Connecteam, we want your setup to be strong and concrete. As customer success managers we took our experience from working with hundreds of construction companies worldwide and created this step-by-step tutorial to get your company set up to PERFECTION.
You can expect this guide to go through all of the steps needed to get your account up and running with real-world examples of how each feature or capability can work for a construction company your size. Like Connecteam, this guide works as an all-in-one solution to your Operations Hub Set Up. While there are many other articles found here on our Help Center we have designed this guide particularly for cleaning companies of your kind and it should walk you through your complete setup step by step.
Don't worry! We’ve got all of the first steps to make your life easy and Connecteam work for you! 🤩
Table of Contents
After reading this guide you should be able to start fully operating the platform you will learn how to:
💡Tip: Anytime you see blue text in this article it is a link or menu of links to other areas inside this guide. If you're looking for something specific, or you don't finish the setup in one day, you can always find what you need or pick up where you left off by clicking on the relevant topic.
👪 Users & Smart Groups:
Wait! Did you sign up for multiple hubs? Did you already receive a setup guide and know how to add users and create smart groups? Then click here to move onto the next section
The first steps when setting up your account is going to be adding your users and creating your smart groups. In this section we will walk you through:
🗣 Custom Fields
Custom fields are information fields found inside the user's profile, and are filled with information specific to each employee. Custom fields are a smart way to identify and group your workforce, allowing you to customize what information is important to your company in order to organize their users. Examples of custom fields can be Position, Department, Birthday, Uniform Size, and much more.
We recommend planning out the information you want to know about your employees, and creating these custom fields prior to adding the employees themselves. This will allow you to update all their information when adding them and save you tons of time later.
To add a custom field head over to the user tab, click on user details and select add fields, name it, and press save. In the example below you can see we created a custom field named Qualification. In my company, the Qualification will be the different jobs your employees are qualified to do, such as builders, renovations, foremen, and safety managers.
Once you have created the custom field click on one of your users to enter their personal user card, there you can update the custom field for that user.
You can also select multiple users at once and an action button will appear, click on update user details and update multiple users information at once.
Please note that there are 3 default fields you will never be able to edit or delete; these are First Name, Last Name, and Mobile Phone.
💡A Customer Success Manager’s Tip: We recommend using the drop-down custom field type when creating your custom fields, which allows you to create a list of information to select from when filling out the custom field. This will simplify things later if using smart groups, which are filtered by custom fields. The filter of smart groups is case-sensitive, and here at Connecteam, we have encountered numerous companies whose users were not added to the proper smart groups because of typos made when filling out a users custom field. Using a drop-down custom field avoids this possibility right from the start!
👤 Adding Users
Once you have set up your custom fields it's time to move on to adding users. After all, that's what you came here for - managing your workforce.
To add users simply navigate your way to the Users Tab on the left - hand and click on it. Once inside select Add Users and fill in the requested details. You can also use the menu on the right side to add more details than the ones which appear here which are only the required fields. After filling out the details make sure the Send an invite button is selected in order to send your users an invite to download the app.
💡Tip: If you have many users, you can import them in bulk
👥 Creating Smart Groups to Sort Users
Smart groups are groups based on rules. All the users who meet the rule will automatically be added to the group and those who don't will not be added. It's as simple as that. A smart groups filter is based on custom fields - which we previously created.
Construction companies' smart groups are hugely beneficial and allow you to create different teams with different qualifications for your staff. For example, you can group your staff by their ability to do specific jobs like builders, renovations, formen, and safety managers. Since Connecteam's features, assets, jobs in the schedule, chats and much more can be assigned to smart groups, grouping them now will help us later on with things like scheduling correctly (and much more).
To create a smart group follow these steps:
Step 1: Navigate to the smart group's category on the left sidebar
Step 2: First, add a Segment
Step 3: Use the + Add a group button from inside the Segment to create a group and then name the group.
Step 4: Set the Filter. First, choose the Custom field, and then finally select or enter the criteria that the group will be defined by.
In the example below you can see how I create a group of only my staff who are qualified as builders.
Now that you know the basics of setting up your account it's time to move on to the features related to the operations hub.
The Operations Hub
This hub consists of 4 features, but for construction companies we find the time clock, job schedule, and forms to be most beneficial. Below we will go over how to set up and utilize the capabilities in each feature that we find most construction companies working on many shirt projects like yourself will find beneficial.
⏱️ Time Clock: Track Your Employees' Hours.
Utilizing the time clock will allow you to track your employee’s work time and help ensure that you are paying them for the actual time they’ve worked.
From all the many construction companies used by Connecteam we found that there are 6 capabilities that should be used to optimally run your business.
Before we begin setting things up, we will give you a quick overview of how the time clock look for your employees!
For you employees using Connecteam's Time Clock in their day 2 day is a breeze! They can clock in and out only to jobs relevant to them, switch jobs, take a break, review their timesheets, and much more! Take a look at how using the time clock looks from their perspective below, and then lets get started setting up and customize your company's time clock.
Jobs & Sub-jobs:
The first thing you need to do is set up your Jobs. In Connecteam, "Jobs" are an information layer that you track time for. They are what your employees will be clocking in for.
Construction companies usually use the jobs as the name of the client or location such as 56 main street.
With the Sub-Jobs, add an additional layer to your time tracking.
For each client you create as a job, you can create a sub-job to specify the relevant type of work your employee is meant to do. For example. Job: "56 main street", Sub-jobs: "water installation", "paint", “kitchen renovation.”
To Set Up Jobs & SubJobs Follow these Steps:
Click TimeClock in your sidebar.
Click the Settings.
Once the settings window opens, click jobs.
Click “+Add job”
Click "Add sub jobs"
A Real-World Example: Throughout this guide, we will share with you real examples from construction companies using Connecteam so you can get an idea of all that is possible with Connecteam in a way that is specific to your industry.
One company we worked with set their jobs up at 787 Jones street (location)
And the sub-jobs as Gas Installation, Water installation, and utility installation.
Breaks (paid & unpaid)
In Connecteam you can set up your employees breaks so they will be automatically deducted from their time card. We have two options to set up breaks, the first one is automated breaks that will automatically deduct any unpaid break from your employee's timesheet, and the second option is manual breaks, so your employees will be able to clock in and out of breaks to record the time they were on a break.
Most construction companies go with automated breaks, to prevent mistakes of employees forgetting to clock in and out of their breaks.
Watch the video below for an explanation of how to set up your breaks.
Calculating your employee’s hours correctly is one of the most important and necessary parts of running a business. However, correctly figuring out your employee’s hours and overtime hours can also be incredibly challenging.
For this reason, we have created our simple-to-use Overtime Capability. The overtime can be set in a variety of ways, ensuring that you will always comply with your company policies or country’s legal requirements. This makes paying your employees correctly a whole lot easier!
Geo Fences and Breadcrumbs
Geo fences and breadcrumbs are a useful tools for you as a manager of employees that work in different locations to make sure your employees are clocking in where they need to be. Geo fences are areas you can create in your platform that will restrict employees from clocking in and out from outside the work site. If an employee does clock out outside of the geofence, you will be notified and will be able to edit the shift to the correct working hours.
If your employees are traveling to many different sites on the same day, and you want to make sure they are not making any unnecessary stops you can also enable the breadcrumbs to oversee the live tracking of your employees.
To Set Up Geofences Go Through the Following Steps:
Access the time clock
On the top right side of the screen, click on "settings"
Click on "Geolocation" on the left side of the settings menu
Set "Geolocation" to "Required"
On the same page, under "Sites for Geo-fence", click on the "Add Site" button
Name the site for your convenience (i.e. customer A, project B, worksite 3, offices, warehouse, etc.)
Type an address or a location name (integrated with Google Maps) and make sure to select from the suggested results
Set the fence size for that site
Select what jobs will be available to clock in from within that site
That's it! You're good to go!
To set Breadcrumbs follow this step-by-step:
Access the time clock
On the top right side of the screen, click on "settings"
Click on "Geo location" on the left side of the settings menu
Set "Geo location" to "Required"
A Real World Example: A company working with us has created geo fences
around their workshop, to make sure employees only clock in from the shop, and they have also activated the breadcrumbs to track the route the employees are taking to the different clients. Another company that uses Connecteam has created geo-fences around all her work sites to make sure employees are only clocking in on-site.
Auto Clock Out and Daily Limits
The auto clock-out and daily limit capabilities are commonly used by construction companies to make sure employees are not forgetting to clock out, or go into overtime without that being approved.
In Connecteam you can set a daily limit so you will get notified for any employees that have reached the daily limit and can remind him or her to clock out. You can also set an auto clock out if there is a certain amount of hours you do not want your employees to surpass in any way.
To Set the Auto Clock Out and daily limit follow these steps:
Access the Time Clock
Go to the settings general tab
Activate the Daily limit and the auto clock out
As a construction company working on many different projects, we think it is very important for you to understand how you are spending your time. By setting up the jobs as different projects or clients you can then also benefit from the job insights tab and see exactly how much time you are allocating to each job. You can also use the Job insights for invoicing clients.
How to View Jobs Insights:
On your dashboard, access the Time Clock
Click on the Timesheets tab
Scroll to the bottom of the page
On the bottom right side of the screen, you'll see the jobs Insights summary
Click on the button View All jobs
Setting Your Payroll Period:
An important step in setting up your time clock is to set up your payroll period.
Once you set up your payroll period, all the reports you export will automatically be for the relevant payroll period. You can also set reminders for your employees to review their timesheets at the end of the payroll period to make sure they have requested any changes in the time sheets before you process your payroll.
To set the payroll period and reminder follow the next steps:
On the left side bat click on the time clock
Access the time clock
Click on settings
In the settings left sidebar select the payroll tab
Set your payroll period and reminders
Timesheets and Payroll
The main objective on the time clock is to track employees time and conduct thorough payroll, and we aim to make it as simple as possible!
Go Through These 3 Stages to Get Ready for Payroll:
Approving changes - After your employees have sent in their timesheet requests, it is time for you to go over the requests one by one and approve or decline them. This step is important as you do not want to go over their timesheets without making sure that the employees have had a chance to make amendments, or else you might have to unnecessarily repeat the approval process.
Going over the timesheet - After employees have sent in their requests and you have completed the approval process, it is time to have a final look and look at each employee's timesheet to ensure that everything is correct. To do so, go click on the first user on the list to enter their timecard. Then use the next button to go over to the next employee. Once you have finished going over the employee's time card use the lock symbol to lock the employee's hours to make sure no other admins is editing hours for employees.
Export timesheets for payroll - After you have gone over all your employees' hours the final step is to close the window and you are now ready to export the timesheets for payroll. To export reports make sure you are on the timesheets tab in the time clock, then click on the export button on the right side of the screen and select the report you wish to use. In Connecteam we have 3 types of reports
The first is the payroll totals, which will [resent you with a general summary of all employees working hours in a payroll period in line for each employee.
The second is the timesheet totals, this report is more detailed and you should use it if you need to see a breakdown of the working hours by day and job.
The third is the shift report and it is suitable if your employees work overnight shifts because unlike the timesheet report it does not calculate the hours on a 24-hour cycle but on a shift cycle.
📆 Job Scheduler: Publish Your Needs with Ease.
The Job Scheduler makes it effortless to publish 'claimable' open shifts for your team and provides them with all the info they need right in their mobile apps, such as location, special instructions, attached files, and more.
From all the many construction companies used by Connecteam there are few capabilities in the job schedule that should be used to optimally schedule all your employees and clients. These are:
Before we begin we will give you a quick overview of how the job schedule look for your employees!
For your employees using Connecteam's Job Schedule couldn't be easier.
They can easily see their schedule and all its details. If you, the admin/owner, allow them, then they can also see their whole team's schedule, submit their availability, and find shift replacements on their own.
Now let's set it up and customize it to your company’s needs. We will begin with jobs!
Jobs & Sub-jobs:
The first thing you need to do is set up your Jobs. In Connecteam, "Jobs" are an information layer that you track time for and what your employees will be clocking in for. Construction companies usually use the jobs as the name of the client or location such as 56 main street.
With the Sub-Jobs, add an additional layer to your time tracking. For each client you create as a job, you can create a sub-job to specify the relevant type of work your employee is meant to do. For Example: Job: "56 main street", Sub-jobs: "water installation", "paint", “kitchen renovation."
To Set Up Jobs & SubJobs follow these steps:
Click JobSchedule in your sidebar.
Access the schedule.
Click on the job button.
Click “+Add job”
Click "Add sub-jobs"
A Real World Example: One company we worked with set their jobs up as 787 Jones street (location) and the sub jobs as Gas Installation, Water installation, and Utility installation.
How to Add a Shift:
1. Position yourself on the row of the employee you would like to add a shift for or on shifts without the users row and hover your mouse over any day, then click the plus icon (+) to add a shift
2. Click Add shifts on the top right of the screen, then click Add single shift
Complete the shift details: date, time, title, job, location, shift notes, and tasks.
3. For adding multiple shifts click on the add shift button and select the add multiple shift option.
4. You can also add shifts by importing a CSV file. Click on the add shift button and select Import shifts from excel.
Once you have created a shift there are 3 saving options:
Publish the shift - once you click on the publish button your employees will get notified that a shift has been assigned to them.
Save as draft - shifts in draft mode are not visible to your employees, they will be notified of any changes you make in draft shifts
Saving as a template - In this option, the shift will not be seen on the schedule but it will be saved in the shift templates tab, you can later easily drag and drop it to the relevant employee on a relevant day.
Shifts in draft mode will be white in middle, and published shifts will be colored in the color of the job that is listed in the shift.
Once your schedule is ready, simply click on the publish button to publish all the draft shifts in this week's schedule.
Open shifts are shifts that are not allocated for a specific user, but are open for employees to claim. If you have many projects going on, you might want to create open shifts and allow your employees to claim shifts, that way they can select the project they wish to work on and the location of the work site that is most convenient for them.
How to Create an Open shift:
In the Job Scheduler, you have 2 ways to create an open shift.
1. Position yourself on the shifts without users row and hover your mouse over any day, then click the plus icon (+) to add a shift as done above.
2. Click Add shifts on the top right of the screen, then click Add single shift
Complete the shift details: date, time, title, job, location, shift notes, and tasks. Select ‘Enable users to claim this shift’ and choose the number of available spots. Click save and publish. Take a look at how this looks below:
A real-life example: One of the companies that use Connecteam does small home renovations, they have many homes they work on every day. They type in the shift the working hours, the job and the location and create it as an open shift. The users claim the shifts that are most convenient for them, making scheduling much easier and less time-consuming.
Qualified Users for Jobs or Sub Jobs
Qualified jobs or sub-jobs are jobs that are allocated only for a specific group of employees. By making your jobs or sub jobs qualified for special employees you can make sure that employees are only clocking in to the correct jobs, and if you wish to work with open shifts, you can make sure that employees are not claiming shifts they can not attend to.
How to Qualify Users for a Job?
Access the Job Schedule
Click on the jobs tab
Select the setting of the job you wish to qualify
Select the relevant smart group or users that will be qualified for this job
A Real World Example: The same company that is mentioned in the open shift example has qualified employees that can do bigger and more complex renovations for jobs that require more serious building and construction work, and the employees for jobs that are smaller are more simple such as wall painting, new tile installations. By qualifying the jobs they make sure that the less experienced employees claim and clock in only to jobs that they can actually complete.
The Job Schedule Templates
The shift and weekly templates are a great way to save yourself some precious time. By creating templates you will not need to type in all the shifts information again and again, you can simply save it once and drag and drop it to the relevant users on the relevant day. If you have projects that you know will last for a while, or a workshop shift that happens multiple times, create a shift template for it!
How to Create a Shift Template:
Open the shift templates side window, and click on the "add template" button at the bottom
Click on any slot, click on the + button, add the shift details and save it as a template
You can also perform the same action for an existing shift and save it as a template. The existing shift can be a draft, a published shift, a past or future shift
How to choose from my existing templates?
There are two ways to select existing shift templates:
Open the shift templates side window, and simply drag and drop shifts to the desired slot in your schedule
On any scheduled slot, click on the + button and choose a template from the Templates tab
Repeating shifts are also a great time saver in our job schedule. Repeating shifts are shifts that you create only once, and then you can set them to be repeating so that you will not need to create them over and over again. If you have a job that will be repeated every day or on a weekly basis for the same user creating a repeating shift for that job. For example, if you have a project that goes on for three days and you know you will send the same employee to that client, create a repeating shift.
How to add a repeating shift:
Access the Job schedule
Add a shift
Scroll to the button of the shift and click on the repeating shift option
Set the frequency and the duration of the repeating shift.
📄 Forms: Go paperless!
Automating processes and standardizing them is something that is important for every business and especially in the construction industry. Forms allow your users to fill in reports, safety checks, equipment checks and more, all from their mobile app anywhere at any time.
In this sections we will:
Before we begin getting your forms set up we give you a quick overview of how the forms look for your employees!
No more coming to the office to physically fill out a form, no more handing it to your manager, or emailing it to the correct individual. With Connecteam's Forms feature your employees can easily complete forms from anywhere at any time, and they can be automatically shared with the correct individuals - always!
Take a look at how using the forms feature looks from the employees perspective below, and then lets get started setting up and customize your company's forms!
The Different Ways You Can Use Forms:
Proof of work report - With employees working on many different work sites create a report to monitor exactly what they have accomplished today. In the report you can require your employees to upload photos to get a proof of work and even create a signature field for your clients to sign.
Machine maintenance checklist - A checklist to help managers and their employees ensure that their machines are checked and meet the requirements - for example updating that the oil has been changed or that parts have been ordered and including a description of what has been done. You can even have your employees sign off on the form.
How to Create a Form
Sharing Options for the Forms
After creating the form, access the setting and there you will find the sharing options for each form. You can have each submission shared with you or with the relevant admin for that form, or even have it sent out to the client and the end of the job.
In Connecteam we have three types of sharing options:
Sharing the entry automatically with a certain email address or admin in the platform. This option is good if you know that you wish to get every entry that is submitted at that same moment - for example, if your employees fill in a proof of work report and you wish to go over it before they leave the work site, select yourself to get an email of the entry each time an entry is submitted.
The second option is for your employees to choose from a dropdown who will be getting an email of their entry. This option can be relevant if your employees work in different locations, and each location has a different foreman. Your employees will be able to select the relevant admins to receive their form.
The third option is for the employees to manually enter an email address once they finish filling in the form. This can be a good option for sending a form to your client. Let your employees fill in the client's email and the report they have filled in will be automatically sent to the client.
How to Set Sharing Options?
Select the forms feature on the left sidebar
Click on the form you wish to set the share options for
Go to the form's settings
On the left side, bar click on sharing options
A Real World Example: A company using Connecteam would like to share a form of a proof of work with the client each time they finish a job. They select the 3rd sharing option and ask the users on site to fill in the client's email so that the form will be sent out to the client.
The manager fields are how you can communicate with your employees regarding the form. If you have seen that there is something missing from their work today, or you wish to let them know that the job seems to be completed, create a status manager field and make it visible for your employees. Once you fill in the field they will get notified about it.
How to Set Up Manager Fields?
A Real World Example: Many companies working with Connecteam use the machine maintenance forms. They use the manager field to add a note about what repairs they plan on making and the status to mention if it is approved or not.
In this article we went over everything you would need as a construction company who's projects are based on short shifts, to get connecteam set up and customized to meet your company's needs. While setting up and adapting to a new system might bring challenges and periods of adjustment for you and your employees here at Connecteam we are always here to help.
You can always reach out to our LIVE support team 🙋 (at the bottom right corner of your screen). They reply in under 5 mins to ANY question!