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Productivity and Work Study Techniques in

Construction Projects
NCP 31

Submitted by: Khatri Mudassar Tayab.


(REG. No.:- 29-09-11-7564-2112)
PGPCM

NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF CONSTRUCTION


MANAGEMENT AND RESEARCH,
PUNE

NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT AND


RESEARCH ASSIGNMENT
NCP-31-Productivity And Work Study Techniques in Construction
Projects
INTRODUCTION:
Construction Project can be defined as a mission, undertaken to create a unique facility, product
or service within the specified scope, quality, time and costs. With the emerging global
opportunities, projects have crossed geographical boundaries, corporate channels, traditional
systems and cultural diversities. Thus there is a vast scope for improving performance through
knowledge in the construction industry, where men, materials, machinery, money and management
work together to build a facility. The ultimate object of an Enterprise is to make profits and to
satisfy the consumption needs of the community. This involves a wide range of economic
resources. Productivity in the economic sense does not refer to any combination of resources
but essentially to that combination which conforms most closely to a firms desired outputs As a
Project Manager, an expert in planning and organizing construction activities, need to be well
versed with the ongoing industrial development and accordingly create new or study the existing
techniques related to productivity towards the betterment of the organisation.
Apart from building materials, reduction in the cost of construction may be achieved in a variety
of ways such as avoiding wastages, adopting appropriate technology, evolving innovative designs,
achieving efficient construction management, effective programming of works, improving labour
skills, on-line monitoring etc All these techniques may be clubbed as Productivity measures.
Productivity implies effectiveness and efficiency in individual and organizational performance.
Effectiveness is the achievement of objectives. Efficiency is the achievement of the ends with
the least amount of resources. The highest site productivity is obtained by producing the
required quantity of construction of specified quality within the budgeted time and by the best
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NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT AND


RESEARCH ASSIGNMENT
NCP-31-Productivity And Work Study Techniques in Construction
Projects
and cheapest method. Productivity increase if a greater output is achieved for the same input, or
if a greater output is achieved for a smaller input. There are two main ways to increase the
amount of goods or product produced; one is to increase employment and other is to increase
productivity. Efforts to increase employment are very important and should go hand in hand with
efforts to increase the productivity of those already employed. But it is the latter task that we
are concerned and is the basis for the entire discussion henceforth.
MOTIVATION & INCENTIVES: (CONCEPT & MEANING)
Managing requires the creation and maintenance of an environment in which individuals work
together in groups toward the accomplishment of a common objective. A manager cannot do this
job without knowing what motivates people. The building of motivating factors into organizational
roles, the staffing of these roles, and the entire process of leading people must be built on
knowledge of motivation. The managers job is not to manipulate people but, rather, to recognize
what motivates people.
The basic element of all human behaviour is some kind of activity, whether physical or mental.
We can look at workers behaviour as a series of activities. The question arises as to what
activities worker will undertake at any point of time and why. As we all know activities are goal
oriented i.e. people do things that lead them to accomplish something. The primary task of
managers is to get people to contribute activities that help to achieve the mission and goals of
an enterprise or of any department or other organized unit within it. Clearly, to guide peoples

NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT AND


RESEARCH ASSIGNMENT
NCP-31-Productivity And Work Study Techniques in Construction
Projects
activities in desired directions requires knowing, to the best of any managers ability, what leads
people to do things, what motivates them.
Human motives are based on needs, whether consciously or subconsciously felt. Some are
primary needs such as physiological requirements and secondary needs such as self-esteem,
status, affiliation with others, accomplishment and self- assertion. These needs vary in intensity
and over time with various individuals. Motivation is a general term applying to the entire class of
drives, desires, needs, wishes, and similar forces. A manager has to motivate their subordinates
by doing those things which they hope will satisfy these drives and desires and induce the
subordinates to act in a desired manner. Thus what effect motivation has on the individual on
the above said drives and desires can be explained in the following line diagram:
Give rise

Needs

Which

Wants

to

Tension

Cause

Which
Satisfaction

Which

Actions

give

rise

result in

to
A manager can do much to sharpen motives by establishing an environment favourable to certain
drives. Similarly, the environment of a business in which managerial performance is effective and
efficient tends to breed a desire for high quality management among most, or all, managers and
personnel. Motivation refers to the drive and effort to satisfy a want or goal. Thus motivation

NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT AND


RESEARCH ASSIGNMENT
NCP-31-Productivity And Work Study Techniques in Construction
Projects
implies a drive toward an outcome. The motivation factor is only used in the construction field
just only to increase the productivity of the firm.
Productivity of the construction enterprise:
To carry out any given construction project, an individual mix of resources including land,
buildings, materials, mechanical plant, tools, equipment and manpower have to be mobilized. It is
the task of management to combine these resources to carry out the project economically and
expeditiously.
In larger enterprises a management team will share the various specialist activities, such as site
management at various levels, material controls, plant management, financial controls and so on,
but in small firm all the management activities might be carried out by one person. Experience
has shown that there is always room for improvement in construction project execution. The
total time taken is often well in excess of what it would have been if the designs, specifications
and methods of construction were properly planned and prepared, and if site management had
implemented them effectively so that there had been no loss of working time.
The task of management is to organize and control all the available resources in order to achieve
maximum productivity that is to reduce the work content to as near to basic as possible and to
eliminate ineffective time. As regards to various factors affecting the productivity with regards
to physical resources (money, material, machinery and designs & liaison) is concerned can be
easily tackled by a well experienced Project Manager, but as regards to the productivity from
the workers or labour force is highly neglected and overlooked while studying the factors which
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NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT AND


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NCP-31-Productivity And Work Study Techniques in Construction
Projects
affects the productivity of a site. An efficient Project Manager needs to develop a work-study
technique, which will find a better way of carrying out various activities.
Productivity and labour:
On any construction site the contractors financial gain is dependent, amongst other things, on
completion of the work in good time and at the least cost, and the productivity of labour has a
direct bearing on this being achieved. The factors affecting the performance of labour generally
fall into three categories: 1. The human capacity for work;
2. The competence of site management;
3. The motivation of the workers.
We are concerned with the first and the last factor in the ongoing discussion. By motivating the
workers in the right manner will increase the productivity in the desired way within the time
stipulation and cost margins. The best motivator is money itself and there are various ways of
using it as the motivating factor, one being in the form of incentives. The various incentive
schemes are discussed later on. Other means of motivation is the theory of participation. There
can be no doubt that only rarely are people not motivated by being consulted on action affecting
them by being in on the act. The other interesting approachs to motivation is the quality of
working life (QWL) program. These represent a systems approach to job design and a promising
development in the broad area of job enrichment, combined with grounding in the sociotechnical
systems approach to management.

NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT AND


RESEARCH ASSIGNMENT
NCP-31-Productivity And Work Study Techniques in Construction
Projects
Wage is a means of providing income for employees and as a cost of doing business to the
employer. It provides a source of motivation for employees to perform effectively and is one of
the most important considerations to a person who is contemplating taking a new job. The search
has been for some incentive plan additional to wages decided which when installed will solve all
the problems of supervision and management automatically by causing the employees to work
harder and more efficiently, making them happy on their jobs, and increasing the profits of the
business. The executive of today probably has no more chance of finding a wage-incentive plan,
which will by itself do all these things. No wage-incentive payment plans, no matter how carefully
and intelligently designed, will work effectively unless it is well administered.
Essentials of a good Wage-Incentive Scheme:

Fair to workers and management: An important requirement for the lasting success of any
wageincentive plan is that it shall be fair to both the worker and the management in every
detail of its content and administration. If any part cannot stand impartial judgment as to
its fairness, then that part must be changed or the plan will not last. In other words the
plan has to be designed in such a way that it increases earnings but at the same time
increase production.

Major encouragement on most important factor: Perhaps the first step in the design of a
wage-incentive plan is to decide what is the relative importance of each of the various
elements of the employees work effort-what should emphasized most.

NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT AND


RESEARCH ASSIGNMENT
NCP-31-Productivity And Work Study Techniques in Construction
Projects

Encourage well-rounded effort: The plan should in some effective manner also encourage
and reward parts of the employees work other than the emphasized part.

Reward proportional to individual effectiveness: Incentives applied to an individual are


more effective, as a rule, than those applied to groups. In some cases, however, where small
groups act as units and it is difficult to measure individual contribution, group incentive
plans have been effective.

Easily understood: The employee should be able to figure for himself, all along, just how
he stands, just how much extra compensation he has earned.

Steady earnings: The week-to-week, month-to-month fluctuations in earnings should not


be too large, and this is especially true if the fluctuations are caused by things outside the
employees control.

The plan should be such that, if there is extra compensation in the form of bonus,
premium, or commission, a fairly large proportion of all the employees should regularly earn
some of this extra compensation.

It is most important that the standard by which the amount of the incentive payment is
to be determined shall be most carefully set, through the use of all available scientific aids.

Good administration: There is probably no one thing more essential to the success of any
wage-incentive plan than that there shall be continuous, intelligent, and sympathetic
supervision by management of every phase of the operation of the plan.

MOTIVATION OF WORKERS:
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NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT AND


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NCP-31-Productivity And Work Study Techniques in Construction
Projects
On any construction site one of the important factor affecting the performance of labour is the
motivation factor, which indirectly leads to low productivity. Workers are motivated in their
work by a variety of methods, all of which may be present in varying degrees. They include: -

Fear;

Discipline;

Job Satisfaction;

Financial Incentives.

FEAR : This includes fear of supervisor and fear of loosing a job and being out of work and
destitute, especially in country where no form of social security exists. This is a negative and
unsatisfactory form of incentive.
DISCIPLINE :

This is exemplified by punctuality, lack of absenteeism, good standards of

workmanship and the observance of site cleanliness and hygiene. Lack in discipline generally leads
to low site morale and unsatisfactory productivity. Following steps could be followed in order to
achieve site discipline: Site rules drawn up and explained to all workers.
Site incharge and respective senior personal set a high standard in self-discipline by his
own example.

NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT AND


RESEARCH ASSIGNMENT
NCP-31-Productivity And Work Study Techniques in Construction
Projects
Workers encouraged to feel that they are working with, rather than under, the
supervisor but at the same time the supervisor should leave no doubt in their minds that
he is the leader.
Retribution should be a matter of inevitability rather than severity. No breach of
discipline should go unchecked.
Developing self-discipline through pride in achievement. Good work should always be
praised.
Taking a personal interest in the worker, discussing problems fairly, never showing
favoritism.
Disciplinary action should be taken as soon after an infringement as possible.
JOB SATISFACTION : Apart from work providing the means of satisfying the workers basic
needs as to food, clothing and shelter, job satisfaction is obtained when the higher psychological
needs of the worker, such as self-respect and personal dignity, are met. Job satisfaction is
obtained through a sense of achievement as to quality, output or other contributions,
particularly if that achievement as to quality, output or other contributions, particularly if that
achievement is recognised and acknowledged. Pride in craft and skill and a sense of responsibility
are to be encouraged and rewarded with opportunities for advancement and promotion.
Negative aspects that detract from job satisfaction and morale, and which consequently affect
productivity, are to be avoided. These are generally aspects that imply that the worker is held in
low esteem by management and include:
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NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT AND


RESEARCH ASSIGNMENT
NCP-31-Productivity And Work Study Techniques in Construction
Projects
Poor working conditions and terms of employment;
Poor or subservient relations with supervisors.
FINANCIAL INCENTIVES : One of the effective methods as regards to motivation factor.
Incentive schemes of this nature are widely used in industrialized countries, but are often a
source of contention and dispute between management and workforce. The schemes enable the
workers to earn bonuses over and above the normal rate of pay for achieving a rate of output at
or above a predetermined standard. It is not always easy to work out what this standard
performance should be, so that the output targets set by management of which the bonus
earnings depend are often inaccurate.
TYPES OF INCENTIVE SCHEMES :
Different financial incentive schemes are discussed below:
Bonus Targets : Targets are set before the work starts, usually in the form of:

Piecework Targets i.e. payment based on the amount of work done;

Time targets, i.e. a target time is set for completing a specific task. If the task is
completed in less time, the bonus paid is based on the time saved.

Basis for setting targets:


i. Work measurement: The best method, as targets are more likely to be accurate.
Depending on policy, it is usual to offer a bonus over and above the basic wage for a
standard performance of 100.

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NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT AND


RESEARCH ASSIGNMENT
NCP-31-Productivity And Work Study Techniques in Construction
Projects
ii. The estimate: Where a bill of quantities has been prepared and estimated labour cost
component of each operation is known, this can be used as a basis for target setting.
iii. Feedback: The records of output figures fed back from previous projects are used as a
basis for target setting bonus targets.
Piecework : Piecework is the payment of a fixed price per unit of work done. For example the
price is fixed so that a 75 % performance would earn the equivalent of the basic daily wage, and
output in excess of that would provide the bonus. This principle of piecework system is
particularly applicable to repetitive work or to the manufacture or preparation of materials.
Guaranteed Daily Wage plus Bonus : On construction projects here motivation is low and
particularly where workers are new to the job, the performance of labour can be lower than 50%
of the standard. A scheme paying a bonus only after 75 % performance is reached may offer no
incentive to the workforce, who may remain content to receive the minimum wage for their very
low performance. Therefore it may be of benefit to start bonus payments at a lower level of
performance that all workers can reach, at the same time guaranteeing the basic daily wage.
Task Work : This is another form of incentive, though not as effective as financial incentives.
The incentive is to finish a task early and go home, but be paid for the full days work. The task
set requires pre-measurement, such as excavating a given length of roadside ditch, or completing
a specified concrete pour. The task will generally equate to a 75% performance over a full eighthour day. Thus if the workers rate of working is 100 he will finish the task in 6 hours giving a
time saving of two hours.

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NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT AND


RESEARCH ASSIGNMENT
NCP-31-Productivity And Work Study Techniques in Construction
Projects
Advantages of Incentive schemes:
Worker is given an opportunity to earn more than basic wage as reward for higher output.
Workers output will be higher, so that the job completed in less time, with a more
predictable performance and at lower cost.
The systems encourage self-discipline, and supervision can concentrate on quality rather
than output.
The worker himself tries to improve the efficiency of the method.
The operation of the scheme should keep site management on its toes, as the workers will
protest against any delays or mismanagement that reduce their opportunity to earn
bonuses.
Disadvantages of Incentive schemes:
In striving for higher output, quality and safety may be neglected.
If bonus rates are too low, the incentive to work hard may be destroyed.
Differences in earnings between good and poor workers, or due to inaccurate bonus rates,
may give rise to bad feeling and labour problems on the site.
Bonus systems are more complicated to operate, and require special staffing and
organizational procedures.
INCENTIVE SCHEMES AND MOTIVATION:
The basic objective of a construction firm is to achieve the so planned progress for a project
within the stipulated period of construction. Any delay in completion of the project leads to
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NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT AND


RESEARCH ASSIGNMENT
NCP-31-Productivity And Work Study Techniques in Construction
Projects
increase in direct as well as indirect cost of the project. Its the indirect costs which leads the
construction firm to heavy losses at times.
By introducing the incentive schemes and making it clear to the employees about its benefits
and procedure a sense of urgency could be developed amongst them. Thus here the schemes will
act as a motivational factor and as we all know Money is the biggest motivator in itself.
Before introducing an incentive scheme in any firm or company it has to be scrutinized in all
possible ways the bad or good effects, the actual impact it will have on the productivity etc by
recruiting a team of expert panels comprising of executives of higher management. The rules
and procedure involved in the scheme has to be clearly explained to each employee before
implementing it in order to prevent its bad impact. If handled expertly in a professional manner,
incentive schemes could play as a handy tool for every Project Manager to manage the project in
the most appropriate way possible and achieve the required targets.

CASE STUDY ON COMPANYs INCENTIVE SCHEMES:

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NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT AND


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NCP-31-Productivity And Work Study Techniques in Construction
Projects
The company for whom I render my services has introduced some additional Incentive Schemes
additional to those provided a year ago. The following are some of the Incentives provided
explained in brief:
Compensation :
a) Annual Increment : The annual increment is paid in the month of January every year. But
due consideration is given to those individuals who has not joined as per the start of calendar
month and increment for the first year is done as per the completion of one year from the date
of his joining. Then the increment will take place every January every year. If due to grant of
annual increment, the basic pay exceeds the maximum of the scale, the amount of annual
increment shall be so reduced that the basic pay plus increment does not exceed the maximum
of the applicable scale. At no stage, the basic pay shall exceed the maximum of the pay scale.
b) Ex Gratia: The Company provides Ex-gratia to all its eligible employees who have
completed at least nine months from the date of his joining. Employees who are not eligible for
Ex-gratia are paid certain amount as token of appreciation.
c) Productivity linked incentive scheme: this incentive operates independently of Ex-gratia.
This incentive is provided to those depending upon its output and productivity against the
approved targets. Productivity incentive is paid up to a maximum of 15% of basic pay.
d) Stagnation increment: The employee who reaches the maximum of their pay scale is
eligible for grant of a stagnation increment on the next due date of annual increment subject to
maximum of three such stagnation increments. The stagnation increment is treated as basic pay

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NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT AND


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NCP-31-Productivity And Work Study Techniques in Construction
Projects
for all purposes except for promotional increment. In case of employees who draw stagnation
increment in the lower grade and again reaches the maximum scale of the higher grade, in such
scale he/she will be eligible to receive only the remaining number of stagnation increments.
Allowances :
a) House rent allowance : The employee who has been transferred to a new project away
from the city is liable for the house rent allowance incase the accommodation is not provided.
The higher management executive is provided with the above allowance provided they submit
copy of necessary document and receipt to the company.
b) Transportation benefits : The higher management executives and few selected personnel
are provided transportation reimbursement in the form fuel/oil expenses and actual conveyance
on submission of necessary documents. Other employees are provided certain fixed amount
against each as transportation allowance. On special cases where the individual has to attend
certain activities on behalf of the company the conveyance charges are paid on submission of the
conveyance form along with the proof.
c) Meal allowance : The Company provides canteen facility and provides canteen allowance to
each employee against their attendance. Also on special cases where the individual has to visit
places on behalf of company certain amount fixed as meal allowance will be reimbursed to the
personal on submission of bills.

Leaves :

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NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT AND


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NCP-31-Productivity And Work Study Techniques in Construction
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a) Casual / Sick Leaves : Every employee of the company has one leave every week as a week
off. If he desires can accumulate the leaves in every month and can use it as casual or
compensate sick leave. Every employee has to maintain this leaves in the month or by the end of
every year.
b) Privilege leave : Every employee has been provided 1.75 day per month as privilege leave
i.e. 21 days every month. The employee can use this leaves monthly or on yearly basis but with
due consideration with the management.
Welfare :
a) The company has provided with the medical facility in the form of reimbursement in case
any accident or injury occurs on site. Along with this the company has also insured a specific
amount on every individual which will be reimbursed to the employees family member in case any
threat to the employees life takes place at the time of work.
CONCLUSION / RECOMMENDATION :
As discussed above it is cleared that every organization and company has to introduce to a
certain extent certain incentive pay schemes for their employee in order to increase the
productivity of a unit or team towards the progress of the organization itself. Its the normal
psychology of an individual that he should get an additional pay scheme apart from his basic
payment i.e. food allowance, traveling allowance and bonus which are the basic needs as far as
the individual is concerned.

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NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT AND


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NCP-31-Productivity And Work Study Techniques in Construction
Projects
If the company doesnt provide at least the above mentioned incentive the individual thinks that
there is no progress or appraisal for him in thee same company and starts for a new opportunity.
The sense of self satisfaction and secured ness is lost among the employees.
In addition to this the incentives based on productivity make the individual to strive for more
and as a result the required productivity is achieved within the said targets. This incentive has
to be introduced by every construction firm and a special committee to be appointed for this to
determine the individual as a result the progress of the site may be achieved in the said time.
The incentives to be paid to the entire team as a whole for the target achieved.
Introduction of leaves as an incentive will be another option as no construction firms introduces
it. Medical insurance is another form of incentive which gives a kind of feeling of security to the
employee as a result of which the output of the individual towards work also increases. Along
with the incentives provided certain rules and stipulations are to be also laid in front of the
employee so that no individual demands for the same. All the system of incentive schemes to be
made cleared to every employee.
Thus it is clear that productivity of the company can be increased by increasing the productivity
of each and every employee. The incentive schemes can be used as a motivational tool towards
increasing the progress and achieving the said targets within the stipulated time in a
construction firm.
BIBLIOGRAPHY / REFERENCES :
Productivity and Work Study Techniques.-

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Nicmar

NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT AND


RESEARCH ASSIGNMENT
NCP-31-Productivity And Work Study Techniques in Construction
Projects
Personnel Management.-

Nicmar

The A to Z of Practical Building Construction and Management.


-

Sandeep Mantri

Harold Koontz

Cyril ODonnell

Heinz Weihrich

Essentials of Management.

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