BSQS&P Explained

HB NEXT’s consulting is based on BSQS&P (Budget-Schedule-Quality-Safety-&-People). Our expertise has led us to find and recommend corrective action based on BSQS&P. That is why every decision we make is based on this philosophy.

These next 4 examples will give you a better understanding:

1. Construction Industry

As a new professional getting into the construction industry, all they hear today is Safety is number 1… Safety is number 1… SAFETY IS NUMBER 1! After a while, a person would think that the Budget, Schedule, and Quality are number 2. We don’t want that now, do we?

2. Business Owners

How about the business owner who has to hire a variety of “Business Consultants”?

First, he hires a Budget Consultant who comes in and says, “There is NO WAY you can afford to work overtime on this job.”

Next, in comes the Schedule Consultant who tells the business owner, “You have to work 7 days a week to finish this job!”

After that, the Quality Consultant comes in and says “I don’t care how long it takes. You have to ensure to meet this specification!”

Then, here comes the Safety Consultant…and what do you think they say? “SAFETY is number 1! Who cares about budget or schedule? PEOPLE’S LIVES ARE AT STAKE!”

After all is said and done, here comes the HR Consultant to tell you that “You need to take care of the people.”

We are the BSQS&P Consultant. Rather than looking at one narrow perspective, we tackle issues with knowledge of what will be best as a whole.

3. Legal Issues

HB NEXT has the unique ability to look at legal issues unlike any other consulting company. After a fatality or a citation, everyone always says they “could not get the individual to do it safely”.

The opposing attorney says:

“How did you get them to meet your budget and cost? What did you do when you found a contractor working without an approved change order? You stopped the work!

What if you found them working in the wrong flow or the wrong sequence, not meeting your schedule? You stopped the work!

What did you do if you found them painting the wall the wrong color or using the wrong material, not meeting quality standards? You stopped the work!

But you could not get them to do it safely?! NO, you could have used the same methods for BSQ to get Safety completed.”

4. Field Supervisors

Walk up to any Field Supervisor and ask them, “Who is in charge of this job?” He will proudly pat his hand on his chest and say, “I am. This is my job.”

However, when the Manager / Owner says…

…“I need to talk to you about a budget problem”
Supervisor says: “I did not bid or price it!”

…“I need to talk with you about a Schedule problem”
Supervisor says: “I didn’t say I could get it done in that time frame!”

…“I need to talk with you about a Quality problem”
Supervisor says: “I can’t see it from my house!”

…“I need to talk with you about a Safety problem”
Supervisor says: “That’s the Safety Coordinator’s Job!”

…“I need to talk with you about a Personnel problem”
Supervisor says: “That is the Human Resources job!”

At this point, what is left to be, “in charge” of?  The water barrel?

NO… you are in charge of BSQS&P!

HB NEXT gets it… and that is why we base every decision, recommendation, and solution around the philosophy of BSQS&P.

Meeting the Ongoing Need for Soft Skills Training in Construction

Why managerial power and authority are no longer enough to guarantee safety and drive productivity in today’s workforce

There was a time -in the not-so-distant past- when fire-breathers ruled the landscape of professional business.

For decades, supervisory and management personnel for various industries have been hired on the basis of their (often fierce) ability to motivate workers, by any means necessary, to accomplish the financial objectives and goals of a business. In fact, this type of leadership has been glorified, giving life and longevity to sayings of which you’re likely familiar:

“My way or the highway”, “take it or leave it”, or, “there are other fish in the sea”, are a few that come to mind, implying that in most situations, an employee is left with little or no choice but to accept the decision-making of their superiors; or, suffer the risk of potential job loss. Now, some credence can be lent to this philosophy of ultimatum, as, there are (some) circumstances in business in which argument or even polite disagreement with the status quo is simply not allowed.

Take safety around electrical devices as an example:

Have you ever considered why most electrical appliances are manufactured with warning labels that stress the importance of users never operating the appliance either in or near water? The science and dangers of electrical conductivity most certainly predate the advent of modern technology; so, naturally, we don’t wish to be constantly reminded of the things we already know. Plenty of people have done it without incident, so as long as you’re really careful, it’s perfectly safe to blow-dry your hair while listening to the radio in the bathtub, right? Manufacturers don’t affix warning labels to potentially dangerous products just because it’s a universally-accepted ‘best practice’. They do it, because if they fail to, people may get hurt or even lose their lives. Rightfully so, it’s not a business decision that’s open for debate.

No business is exempt from the rigors of managing safety, risk, budgets, schedules, and personnel; and, the construction industry has never been an exception to this. So, out of sheer necessity to prevent injuries and save lives, the industry was forced to adopt an often inflexible, no-nonsense approach to safety. Over time, this need manifested into generations of ‘fire-breathing’ project managers and superintendents being hired to run construction projects, backed by the wholehearted support of company owners, who, for many years in this industry, appeared to value profit over people.

As the old Bob Dylan song goes, ‘the times they are a-changing’. Acceptable workplace conditions have also changed; and, adaptability to these changes is becoming more important than ever. Soft skills are emerging to the forefront of leadership training, as the days of ‘my way or the highway’ -while still visible in the rearview mirror- are slowly becoming a remnant of the past. With increases in job injuries and fatalities, workplace violence, discrimination lawsuits and employee turnover, companies are having to endorse new methods for engaging, motivating, and retaining their valuable employees. Companies in the construction industry have begun to embrace the reality that while profits will always be a high priority, the costs and operational impacts associated with injuries, fatalities, civil suits and turnover can quickly erase those profits, while simultaneously threatening a company’s reputation and viability.

Soft skills such as interviewing methods, diversity and inclusion training, and conflict resolution techniques are helping immensely in the workplace to bridge a communication gap that historically, has been the primary responsibility of a company’s Human Resources personnel. For companies that do not have full-fledged HR departments, however, soft skills training for both employees and managers alike is becoming an indispensable component of policy administration and adherence, (effective) performance management, and harmonious workplace relations. In today’s fast-paced and demanding work environments, the almighty dollar continues to drive budgets and schedules.

However, this does not mean that safety takes a backseat to productivity.  

While there will always be appropriate places and times in business for more draconian styles of leadership, the companies who are making the effort to integrate this training into their employee development practices, over time, will enjoy more of the fruits of their labor (AKA – profits) as compared to the companies who ignore the importance and necessity of soft skills. Increased work demands place a premium on employee productivity; and, as such, companies have less time to address all employee concerns through a Human Resources team. Soft skills are affording companies greater freedom, latitude, and flexibility with their human resource efforts, while empowering their leaders to more effectively resolve issues before they snowball into larger (and, usually, more expensive) problems.

Keep in mind, that the cost of employee development is an ongoing expenditure. You can decide to spend money on the front end with training; or, you can spend it on the back end replacing employees, negotiating citations, legal fees, or worse. So, the inevitable choice lies with you. Will you choose the iron fist, or the gentle hand? Will you empower your leaders to breathe fire, or will you teach them to extinguish flames before they spread? Your profits will likely tell the tale-