Teamwork Makes The Team Work

By The Superintendents of Hoar Construction

Construction is perhaps the ultimate team sport. Nothing happens on a jobsite without the active and coordinated efforts of dozens – and sometimes hundreds of thousands – of individuals, each making their own contribution at exactly the right time, in exactly the right order. As jobsite leaders, Hoar’s site superintendents must be able to set the tone, establishing a partnering spirit from the earliest days of project planning.

At Hoar, we come to the table as a teammate – and a leader. Our field leaders work hard to understand our clients’ needs, and they hold themselves – and their collaborators – accountable to those needs. It’s our nature to jump right in and roll up our sleeves to do what’s right for the project. We know when one teammate does well, we all do well. And we’re committed to our partners’ success as much as our own. We figure it out together so we can best serve our clients.

Veteran Senior Superintendent Lou Felicitti, with over 40 years in the business, and who often leads Hoar’s largest and most complex projects, believes establishing teamwork on the jobsite is one of his most critical responsibilities: “Teamwork is extremely important. When my team assembles, I try to bring them together because we’re going to be a team for the next two or two-and-a-half years. Making sure everybody’s connected as a team is the key to success.”

Superintendent James Lawhon emphatically calls teamwork “…crucial! Collaboration is crucial in what we do. Without everybody being like on the same page there’s gonna be issues with the project. If everybody’s not on the same page we’re going fail as a team.”

Senior Superintendent Clayton Salmon never forgets work is work, but knows teamwork helps make work fun: “You know, we live the life every day and we wanna have fun doing it, so we always try to bond together since we often spend more time with these folks than we do with our actual families.”

Senior Superintendent Boone White sums up the importance of teamwork this way: “The project team is what makes a project successful for me. It doesn’t really matter what type of material you buy or what type of equipment you rent, it’s the people behind it. It is the project team that makes the project go well.”

Senior Superintendent Ricky Calderon likes to think of his team as a family: “We’re in it together. We’re a family, no matter how we look at it. And that includes our subcontractors. Without a team, you can’t win. We all need to work together.”

Like Ricky, all successful superintendents know – without question – they must secure the enthusiastic buy-in of their subcontractors to complete their projects. General Superintendent Brandon Dexter believes it’s his job to set the tone for teamwork: “Partnering with subs really helps jobsite culture. A job can go one of two ways: the culture can go really negative really fast, or it can stay positive. And you work through issues better when things begin as positively as possible, when everybody works hard to maintain relationships and see what the end goals are. Learning how to really work with your partners and work with your team members and work with your subcontractors or your sub-partners, that’s always something we can get better at and learn from, but I think we do a pretty good job with that.”

General Superintendent Mike McKinnon also embraces his partnering spirit, especially when working with subcontractors: “I think subcontractors are true partners. Sometimes I think general contractors treat subcontractors as inferior, and they are absolutely not. Subcontractors are very important to our business.”

Like Mike, Assistant Superintendent Donna Strange stresses teamwork with her subcontractors, and says “Coordination is so important. For example, you have to coordinate with all parties involved when a delivery is going to be made, knowing what equipment needs to be on site in order to get that delivery unloaded, put where it needs to be or stored where it needs to be stored, and used up as quickly as possible because you have another truck following behind it. And that cannot happen without teamwork. So I use little powwows: ‘Alright guys, this is what’s about to happen.’ You bring in your subs because it affects their safety, it affects their quality.”

Senior Superintendent Tim Wilson knows projects rise and fall based on subcontractor engagement. He believes teamwork triggers trust, so members of the team can confidently rely on each other: “For me, teamwork is everything. I have a hard time seeing how projects are successful when you do not have a team, when you do not have a buy-in from your subcontractors. To me, trust and teamwork go together. I want a team I can count on. I want to know when it starts to rain on a Sunday night, if I call my roofer he is going to get in his car and drive over in the rain to check things out. You just cannot put a value on that. It takes a huge load off of my shoulders, knowing this roofer is there, that he is my partner, that I have a partner who is bought in and believes in the same things I believe in. You know somebody is there to take up your slack, if you have a bad day and you miss something, your partner is going to catch you.”

Superintendent Jake Marsac also appreciates a strong partnership. He learned very early in his career how important it is for him to be the catalyst for collaboration: “You have to communicate your plans to everybody so everybody gets on the same page. You have to make everybody work together. If one guy is pulling left and one guy is pulling right, your wagon is not going to go anywhere. You have to get buy-in from everybody.”

Assistant Superintendent Dennis Parker draws a provocative – and particularly illustrative – parallel: “I don’t know if you’ve been to an orchestra? When you have one conductor standing up front and you have all the instruments around you and everybody has their own role and there’s a crescendo at the end. Everybody is moving at the same time and everybody has a piece. When you walk across the site and everybody knows their job and everybody is moving in lock-step, it’s exciting to watch. It’s like watching a whirlwind. The best part of construction is getting everybody understand their role, their schedules, their responsibilities, their expectations and helping them.”

Teamwork offers benefits beyond jobsite culture and subcontractor collaboration. It’s also critical to supporting clients and achieving project goals. Superintendent Patrick Alvarez says “Teamwork plays a big part of every project because we’re not out here doing it by ourselves. We’re working directly with the owner, making sure the expectations they have for a project are being met and then working with the design team to fulfill those expectations.”

Senior Superintendent Mike Broadaway explicitly ties teamwork to client service: “I like partnering. We’re all on the same team with one common goal and that’s to give the owner what they’ve paid for. So no one out there should feel like they’re on their own. Large tasks, small tasks, in between – it doesn’t matter. Everybody is part of that process and a part of that team. Jobs can be so much fun when they’re like that. When everybody gets it and everybody is on the same page, it can be a great experience.”

Superintendent Andrew Bray knows teamwork is “…the most important thing. Teamwork is about the whole jobsite. We all have one common goal out here. It’s to turn over a finished product we can all be proud of and you cannot do that without teamwork. Without teamwork, your job’s just not going to go well.”

Senior Superintendent Gabe Moore is particularly eloquent on the subject of teamwork. He believes a high-performance team has no limits: “The potential and opportunity is there, and when you get the right group of people together and you get them focused on that goal, you are going to get there. You are going to change the industry. And when you’ve done that, you might change the world. Who knows?”