7 Ways to Improve Communication on the Construction Site!

by Glenn Maxwell

Every employer wants to complete their projects ahead of schedule and under budget. But is it possible without consistent communication? Most would say it would be extremely unlikely. Communication underpins the success of projects in the field of construction.

Effective communication plays a vital role in successfully completing a construction project. It improves team collaboration and performance every time. Poor communication leads to delays, misunderstandings, and project issues.

Exchanging information and passing on messages is not enough. It is vital to make sure that the message is transmitted in a way that the receiver understands.

This seems relatively easy, right?  But, when it comes to delivering information to a large construction firm, it is a lot easier said than done. Today, we discuss seven ways to help improve communication in construction. Let’s dive in:

1.  Find the right communication method

Communication is possible through many different methods, including verbal and nonverbal. Workers can send instant text messages, talk on the phone, and converse in person. Some use emails to communicate with their team members, both locally and from a distance.

Sometimes workers also communicate through hand signals and non-verbal cues on the construction site due to environmental noises (e.g. equipment and machinery) that can be distracting. Every method has its advantages as well as disadvantages. Opting for the right one can markedly simplify and expedite information exchange.

Employers can also go for effective broadcast messaging solutions such as the one offered by SmartBarrel (https://smartbarrel.io/subcontractor) to ensure all workers are quickly and easily brought up to speed on important information.

2.  Be clear and transparent

When communicating with workers during construction, it is key that messages are clear, concise, and to the point. It is prudent to avoid complex terms or jargon that are not common.

In addition, team members may be handling many projects at a time. In conversation, they should focus on one project at a time to avoid any potential confusion.

In addition to determining the best methods of communication, workers should decide how often they are supposed to communicate with the architect and owner regarding project progress. Avoid typing messages that contain foul language as this is disrespectful and can induce irritation among coworkers.

3.  Provide facts and relevant information

Be direct when communicating about construction projects. Staff only require the necessary facts and information that is relevant to their tasks at hand. Over-communication and under-communication both have side effects that can hinder a project in their own ways.

Never incorporate extraneous information or over-elaborate details when communicating. Share professional ideas on a construction project that can benefit the firm.

4.  Create communication chains

Creating a communication chain of demand for a construction project is essential. The role of a functioning communication chain becomes apparent in the contract, including the main contractor and the client communicating through the architect. The architect is responsible for staying in touch with consultants who forward received information to suppliers and subcontractors.

Ensure the construction contract includes specifications, architect instructions, drawings, and interim certificates providing the basis of the project. If there is any variation in the contract, do not forget to involve all parties in discussion and authorization. When an employer does not report the variation, it can lead to some major issues.

5.  Be a good listener

Engaging in effective communication, one needs to be an active listener. Employers or workers should not be passive but rather put their best foot forward and make an effort to engage in conversations.

Employers should take note of the main points from their conversations, and ensure their problems are resolved. Provide non-verbal indicators such as eye contact and head nods to let others know you are engaged and participating. Do not interrupt as they are trying to get their points across to the rest of the team. The time to ask questions starts when the speaker is done speaking.

6.  Craft comprehensive documents

It is essential for the workers to complete daily construction logs so there can be an updated record of all happenings. The same applies for communication. Written communication is convenient for later purposes as employers can reference documents for clarification in dispute cases.

Make notes on the purposes of conversations, what was discussed, and the time and date the conversation took place on. Break extended chunks of information into small portions to make it easier for whoever needs to reference the document later on. Employees can also incorporate numbered lists, point form notes, and tables to organize large chunks of data.

7.  Hold meetings regularly

Employers need to hold meetings regularly with employees. These meetings will be employed to confirm project plans and the expected actions of staff on site. Moreover, regular construction workforce meetings will allow every worker to speak up and participate in the firm’s input. These meetings can also spark collaborative thinking that may produce creative solutions and new ideas to maximize on-site productivity.

Final words

Communication is a major aspect of all business, but it can be overlooked in the construction industry. When workers are unable to communicate with each other properly, it can cause project delays, misunderstandings, and at times legal action.

It is essential to incorporate written and verbal communication skills to upgrade construction planning. These skills will help build and strengthen the relationship of contractors with clients by providing information as soon as possible.

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