21 July 2020 4 min read

Communication in a construction company

 

74% of employees say they miss out on crucial company communication which impacts their productivity. How to improve communication in a construction company? Take a look at tips on what steps are needed to fulfil this task!

Good communication is an essential skill not only in the workplace but in life in general. It seems to be a very basic and fundamental ability that we learn as a child, and yet the majority of us still struggle with it as adults. This becomes a problem, especially in a business environment and even more importantly - in the construction industry, as this line of work carries great responsibilities and risks. Whether this is on-site or at the management table, communication issues in the construction industry can result in high project costs, delays or even safety risks.

According to a study, 80% of employees feel pressure and stress because of ineffective company communication. In addition, more than 52% of employees have witnessed serious financial outcomes because of ineffective communication. The profitability of projects and the wellbeing of the employees depend on how well the company’s communication stands.

How to improve communication?

Establish a chain of clear command
To avoid disruption on a construction site, you must have proper communication protocol in place, known to every employee and ready to be implemented instantly. Each worker has to understand how to report, what and to whom. The process of acceptance needs to be very clear; skipping any stage without proper authorization can cause real damage to the project. Any changes to the scope of work or schedule must be documented and reported using channels specified in the construction communication process.

Use proper tools
It is essential to give people proper tools to support their work - that’s where modern software solutions come in. The construction site is a complex workplace; everything needs to work exactly as planned; the risk is too high; constant revisions are required. Using construction management software helps you stay on top of the progress, follow the acceptance processes and your site workers can have an easy tool that allows them to report to their supervisors in no time and get instant feedback online. A document management tool, BIM solution and extensive ERP software can support the activities within the construction company. Still, it is imperative to pick the right one, properly implement it and follow set procedures at all times.

Ensure constant connection
The construction site needs constant management to control project delivery and ensure no delays. The best way to stay on top of the project is to use cloud-based project management solutions allowing you to collaborate in real-time, give instant feedback, see the project delivery stage not only in reports but as a live stream. Another important aspect (that we all learned to appreciate even more during covid19 crisis) is the possibility to work safely from a remote location. Of course, it does not apply to on-site workers, but it gives you a way to support your management and administrative employees keeping the project going. Cloud-based systems exceed in data security, allowing you to work from anywhere, anytime, not worried about your data.

Quality checks
Every construction site and project needs quality checks; this is one of the bases for successful project delivery. Whether it is plants control or safety checks before signing off, quality checks are unavoidable. The same process of quality checks you can use for your communication! The key is to control the flow of information, the accuracy of the presented documentation, the frequency of meetings. You can use various metrics, but the goal is the same - to keep communication on a construction site (and offsite!) as clear and smooth as possible.

Encourage open communication and provide training & feedback
Routine is the enemy of progress. The key here is not to let your workers fall into habits - keep the team engaged all the time. If it will require daily morning meetings to set the plan and motivate the crew - do it. What is also important is to provide constant training, a good worker does his job - a great worker learns new skills to do his job better, developing himself and the whole team. Regular feedback is vital for employee management and a proper workflow management solution will support not only projects but will also control the team to achieve better performance.

Communication in a construction company is crucial for your project's wellbeing and your profit. You need to take care not only about the flow of information but also take data security into account! Modern technology comes to the rescue, giving you many tools to manage, but it is still essential to provide leadership to the teams. Following procedures is fundamental and should be controlled all the time, but allowing your employees to communicate their needs and opinions freely will make your team thrive. Being a good listener is one of many essential skills that a great leader must possess and that makes communication better. It will help not only in employee management but also customer relations. However the processes may be supported by new generation cloud-based solutions, good leadership and a supportive attitude are irreplaceable.

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