While maintaining effective communication is important in any industry, it’s vital for construction management. Miscommunication in construction can lead to project delays, higher turnover rates, and additional costs. Most importantly, a lack of clear communication can lead to injuries, especially at the construction site.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 21,500 construction workers are injured or killed on the job every year, which makes it one of the most dangerous jobs. While it might be impossible to avoid all accidents, clear communication can help to reduce the risk of accidents at the construction site.
Conversely, effective communication in the construction industry can boost teamwork, collaboration, quality, and retention. This article provides several tips for building effective communication in construction management.
Establishing open lines of communication between management and workers is the first step of any effective communication strategy. First, you must create a chain of command to ensure every worker understands exactly who they take directions from and who to go to if they have questions.
Secondly, it’s important to remember that communication is a two-way process. You can’t expect your workers to listen to management if they’re not willing to listen to them. Clear verbal communication is just as important as active listening. You must stress this point with your management team and provide training, if necessary.
Anyone in the construction industry knows how many moving parts are involved in any project and how fast these plans can change. These factors are why communication in construction management is so crucial. Changes to the initial plan must be clearly communicated to all key players both on and off the job site.
Digital collaboration tools can help with this process. These tools give construction teams a space to store all project details and make any changes to the plan as necessary. When changes are made, all key players can simply use these digital tools to instantly see the most up-to-date details.
Language barriers between management and workers can pose a significant challenge in the construction industry. However, this isn’t an excuse for ineffective communication. There are many translation tools available today that can help you overcome this obstacle.
If language barriers are an issue in your workplace, be sure to be as clear and concise as possible and avoid using industry jargon that may not be understood by all workers. If necessary, use written communication and signage to ensure all workers fully understand any safety-related information.
Don’t risk getting put into a ‘he said, she said’ situation. Instead, be sure to document and report everything. Also, make sure that all necessary parties have access to these documents and reports. For example, if a worker fails to follow safety standards, don’t just tell them about it – make sure you write it down. Now’s also a good time to read your company employee policies and procedures to ensure everything is written in clear and understandable language.
One of the best ways to ensure all team members have the necessary information is to hold regular meetings. When working on a complex project, daily meetings may be necessary. This includes both management and crew meetings. Keep a list of everything that needs to be discussed at the meeting to ensure you cover all the pertinent details. At the end of every meeting, give your team a chance to ask questions to clarify any information.
While creating the right policies and procedures is an important aspect of effective communication, it will only work if you have the right workers in the right roles. For example, when hiring for management roles, look for candidates with strong communication skills, such as active listening and presentation skills.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to detect these skills through just a resume. This makes working with a professional recruitment company, such as MRINetwork, so important. With over 55 years of experience in the recruitment industry, our professional recruiters know how to find candidates with the communication skills your company needs.
Contact our team at MRINetwork today to learn more.