Importance of Communication in Construction Projects
Construction projects are complex, involving many workers, operators, mechanics, contractors, and corporate offices, all looking to achieve a single goal. With different factors and people working on designing one project, effective construction communication is vital. Having the ability to transmit messages in a way that’s understood by everyone in your crew can mean the difference between success and failure.
If you want to improve the communication skills in your construction operations, keep reading to learn more about its significance and the various ways you can make improvements.
Why Effective Communication Is So Important
Proper correspondence is a multi-way street of relaying ideas, addressing challenges, finding solutions, and adapting when necessary. It’s most critical for the construction businessesworking with heavy equipment for safety reasons as well as project success rates.
Clear and open communication in the construction industry is vital for people involved in the project as well as contractors and even pedestrians. Understanding why communication is essential on-site will help you deliver the results you need.
Effective communication and better construction management are imperative to build confidence, encourage feedback, maintain relationships, foster innovation, improve management, and deliver results.
Strengthening your crew’s confidence levels begins with effective communication. When everyone starts to anticipate challenges and avoid problems by creating solutions, the team builds upward.
A boost in confidence can come from the team working together to get something right or someone feeling their ideas are being heard. When you foster positive communication on your construction site, people will be more willing to work with one another.
As a manager, you can relay feedback to each individual or the crew as a whole. It also opens the opportunity for workers to articulate their feedback in the form of questions and concerns. Feedback should always be a constructive process that encourages growth as opposed to diminishing your team’s confidence.
When you, other managers, and workers provide feedback, it shows everyone is striving to be better. It’s a way to build the team to greater heights.
Form and Maintain Relationships
People make sound decisions based on trust, so without it, you won’t be able to cultivate the right relationships on your construction site. However, proper communication can build strong connections with people on every level of your team. Everyone should strive to follow through with what they say and talk with transparency.
When you also provide one-on-one attention to each person, you encourage them to do the same. Having trust and transparency is the first step in forging strong relationships.
One of the best things about working in a team is that everyone has different levels of experience in a variety of applications. You can apply past knowledge to one situation, while another worker can contribute new ideas based on their own experiences.
The construction industry doesn’t improve and lead in innovation through close-minded and limited communication. With the right methods of correspondence, your team can explain different approaches to a situation, look at challenges from different angles, and explain creative ideas to improve your projects.
When higher-ups can articulate the vision of each project, it helps your team members gain ideas and solutions. Management can help tear down any roadblocks in the system, too.
Excellent communication from managers will trickle down to others on the team. When machine operators, groundworkers, and other contributors recognize and feel supported through positive discussions, it can set the tone for how the team’s communication will work.
You can be a more effective and active group when each step in the construction process is transparent. Communication helps you deliver solutions on time or even ahead of schedule. When you articulate different provisions and requirements, it's easier to stay on budget.
On the other hand, a lack of correspondence with your crew or team members can lead to catastrophic impacts, such as:
- Going over budget: It takes a team of internal and external professionals to develop a budget for each project. As soon as your client secures their finances, work begins. But if various groups miscommunicate or fail to participate at all, your whole operation can suffer from poor budgeting.
- Failing to comply with permits and regulations: You must obtain a multitude of permits and the correct documentation to begin any construction project. If you don’t relay the exact scope of the job or things change that don’t adhere to the licenses, officials can halt your operations.
- Increasing hazards and risks: Miscommunications that occur concerning parts, measurements, sizes, and materials can put your people and the public at risk. If anything on your site is built incorrectly, you could inadvertently create hazards. For example, using smaller sized screws and bolts can create an unsteady structure.
- Missing the client’s specifications: Poor reporting between your team and the client can also land you in deep water. If you don’t understand their requests to a T, you run the risk of losing a partnership, as well as wasting your time and money on the incorrect solution.
- Causing heavy equipment accidents:When operating or working around heavy machinery, communication is more vital than ever. If you’re not relaying the potential hazards or educating your team on safety procedures, both the operator and groundworkers can incur injuries from worksite engines.
Clear correspondence is essential for improving communication in construction areas, whether you’re working with a team of hundreds or with a smaller group. When you relay effective messages, you can foster incredible benefits and avoid the downfalls of poor communication.
Ways to Improve Communication
Communication is how we express our ideas, concerns, interpretations, positions, and requests. One way to improve communication in construction platforms is to be professional on and off the site.
Communication skills within a team are the best way to predict success according to a study by MIT’s Human Dynamic’s Laboratory. Even particular modes of delivering messages are more effective than others, as well as the social time between people in your group. When people interact and talk, it affects the performance of your crew. It can result in more than 50% of positive changes in their corresponding patterns.
Communication strategies in construction site projects you can apply include:
- Be an excellent listener
- Be concise
- Create a chain of command
- Give everyone the same amount of time to talk
- Have members connect internally and with the managers
- Implement correct methods of communicating messages
- Keep all forms of correspondence professional
- Relay the facts and cut the fluff
In-depth ways you can boost the communication on your team involves a range of tactics like education and technology.
Use of Technology
Cat® technology is one of the best ways to keep track of your operations and create clear communication between people on and off your site. For example, My.Cat.com helps you manage and consolidate equipment data to help you make sound business decisions. Communicating what your fleet requires and who is assigned to which tasks is made more accessible.
Other equipment services are available to aid you in managing your crews, like Product Link and VisionLink. Staying competitive means better communication, improved management, and timely decisions.
Worker Education and Training
Instructing your crew on the proper communication techniques will help them develop and enhance their skills. Understanding how to articulate your thoughts and ideas is something that people can work on. You can consider online courses and regular team meetings to discuss what, when, where, why, and how communication is central to your projects.
Training encourages your workers to relay concerns and makes them passionate about working as a team. You can educate them on hand signals and eye contact as well as how to take notes if changes occur on the construction site. Discuss which methods are best, getting the contractors involved as well.
Communication within your team can encourage the site’s managers and fleet operators to communicate and respond well with each other. Because transparency is key, it inspires everyone to collaborate as opposed to expressing one-sided tactics.
Everyone should be corresponding with each person involved in the plan, such as inspectors, electricians, masons, architects, operators, groundworkers, and more. Communicate with precision, so your administration becomes stronger.
Always communicate procedures on how to stay safe and what to do in emergencies. Working with various materials and resources means you and your crews need to use personal protective gear — boots, long sleeve shirts and pants, gloves, eyewear, hard hats, dust masks, and hearing protection.
Don’t chance it and assume your staff has great communication skills or understands the various rules put in place. Take the right steps to get your construction site operating with positive, transparent, and effective communication. Remember to update your strategies as you see fit.
Enhance Your Communication Efforts With the Experts
We know how critical communication is, no matter the size of your project. Thompson Tractor is a full-service provider of parts, sales, services, rentals, and operations technology. We are an industry leader with a local presence, and we value making connections with our customers. Our experts partner with you and want to watch you succeed in all aspects of your work.
Browse our services or contact us online for more information on how you can help improve communication within your business. You can also call us at call 800-547-0760 or use our live chat option for immediate support.