Effective communication in construction is essential to ensure the success of a project. Here are 5 tips to improve it
Effective, clear and reliable communication is the key to success in any construction project and a fundamental skill for any construction project manager considering the vast number of employees working on different tasks throughout a project.
This article will offer some tips and best practices for improving construction project communications. Before we dive into details, we suggest you to:
- start testing a construction management software for free to establish clear communication.
What is the role of communication in construction?
Communication underpins every successful construction project. Good communication can improve teamwork and lead to better project collaboration in addition to achieving the objectives set throughout the design and construction processes.
As many staff members come into play on a construction site, including:
- site managers;
- manual labourers;
- truck drivers;
they all need to follow a chain of communication that guides processes and tasks, which should be carried out efficiently in order to avoid mistakes and delays.
Why is communication so important in construction?
Communication is vital in a construction process essentially because it helps to:
- improve teamwork and feedback;
- encourage strong team relationships;
- optimize processes and reduce inefficiences.
On the contrary, if communication on a construction site fails, not only can it potentially cause problems but also delays for the project.
Consequences of Miscommunication in the Construction Industry
People in the construction industry are often known for having excellent technical skills, but due to this, the development of soft skills can often be overlooked and have a series of consequences. In fact, problems of miscommunication can lead to:
- reduction of health and safety in the workplace: poor communication can generate a greater number of accidents and potential hazards for workers;
- low productivity: if, for instance, operators don’t know what to do, it will lead to poor performance and inefficiences;
- delays: bad communication is a major contributor to project delays. It can take several forms, such as delays in the flow of information, directing communication to the wrong person or area, and unclear communication leading to confusion or wrong interpretation;
- budget/cost overruns: accidents or delays due to poor communication increase costs, causing huge budget problems for all Project Managers;;
- errors in implementation methods: incorrect communication on the project specifications, or on the site involves design and executive errors;
- creating general confusion: everyone from major stakeholders to construction professionals and workers in the field is negatively impacted and the team members lose site of the objectives to be achieved or don’t know how to meet them.
How to overcome communication barriers in construction: 5 strategies
Here are 5 steps any manager or crew can follow to foster strong communication practices on construction sites:
- establish a formal communication chain: identifying a clear chain of command on a construction site standardizes communication. This must already be established in the contractual documents such as drawings, project documents, technical specifications, which guide and direct the communication process of each technical figure, according to the right hierarchy;
- actively listen: effective communicators must always remember to listen to the other side’s point of view;
- try to communicate in a clear and professional way: try to be concise and avoid confusing speeches, try to be as clear as possible and make sure that the appropriate actions are taken;
- implement communication quality controls: as in other production activities, quality control is also useful in the development of communications, which allows you to control them and have the right feedback;
- embrace technology: to keep up with the times invest in in technology that communicates critical updates. Take advantage of a construction management software which guarantees that your construction projects run smoothly and on schedule. You’ll no longer need to waste time talking on the phone, writing emails, recovering files and documents collected in different archives. All the information you need to manage your projects is available in the cloud and shared in a single work environment, by identifying possible issues directly on the model and communicating them in real time to your team through quick resolution tasks.
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