Communication is an essential part of a successful job site. Even if you have the most skilled craftsmen and state-of-the-art equipment at the ready, poor collaboration will always get in the way. Here, we’ll take a look at the importance of onsite communication and how project managers can make necessary improvements in this critical area.
Why optimized communication is important
One of the most positive effects of seamless communication is increased efficiency. With all parts of the job site operating in unison, you can complete projects quicker while still maintaining the same level of professional quality. This boosted productivity gives you more time to search for leads and take on more projects.
The productivity of your project isn’t the only thing on the line when it comes to communication. The safety of your entire team is affected too. When everyone’s on the same page, mistakes and accidents that might have the potential to cause injury are successfully avoided.
Miscommunication is costly in the construction industry. In fact, it’s estimated that over half of rework is the result of poor communication or poor data which cost the entire sector $31.3 billion in 2018. By improving the accuracy of communications, you’re avoiding costly mistakes.
Tips for improving communication on the job site
Clearly define roles.
The construction industry is distinguished from other sectors in its demand for collaboration. The productivity of the job and the safety of your employees rely entirely upon the ability of the team to communicate and operate effectively. Like a well-oiled machine, all individual parts have to operate perfectly for a smoother operation overall.
One of the most important factors of onsite communication is defined roles. When each member of the team knows exactly what they’re supposed to do and how to do it, everything runs much more smoothly and efficiently. That’s why it’s important to take time before starting a project to ensure everyone understands their roles.
Keep your communication clear.
When it comes to communication on the job site, less is typically more. In other words, the simpler you’re able to keep communications the higher chance your team will deliver exactly what you requested. With so many working parts and potential distractions, it’s tempting as a project manager to overexplain and repeat what’s already been said.
Instead, you should focus on keeping your initial message clear and concise. Try not to use industry-specific jargon or terminology that team members might misunderstand. Focus only on relevant information and details. Cut out anything that’s unnecessary as it will only distract from your central message.
Have a final decision-maker.
Communication can help your team determine the best course of action, but a decision is needed before things can move forward. Having a designated decision-maker maintains a smooth workflow by avoiding unnecessarily long and complicated delays. This shot caller will provide a sense of direction so your team doesn’t get stuck in the quagmire of indecision.
If you’re active on the job site, it’s easier to designate yourself as the person with the final say. However, if you’re splitting your attention between various projects and your availability is limited, you might want to delegate this responsibility to someone who remains onsite.
Invest in communication technology.
One of the most frustrating and avoidable causes of miscommunication on the job site is technological issues. Whether you’re trying to get by with outdated equipment or everyone’s relying on their own form of communication, these technological inefficiencies come at a high price.
As a project manager, you should centralize collaboration by adopting a site-wide policy on communications. With everyone tapping into the same system, you’ll increase connectivity, reduce technological hiccups, and keep everyone on the same page.
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