Good communication is essential for the completion and success of a construction project. Good communication enhances teamwork, productivity and leads to better collaboration with the different parties involved. Most construction disputes occur due to communication breakdown which leads to conflict.
Having good communication also ensures that the project can be completed by the stipulated timeline and budget. Poor communication creates numerous challenges for construction projects such as financial losses, loss of productivity, and safety concerns. Most communication tends to fail in construction sites due to a lack of follow-up and information being delayed. Here are some tips to improve communication in construction sites.
Choose the Right Communication Method
Every day we communicate in numerous ways, both verbally and non-verbally. We also communicate via text messages, phone, and emails. Every method of communication has its advantages and disadvantages, and some may be better suited for a certain occasion.
For example, if you spot a safety lapse and hazard in the construction site, it is best to call your supervisor, project manager, or the safety officer to inform them about the danger. This is as opposed to sending them a text and email and waiting a few hours or days for their reply. By this time, an accident may have occurred at the construction site due to a safety hazard.
Methods of communication and information sharing should be established early on in the project timeline and made clear to all the relevant stakeholders, from the construction worker to the project manager. Having the right communication method ensures that critical information is shared and relayed quickly to develop the appropriate response. If a project manager finds that sending emails between his different colleagues or employees is too troublesome, then he may resort to a meeting instead.
Clear Communication Chains
Good communication in construction sites also means establishing a clear chain of command for construction projects. The project manager, architect, owners, and contractors regularly communicate with each other and the chain of command is usually established in the contract documents of the project.
By establishing a clear chain of command, every worker can identify points of contact for key team members or their supervisors. This is critical as it ensures that information is relayed timely. It also makes it easier to deal with project challenges. This is because the supervisors and managers only have to discuss the issue with the relevant people in the chain of command or department.
For example, if a worker was found to have used the wrong construction material in the construction project, the manager could discuss this issue with the worker and his superintendent to clarify any doubts and address the issue.
Clear and Transparent
When communicating with others, you want your message and the information relayed to be understood by others quickly. By simplifying your message and ensuring your communication method is clear and transparent, your message will be better understood by others.
Keep the message short, simple, and to the point. Avoid using jargon or terms you do not understand. It is important that your messages do not cause confusion and that all critical information is relayed. You want to be comprehensive and brief in your communication.