If you've ever had a job, it's happened to you. It doesn't matter if you're a manager or an intern. If you're working, then you've eventually attended at least one meeting or training session that concluded with you thinking "Well, that's an hour (ninety minutes, day, etc.) out of my life that I'll never get back". Unfortunately, if you're in a supervisory or managerial position, you may have run a meeting like this as well.
Since both meeting runners and attendees come into meetings with the best of attentions, why do they often end in frustration for all parties? This is a question well worth exploring since the information and ideas meant to be shared at these gatherings impacts actual work and practices out in the field. Meetings are an important and often mandatory part of construction projects and shouldn't be discarded. But managers and superintendents need to make sure that these gatherings are as productive as possible, and that meeting and training productivity in turn translates to the project site. So superintendents might want to look at the way they're currently running these assemblies and ask themselves:
1. Is There A Reason For This Meeting?The answer's obviously yes, but are you one of those facilitators who beats around the bush or adds unrelated subjects to the point where everyone's bored and confused? Good communication means productive meetings. And the techniques of good communicators include:
- getting right to the point
- don't talk just to be talking
- use tools to emphasize message points and make them stick
And perhaps the single biggest point of meeting running? Don't forget who's there with you, which brings us to....
2. Involve Your AudienceA worksite can't be a democracy, and this doesn't mean allowing your workers to run your meeting. But it's their meeting as well, so their participation, suggestions, and ideas should be encouraged. If you're struggling to come up with a daily safety topic for example, why not allow field workers to come up with topics occasionally based on their practical experiences? If you feel that poor communication is a problem in the field, the feeling is undoubtedly mutual, so why not turn some meetings into brainstorming sessions where suggestions are accepted from all quarters? In addition to problems being more likely to be solved, your empowered staff will feel an even greater investment in the project, helping to increase productivity.
3. Use Technology ToolsBetter communication leading to greater productivity in construction doesn’t have to be limited to meetings, either. Construction technology includes software that allows supervisors and workers to stay in constant touch. Raken's mobile app means that any portable device can be used to create daily reports, comment on them, and exchange updates, notifications, safety warnings, photos, and streaming video, all in real time. So with tools like Raken, superintendents can be assured that they have a clear path towards getting their tasks accomplished by improving construction productivity.