Everyone has seen vacations, dinners out, and committee projects fall apart due to a lack of communication. While no one knowing whose job it was to make the dinner reservations usually doesn't have a catastrophic result (except maybe to a relationship), in business it can be different. A lack of construction jobsite communication can lead to poor performances, fewer projects, and safety issues that can have deadly results. It's important that people talk to each other in business to get the job done, and done right!
But how should this communicating be done? Even in cubicle farms where people see each other all day long and seldom venture from one office, "Nobody told me what was going on" is a common refrain. So in an industry like construction, with multiple offices and employees scattering to complete various tasks, what's the best way to ensure everyone's on the same page?
1. Have Frequent Meetings
Designate one weekday and time as meeting day, and stick to it. Try to use the same location as well, and make it as central as possible for attendees. Skype and teleconferencing should also be used when possible to save time and money. And if appropriate, meeting notes should be circulated to employees on all levels.
2. Use Digital Technologies Like Raken
Everyone and their grandmother has one or more mobile devices these days. In addition to communication via e-mail, a construction communication app such as Raken allow for real-time construction safety warnings and in-app messages to be transmitted quickly to the devices of employees. Raken's reporting software also allows reports to be amended in real time in rapidly changing situations.
3. Have A Formal Construction Jobsite Communication Plan In Place
Who's responsible for calling DigSafe to search for underground wires? For issuing weather alerts to work site staff? For calling appropriate parties in case of accident or emergency, or unfortunately, a death? These determinations should be made before a work project begins, and a permanent file should be kept on all communication responsibilities.
4. Make Sure Everyone Can Understand You
More and more frequently, more than one language is being spoken on American construction sites. Make sure that there is sufficient signage, training, and if necessary, interpreters at work sites to insure the safety and efficiency of all employees.
5. Develop A 'Talking Culture'
Create a work site where employees frequently check in with each other with status updates on their part of a project, and their locations when on the move. This results in both a much more efficient and safer work area.