How Communication Improves Productivity in Construction
For many types of businesses, good communication is essential to success. This is especially true in the construction industry, where the quality and consistency of information shared between teams can mean the difference between making and losing money on a project.
If you’re struggling to connect with the field, the office, or external stakeholders, your risk increases significantly—a recent study by consultants FMI and PlanGrid reveals that construction companies attribute nearly 50% of rework to poor data and miscommunication. Improving communications prevents costly mistakes and helps keep field crews safer and more productive.
The benefits of healthy communication
Good communications support your construction business in the following ways.
Clearer expectations among teams
Good internal communication practices ensure each employee understands your company’s core values. With consistent, effective messaging, you can set clear expectations for employees, both for their work and conduct in general and at the start of each new project.
Defined guidelines will help them better support the needs of the business.
Fewer errors and safety issues
When you establish effective communication channels, you can more easily communicate necessary information like design guidelines and safety requirements. You can quickly and clearly issue any potential warnings or notices that keep field crews safer and improve quality assurance.
Field contractors can also more effectively communicate any potential issues from the jobsite to managers and office staff.
Improved employee retention
When your business can effectively communicate, project work proceeds more smoothly. Employees feel comfortable and confident, which improves job satisfaction.
Good external communications help you manage customer expectations and build business relationships based on trust. Customers who feel informed and engaged are more likely to work with your business again in the future.
How to improve company communications
While the benefits of good communication may be clear, it’s not always easy to improve your practices. Busy companies may struggle to more effectively share information when they are already busy with project-related tasks.
These tips and techniques help you improve communications on the jobsite and in the office without adding more stress to the workday.
Solicit employee feedback
Many businesses want to communicate better with their employees, but they aren’t sure how. They may feel lost and waste time and money on complex new devices or software that actually make communication more difficult in the long run.
Before making any changes to your communication processes, it’s important to gather employee feedback. Their preferences for communication channels and styles may surprise you.
Use surveys and questionnaires to ask employees how they feel about current messaging content, frequency, and form. Let them provide their opinions on how the company can improve communications, and take those suggestions seriously.
Organize the data you collect to help you make informed decisions about how and when to share key information.
In the modern business world, transparency is important. Employees expect businesses to keep them in the loop about company strategies and performance, while clients want frequent, honest updates about project status.
While it may be tempting to be selective about the information you share, don’t withhold important details and make sure communications are delivered in a timely manner. Your transparency will earn you respect and establish you as a reputable partner.
Use meetings effectively
Meetings are inevitable. Sometimes the best way to communicate a message or solve a problem is to do it with a face to face (or Zoom) conversation.
However, meetings can also eat up valuable work hours even when they are productive. And, when they aren’t productive, employees and clients begin to feel like their time is being wasted.
Prevent meeting fatigue by using meetings strategically. Before scheduling, ask yourself: Who really needs to be in this meeting? Who may want to be in this meeting but isn’t required? How long should this meeting take, and is it really necessary?
Determine whether or not the purpose of the meeting can be resolved in a different, less time consuming way like via a phone call or email. If not, schedule the meeting at a convenient time for all required parties, and be sure to send invitations well in advance to give attendees the time to plan the meeting into their work schedules.
When you host the meeting, keep it as brief as possible. Start and finish on time, and make sure there is a designated meeting host who can effectively moderate the conversation. Take detailed notes and clearly define and assign any action items before the meeting is over.
Digital solutions for communications-heavy processes like daily reports, time cards, and production tracking help you reduce errors while saving time over pen and paper or individual spreadsheets.
Digital tools that are efficient and easy to use cut back on manual data entry and prevent misunderstandings and misinterpretations. Field crews spend less time recording data, and office teams spend less time organizing it.
You can share more frequent, detailed updates with customers and internal stakeholders, keeping projects on time and on budget.
Utilize integrated solutions
Any digital tools you implement should have robust software integration capabilities, which take the responsibility of manual communications off your staff.
When software solutions integrate, they share data automatically so you don’t need to duplicate efforts. For example, when your digital time card solution integrates with your accounting software, any information field crews enter into their time cards is automatically shared with the accounting solution. The payroll team doesn’t need to interpret handwritten entries or manually enter any data, and they can more easily process payroll with less errors.
Raken helps construction companies communicate
Raken is a comprehensive construction management app for daily reporting, production tracking, time tracking, and more. Our solutions integrate with the most popular software for cloud storage, project management, accounting, webcam monitoring, and more.
Whether through our messaging feature or seamless cloud-based data sharing, Raken helps construction companies better connect on and off the field. Easily capture high quality data and share it with one click or tap for instant project insights.