January 5

Jobsite Communication Tips That Slash Mistakes and Rework

You’ve got a jobsite, materials, tools, and workers. What’s the one thing that can still keep you from getting the job done on time and on budget? Poor jobsite communication.

Poor communication will cost you lost working hours, rework to fix mistakes, and delays, according to PlanGrid/FMI research (see the whole article here):

  • Workers lose almost 2 full working days a week dealing with conflict, finding project information as it changes, and managing mistakes that result in rework.
  • Almost half of all rework is due to poor communication and poor project data.

Run those numbers for a quick second…how much are these issues costing your company on a regular basis?

You can save time and money with better jobsite communication.

Jobsite Communication Tips

Keep Project Data in One Accessible Spot

No one should have to spend hours every week hunting down information they need to do their job. It’s easy to see how it happens—with all of the people involved in any given job communication through texts, emails, phone calls, and notes, job specifics can get lost in a heartbeat.

Good communication requires that everyone has all the information they need, and can find updates quickly. If materials will be late, schedules have to be changed—or a crew will be standing around waiting. If a change order has been approved, you don’t want workers installing something that will have to be torn out. If site conditions require a new approach, engineers and supervisors need to know quickly. You get the idea.

Make sure all project updates are posted in one central spot, as soon as they happen. Whether that’s a bulletin board or project collaboration software is up to you, but the central location where everyone can find it is critical.

Add Photos and Videos to Your Project Documentation

To clarify and speed up communication on any project, add photos and videos to your jobsite documentation. Photos and videos clear up any confusion and provide clear records of what’s happening for everyone—contractors, supervisors, engineers, owners and investors. They’re faster to produce than RFIs or reports, and they can sometimes replace them. In other cases, they can supplement that information and clarify what’s going on.

Be an Active Listener

This is a great tip from ConstructConnect:  Practice active listening. What does that mean?

  • When you’re listening to someone, focus on what they’re saying. Save your comments and questions until the end. Rephrase what you think they’ve told you to make sure you understand.
  • In meetings, ask for feedback. Make it easy and OK for people attending to ask questions right then instead of waiting until later to text you about it.

It takes effort to be an active listener. You’ll have to slow down for a minute in order to have that good communication. But the problems, headaches, and mistakes you’ll avoid later will be worth it.

Be Clear and Concise When You Talk, Text, or Email

Some good communication practices are good in every workplace situation (construction or not), and this is one of them. Make the effort to be clear and concise, especially when:

  • Giving instructions – Don’t muddy the instructions with side bits that don’t matter for the job. So, no stories about how it went wrong last time, or what’s next if this or that mistake happens, or lists of what not to do. Stick to saying what you want to happen. It’s easier to remember and follow.
  • Running meetings – No one wants to sit in endless meetings, and attention wanders after a few minutes. Stick to the focus of the meeting. Talk about your goal, talk about what has to happen to meet that goal, ask what questions they have, and summarize the action plan before they leave.

Follow Up

Good communication almost always requires some kind of follow up. You need to know that the task you asked for was completed. Did they run into problems? Do they have any questions to be answered before they finish? If they asked you for something, let them know that you got it done.

When things are done well, make sure to offer positive feedback. This one small gesture improves workplace culture considerably. Everyone likes to be appreciated for the work they do.

Following up and offering positive feedback encourages better communication across the jobsite. It fosters a culture where people feel they can speak up before small issues become big problems. And good jobsites attract good workers.

If you’re ready to improve your jobsite communication, learn more about how IntelliSpeX delivers simple, effective solutions. Watch this short video demonstration.

 

 


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