9 Ways to Enable Effective Team Communication and Collaboration in Construction Industry
Communication and collaboration between team members are essential for the success of any construction project. However, sometimes it’s hard to get everybody on the same page, which can lead to a toxic work environment and low productivity of employees. Therefore, it’s important to develop teamwork in your construction company and improve it as much as possible. In this article, you will find 9 tips that will help you do just that.
9 Tips to Develop and Improve Teamwork in Your Construction Firm
1. Define Roles and Objectives
After you start working on a construction project, it’s important to let every team member know what’s expected of them. Otherwise, some members will take too many responsibilities while others will do as little as possible, which can discourage teamwork. Therefore, if you want to enable effective communication and collaboration, make sure to define the roles and objectives your employees should assume.
2. Make Meetings More Engaging
If a team leader fails to manage meetings properly, they can quickly become a one-person talking shop. Namely, more intrusive members would launch into long-winded monologues and the introverts would remain silent. Therefore, it’s essential to make the meetings more engaging for everyone, as that’s the only way to make them productive and garner positive relations between your employees. Our advice is to ask every member for their thoughts and suggestions while limiting the talking time to prevent time-consuming speeches.
3. Introduce Team-Building Activities
In recent years, team-building activities have become a staple at most construction companies. Furthermore, as one University of Bath research suggests, team-building exercises can foster both teamwork and team performance. Therefore, you should introduce them to your construction firm as soon as possible. The best thing about these activities is that they don’t have to be complex and costly, something as simple as a company retreat should do the trick.
4. Switch to AutoCAD or AutoCAD Architecture
Thanks to recent developments in 3D modeling software, architects, engineers, and constructors were able to say goodbye to manual drafting. Furthermore, Autodesk’s AutoCAD made their job even easier. With this software, AEC workers are able to work on their project simultaneously wherever they are. Therefore, it allows team members to cooperate on a much higher level and complement each other when needed.
Note that, depending on your wants and needs, you might wish to opt for AutoCAD Architecture. The difference between AutoCAD and AutoCAD Architecture can seem insignificant for some. However, the special edition of this software can save up to 60% of the time compared to the regular version.
5. Embrace Honesty and Transparency
More often than not, team members are reluctant to speak their minds as they fear the reaction of their colleagues or managers. To improve team communication, leaders must embrace honesty and encourage everyone to communicate their ideas. This practice will not only strengthen teamwork but also affect your performance. Namely, you will get a productive think tank that will help you solve problems and improve current practices.
6. Make Sure Nobody Is Left Out
As we’ve already mentioned, several people tend to take up most of the speaking time during the meetings. However, this rule, known as Pareto Distribution, also applies to any construction project, as 20% of your team members will do around 80% of the work. And while you should encourage more dedicated employees to keep up the good work, it’s essential to make sure nobody is left out. Otherwise, the collaboration will turn into a competition, and those left aside will quickly lose motivation to do their job.
7. Try Hot Desking
Hot desking is an office organization system in which workers do not have assigned seats. Instead, they take whatever desk is available when they get to work. And while some authors have suggested that this system might destroy your company, we believe that the opposite is true in construction settings. Namely, hot desking allows a team member to get to know all of their colleagues, and not just their desk neighbor. Therefore, it can fix a fragmented team by enabling broad cooperation.
8. Set up a Video Conference
Working remotely does have its fair share of benefits, but it can be disastrous for teamwork and productivity. Namely, if coworkers aren’t able to communicate with each other regularly, they start feeling isolated and disenfranchised, which decreases their productivity. However, video conferencing allows team members to get in touch with each other and discuss different issues and ideas. So, a video conference can serve as an effective communication tool when your team is working remotely.
9. Give and Receive Constructive Feedback
Although it often feels arbitrary, feedback can significantly improve communication and relations between team members. However, as a leader, you must know how to give constructive feedback as well as how to receive negative comments. Namely, if your criticism is too harsh or if you punish others when they voice their opinions, the team communication will break down.
Furthermore, you must encourage team members to assess each other as well as themselves. This practice will help them improve not only as individuals but also as a team.
Hopefully, these 9 tips will help you enable effective team communication and collaboration in your construction firm. And although some of these suggestions might seem difficult and time-consuming, they will show results in no time. Your team will become more unified, and in turn, more efficient. Furthermore, their positive energy and good results will draw customers to your company.
About the author: Daniel Drohan is the Account Executive for the New England market for Microsol Resources. He supports architecture, engineering, and construction firms that focus on the latest solutions to help improve collaboration, data collection and maximize ROI for any project. Dan has a BS in Marketing and a Minor in Sustainability from UMass Dartmouth. He lives in the Boston area with his wife, two boys where they enjoy sports and the outdoors.