Construction is the backbone of the American economy employing six million people building over a trillion dollars worth of construction every year. But with so many different people necessary for one job, how does anything get done?
Team collaboration is key to any construction project, but the longer a project goes on, the more important it becomes for you to build strong working relationships between your workers.
Poor collaboration can lead to wasted time, sunk costs, errors, and the need to redo work. Your coordination efforts need to go beyond organizing tasks between people and creating a checklist. You need to create a workplace of trust and respect to ensure a smooth construction process.
But achieving this kind of collaboration isn’t simple. Read on for tips to help you get started.
1. Break Out the Apps
There are a lot of different apps out there that can help you keep track of documents and time sheets. But for some reason, many companies still use paper solutions. To streamline your processes, your workers need real-time data, the kind that only comes from an app.
Improve Task Coordination
Apps can be used to coordinate schedules between various employees and to notify one another of changes they need to have made. This helps to prevent miscommunication that can hold up the construction process.
Implement Emergency Responses Quickly
A construction site is a dangerous place. But with the right apps, your workers will be able to quickly spread the word if a problem arises. That allows you to quickly get situations under control before they become a major problem.
Streamline Your Checklists
If you use apps or software to build your checklists, then everyone can collaborate and edit them in real time. That allows you to easily see that everything is getting done.
2. Bring Key Players in Early On
Collaboration efforts should be made from the moment you start planning a project. Make sure the major players are all in on the decision making process including contractors, architects, engineers, owners, and subcontractors.
By getting everyone together early, you will be able to iron out many of the details of your project and come up with a plan for how to handle any issues that arise.
3. Find Strong Leaders
In order for your collaboration efforts to be fruitful, you need to identify strong leaders in your team. These should be people who know how to drive a project to completion and get people to work together.
4. Create Open Lines of Communication
In order to have a good work environment, you need to form open lines of communication between the different layers of your organization. Everyone should feel like their opinion is respected and that they are an integral part of the team.
This will ensure information travels both ways and details aren’t kept from management that could derail a project.
Make Everyone Feel Like They’re Appreciated
In order for your relationships to be fruitful, you have to give and take. Make sure you make your employees feel like their efforts are appreciated. Goodwill starts at the top and is passed down the line.
5. Encourage Relationship Building
A construction site can be a pretty lonely place if you aren’t careful. Projects are often split up individually with one person working on each task. This doesn’t allow for a lot of interaction between co-workers. Try these suggestions to build stronger relationships with your employees.
Socialize Outside of Work
Socializing outside of work is more common in the white-collar industries than in construction, but it shouldn’t be. Happy hours and company-wide parties are a great way to build goodwill with your employees and create strong bonds that will fuel your project through its completion and beyond.
Team Building Games
Team building games are also a fun way to get everyone working together, especially if you don’t have the budget for a group social outing. Consider putting together a pickup game of kickball or softball. Your team will love getting a break from their work and blowing off a little steam with their coworkers.
6. Think Long-Term
Construction projects can go on for years, and if a team works well together, they may choose to work together for their entire careers. That means that the relationships you are trying to build need to be created with a long-term mentality.
Make sure the men you hire think like farmers and not cowboys. What we mean by this is don’t hire people who are in the construction field for short-term gains. Instead, work with people who want to lay the groundwork for future successful projects with their every move.
7. Use Your Data
We live in a world where we create more and more usable data every day. In the construction industry, that information can be used to make your communications easier so that your projects can function more smoothly.
Data can be used to track the completion of various parts of a project. That way, each part of the team knows how far along the others are and can use that information to make decisions about their own work.
Data can also be used to improve your collaboration efforts by managing inefficiencies in your projects. A streamlined touchpoint helps you easily see who is doing what so you don’t duplicate efforts.
Find out more about how to put your data to work.
Where to Find Team Collaboration Assistance
Now that you know what it takes to improve your team collaboration, your next construction project should run smoothly.