Construction Business Miscommunication

construction communication

There is a big market for articles, studies, and how-tos about communication in the construction business. The reason is obvious: miscommunication is extremely costly to our industry. Fifty-two percent of construction business rework is caused by miscommunication. In 2018, that cost our industry $31.3 billion.

We’ve all felt the pain of miscommunication in the field and know that it’s led to rework, lost productivity, and coordination stress.Core

Statistics: Construction Business Issues in Communication

More than 30% of construction business professionals say the breakdown is not the failure to communicate but a failure to respond to communications.

What you need to know:

  • 22% – Emails read-rate
  • 82% – Text messages read within five minutes
  • 98% – SMS messages read-rate

Sending texts and SMS messages increases the likelihood your communication will be read. But what can you do to minimize the lack of response?

Ask for feedback, says Procore, and follow-up when your messages and other forms of communication are ignored. You may want to consider adding a “Please respond by…” to all texts and emails.

Onsite Meeting Information Processing Problems

As a contractor, watch for signs your workers are actually processing the information during onsite meetings. Lack of eye connection is the biggest giveaway. They “connect” with you at the beginning and the end of the meeting but disengage during the information-sharing portion. Project communication problems leading to reworks can be reduced if you know what to look for.

Here are six reasons why workers aren’t paying attention during onsite meetings:

  1. There is a personal problem.
  2. They are confused but don’t want to ask questions.
  3. They are preoccupied with pressure to quickly complete a task.
  4. They aren’t comfortable speaking about jobsite issues in front of others.
  5. They can’t hear over the jobsite background noise and are embarrassed to admit it.
  6. You don’t give them a chance to ask questions.

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7 Tips for Construction Industry Communication

Construction Industry Communication

If 2020 has taught the construction industry anything, it’s to work faster, smarter, and more economically. What’s costing the most time and money is our inability to communicate effectively.

“The art of communication is the language of leadership,” said James Humes. This is a serious business and it’s time we pay attention to what the experts are telling us: The construction industry loses billions of dollars every year to situations that could have been prevented or more quickly resolved with better communication.

The Construction Industry: People and Communications

Poor communication…poor project data account for…$31.3 billion per year in avoidable construction costs. -Dottie McCallen, Communications Manager

Even a small project involves dozens of employees: front office, bookkeeping, onsite management and personnel, property owners, etc. Here are communication tips that can keep the construction industry working when others are failing:

  1. Be specific – “We’ll be cutting the power sometime in October” is a formula for failure. Instead: “We’ll be cutting the power the morning of October 25 to Buildings 1, 2, and 3.” Don’t ask someone to “handle the paperwork.” Tell someone to please submit the paperwork by end of day on September 25.
  2. Cut to the chase – You know what you need, but what do they need? If you can accomplish what everyone needs with a quick phone call, that’s your best communication route.
  3. Don’t assume everyone knows – If you must make assumptions, assume nobody knows anything and communicate simply.
  4. Focus – Before your meeting, phone call, or email, focus. What’s the one thing you need them to know? Use your focal point at the beginning and end of the communication.
  5. More is better – Over-communicate. You may assume someone has no direct input into the project, but anyone, at every level, can have ideas; they can spot mistakes. The more you communicate, the more knowledge you cultivate.
  6. Respond – The quickest way to show disrespect or lack of concern is to ignore communication.
  7. Say what you mean – Honest communication gets you listened to and heard by every audience.

What do you need? Every week we collect construction industry data that drives business development. Communicate with Construction Monitor. We’ve got construction industry analytics that can help you cultivate leads.