Communication is the most important tool on site. Use it well, and it makes work easier, reduces problems and engages people across the business. Alternatively, poor communication can allow errors to creep in, and for staff to disengage and look elsewhere. In a time of labour shortages, problems with communication can have dire effects on your business.
Construction management software helps to close the loop in subcontractor business communication and helps to alleviate the challenges of running a business short on staff.
The importance of effective communication in construction
The talent shortage is hitting businesses everywhere. Those times when your ranks have been thinned are when your business has the greatest need for clear communication.
In an understaffed construction team, people are trying to work multiple roles at once. When people are juggling a long list of tasks all day long, it can be harder to share information in a complete and useful way. The risk of mistakes or omissions increases, and without correct and up-to-date information, projects are at risk of delays or safety issues. No one likes getting it wrong and having to start over, and it’s even more infuriating when it’s just because of missing or wrong information.
The impact on your people
Worst still, the effects of poor communication can be felt hardest on your people.
In an overworked team, it’s common to see the information flow slow down to a trickle. A team under pressure is often running on short fuses – and can be short on nice words for each other too. Company culture and team relationships are built in the bits in between project chat, so poor communication puts at risk the space where you build morale and help people feel part of a team.
Considering that the actual work of one trade business and its competitors is often about the same, it’s a team bond that keeps your best field worker or supervisor working with your company rather than the other guys.
Always, a team that is bonded to each other and the company is more productive, will see a reduced turnover of staff in good times and bad, so will retain vital skills and knowledge within the company for longer.
What is construction management software?
Construction project management software supports the vital flow of information throughout your business, to keep everyone informed and engaged in the work. It’s a single information system that different team members work into, adding information from their area of the work and making it available for the team members who need it.
Subcontractors have a specific set of information that they need to capture and share to get the work done. The best construction project management system is one built with deep understanding of how your team needs to run, and makes it easy to communicate what your people need to know, quickly and easily.
How construction software streamlines communication
Construction management systems include functions to help streamline communication, including these.
- Real time updates – changes to projects happen all the time, and the right construction management system will make it easy to re-organise the schedule and share updates with the supervisors and field workers who are affected. Keeping everyone in the loop keeps the team agile and able to respond to the latest change, without being caught out.
- Document management – Everyone is working from the one system. Centralised, easy to access, and filed in context of the project – no one is hunting through emails or messaging apps looking for site drawings or certificates to get on with the job.
- Task assignment and tracking – supervisors and field workers alike can see in their mobile app the work plan for the day, keeping them efficient and effective on site. Having clear task assignments saves time to get the day started especially when understaffed, plus task tracking to record who has done what on site, to enable follow up or feedback, when needed.
Boosting morale with construction management software
A well designed, easy to use communication system delivered through construction project management software helps a smaller team in a multitude of ways:
- Transparency – the team shares the one information environment, the one company core system. Access to a full set of information increases the sense of trust and unity amongst the team, whatever their role in it may be.
- Team work – everyone on the team can easily locate the project information they need to get on with their job, even if they didn’t create it. This increases the feeling of working as a single unit, even between staff working on different parts of the workflow.
- Ease of use – a user-friendly interface makes the system comfortable for everyone to use, which reduces stress and helps each person to focus on getting their tasks done, rather than the system to manage it.
Construction software can help subcontractor businesses dealing with staff shortages by improving communication and reducing the risks of errors and omissions. Keeping staff up to date also keeps them engaged, and feeling like part of the team – which increases the time they are likely to stay with your business. Construction management software built for subcontractors helps to increase productivity and protects profitability from the ravages of mistakes and losses.
To find out how much your team can benefit from a communication system, even when there are fewer team members to use it, contact Neo Intelligence today for a demonstration.