3 construction communication failures – and how to avoid them

A team member snaps at an upset client. A subcontractor wastes a day searching for job details in dozens of texts and emails. A customer vents on social media their frustration from not being able to get ahold of their builder.

Sounds like a dream workday, right? Hardly.

The sad thing is this type of day is all too typical in the world of residential construction and remodeling. The culprit behind all these pain points? Dastardly, villainous communication failures.

So, what makes these failures so dastardly? A construction job can be going swimmingly, but without proper processes in place, there’s Communication Failure underneath the surface ready to strike.

Duun dun … duuuunnnn duun … Duuuuunnnn dun dun dun dun dunnnnn!!!

Yeah, Communication Failure is a lot like Jaws. It’s ready to take a bite out of all your successful jobs, leading to losses in quality, safety, the budget, timetable and more.

Unlike a freakishly huge shark, you can’t just avoid communication by not going to the beach. Nope, we’ve got to grab it by the gills and stare the monster straight in the face.

Here’s the top three construction communication failures and what you can do to stop them before they swallow you whole.

(Spoiler: A bigger boat isn’t going to help this time.)

Feedback fiascos

We’ve all met one: The boss who gives out tasks like they’re Oprah with a lot full of free cars … but then they immediately bolt. You’ve got questions? Well, this boss doesn’t have answers – or at least the time to be bothered by them.

According to statistics, more than half of employees report not being given clear directions and over two-thirds of managers aren’t comfortable communicating with reports in general. If communication at your company has broken to this point, feedback is needed to identify it and fix it.

After all, defining responsibilities and assigning to-dos’s are integral for keeping your team – and jobs – on track. They need to see the big picture and the fine details all at once. As the builder, it’s your job to communicate this.

You don’t want to be the type of contractor who’s just in a hurry to complete a task. Make yourself available to answer questions and encourage an environment where feedback and follow-up are not only encouraged but celebrated.

A good idea is a good idea – no matter who it came from.

Trust? What’s that

More than most industries, trust is needed in construction. You want to trust the dude rolling around in a bulldozer just an arm’s-length away, right?

We thought so. But trust for safety’s sake is just the beginning. In any industry – residential construction included – trust is needed to allow for open communication.

If team members bring up a concern, a surefire way to build trust and continue to encourage communication is by solving the problem. Ignore it, and your employees may begin to ignore you.

Another great way to establish trust is by laying out clear lines of communication and opening up visibility in any job. Software for building construction can do both. Moving dialogue to platforms like this makes it clear who said what, and more info than ever can be shared with the capability to add pictures, files and videos.

Trust issues? Not on your team.

Experiencing some technical difficulties

Whether it’s some technical difficulties or a lot of technical difficulties, your team’s communication may be flawed just from the systems your using alone.

Think of all the ways we communicate digitally now: email, voicemail, texting, social media and more. Nobody has time to sift through all of these when looking for the info they need on the jobsite.

Even worse, all of these methods allow for mostly private chats to pop up here, there, everywhere. These silos discourage collaboration and keep key project details locked away in the minds of a few.

The solution to these tech troubles? More tech … but this time it’s brilliant tech! We’re talking the kind created just with builders and remodelers in mind. Construction project management software streamlines everything and comes loaded with features that make communication easy breezy.

Update your team in real-time, send messages, give them access to job-pertinent files, allow for comments, make revisions, assign to-do’s, create schedules – all in one place.

A smart solution for smart communication

Like Jaws to beachgoers, communication can be a real bully to your jobs. If you do it wrong that is.

But you don’t have time for any (or more) epic fails. It’s time for epic wins. Start by scheduling a demo with us now.

Chews* Buildertrend and choose to win.

*(shark pun intended)