Tips for the Best Methods to Communicate with Subcontractors in Construction

Communication can be one of the most difficult parts of the Construction Industry. The industry has become dependent up on E-mails, Text Messages, Project Management Systems, Skype, Slack and the list goes on. These communication tools have all been created to make our day-to-day working environment’s easier and more user friendly. However, when you add in the external collaborators, such as Owners and Subcontractors, the methods can become misunderstood, or not accepted in practice at all. How you communicate both internally, and externally plays a pivotal role in keeping your Construction projects on-schedule and on-budget. The following are a fews tips for the best methods to communicate with Subcontractors on your construction project sites.

Planning your Methods of Communication

Having a standardized process of how you will send and receive communication on a construction project is critical. Too often items are missed due to miscommunication, lack of information, and untimely repsonse.  All team members need to know what channel to get their information from.  Having to monitor and manage multiple platforms can be difficult and time consuming.  Using systems such as Safesite for your safety information as in conjunction with housing project data in your Project management system can create a source of truth for team members to rely on.  The key is holding team members responsible for utilizing these methods, and that can be difficult.  Having a communication plan on how details are communicated across a project from the beginning of a project will benefit the whole team in the end.

Access to Information when you need it

Making sure that your entire team, Subcontractors included, has open access to that relevant information can make or break workflows. Providing clear, concise and appropriate information is important to keep the communication flowing. This can also mean alerting them to changes, or updates in a timely manner. The ability to push timely notifications to your team when things change or action is required can greatly enhance your communications.

Technology Agreement

Mobile phones, tablets, and laptops whether iOS, Android or Windows have made all of our lives more mobile, and attempt to reduce the minutia in day to day work.  These devices need to be in the hands of all of your mobile workforce.  Having a mutual understanding that your Subcontractors need to have up-to-date equipment that can leverage the communication plan is an important discussion that needs to happen early in the project.  Having access to these tools, much like a screw gun or hammer will eliminate frustrations and make them a more efficient communicator on the job site.

On-Site Meetings

In our age of ever growing technology we can sometimes forget the importance of face to face conversation to convey our message. The significance of what is being discussed can become distorted or misunderstood through an e-mail or text message. Keeping onsite meetings with Sub’s can be highly beneficial to the success of your project.  We should continue to utilize our communication platform to organize and document these meetings, so they are efficient and have actionable take away’s.  There is no substitute for Face to face communication, it is often the most effective way to convey the importance of your message.

Communication is key to any construction project’s success.  Putting in place a plan and the right tools to facilitate, documents and manage that communication is critical.  If you are interested how Safesite can support your communication plan and help manage safety and compliance on your jobsite reach out to us at Safesite and we can help you develop an improved workflow for your projects.

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