Communication on the job site for any contractor plays a very important part in creating the right appeal and impression for clients. Although most people by virtue of their experience in their field have developed decent speaking skills, it’s still very important to learn new ways of communication that can facilitate effective coordination on projects and improve relations with clients.
As a contractor, there’s a lot you need to keep in your mind during the duration of a given project. Since there’s so much happening on a site, it’s very important to establish a clear communication strategy with the entire team.
Why is Communication Important?
Before taking a look at some of the tips you can explore to improve communication on the job, it’s very important to get a clear picture of the role that communication plays in every project.
To start with, effective communication makes coordination easier. In a situation where you have many employees each doing a specific task, speaking directly will help to make everyone’s job more clear. Communication is critical in managing both employees and resources on the site too. It can also be a tool to motivate employees and an important strategy to understand the needs of everyone. This will optimize performance, enhance productivity, and most importantly, maximize profit.
Keys to Effective Communication on the Job
So, what are some of the tips you can use as a contractor to better your communication strategy at the site?
Work on Your Listening Skills
The first thing about communication is actually listening. Great listening skills will help you to hear and retain what you’ve heard. It will also give the person you are talking the impression that you are hearing them clearly. It’s hard to communicate better if you don’t take the time to carefully listen to the people you are speaking to.
The great thing is that developing active listening skills is not that hard. So here are some simple tips that can help:
- Avoid any distractions when you are talking or engaging with someone. If the phone rings or a text comes in, just ignore it until the conversation is done.
- Do not interrupt the speaker while they are talking to you unless it’s absolutely necessary. For example, do not ask the speaker too many questions. Do not also repeat what they are saying in your own words. Let them go on speaking and you can ask for any clarification at the end.
- Avoid showing non-verbal signs as you engage with a speaker. Don’t make facial expressions regarding what the speaker is saying.
- Finally, wait until the end of the conversation to provide solutions.
Follow-Ups and Updates
If you have employees working on site and they come to you with something, always make a point of updating them on where you are in finding a solution. Don’t just say you’ll take care of it and then just disappear. Try to give an update to your employees that the issue is being resolved. If employees feel that you don’t make follow-ups on issues they come to you with, they will stop coming.
Make a Habit of Taking Notes
Note-taking is essential in retaining information. If you are keen on developing very strong listening skills you need to get in the habit of taking notes. This will help you to capture practically everything important in a conversation, making it possible to act on it.
Keep Emotions Out of It
It’s very easy to get into an altercation with people at the site. For example, maybe you are trying to communicate something and it’s not received in a manner that you expected. This can be frustrating and sometimes we may even get angry at the people we are engaging with. This should never happen. Always try to keep your emotions in check as you communicate. Maintain some level of respect and decorum and you will easily get the message across.
Here are a few things you can do to diffuse a frustrating situation:
- Step away from everything and avoid the source of your anger
- Take a few deep breaths to keep your emotions in check
- Talk less and listen more. If you really have to talk, don’t yell
- Engage with the employees and see whether you can get at the bottom of the issue
Communication with the Homeowner
Once the job is done, you will need to check in with the homeowner too. Start by providing a summary review of what you have done as part of the project. Make it as simple as possible. Allow some time for the homeowner to raise any questions they have. If you can provide answers immediately go ahead, but if you can’t, tell them you will get back to them.
Communication on the job site can make or break a project. It all depends on how you approach it. The tips above should help you out.