Whether you’re a seasoned manager or a new hire on a construction site, constantly improving your communication skills is essential to your success. Below are some tips for how to improve communication on a construction site that are relevant to everyone’s efficiency.
Speak Up, Don’t Shut Up
A generally wise rule of thumb is that it’s better to speak up than shut up. Whenever something appears wrong, speak up about it. If it can be fixed easily, it’s better to get it done before a real problem arises. If a coworker is acting against code or suspiciously, approach them about it first if it’s safe to. If the coworker refuses to address or fix the issue, then it’s time to talk to a superior about it.
Improve Your Speaking Skills
Talking over the radio can muddle your speech enough as it is. Work on speaking clearly and concisely whenever you can. It may seem like a small effort, but communicating can mean all the difference in avoiding an unfortunate construction disaster on a job with no room for failure. Any misspeaking can lead to unforeseen consequences.
Only Talk on Radios When Necessary
Bring your radio with you everywhere and always listen to it, but talk on it only when you absolutely must. Excess chatter on radios can lead to someone else’s real problem being overshadowed. If possible, ask questions of the people physically around you first unless it’s something that everyone may be wondering. If your query can wait until later, wait to ask someone in person.
Clear Up Any Radio Dead Zones
Lapses in communication because of radio range can lead to catastrophic failure or excessive extra effort to get answers. At best, when workers can’t hear back from a supervisor during a critical moment, they will improvise or perform from memory with success. This isn’t always the case, and you can’t count on it always happening! Improve the range of your radios before a dangerous situation occurs. If you’re not in charge, report all regular radio dead zones to your supervisor to find a solution.
Consider Background Noise Before Using the Radio
Sometimes you can’t help but use the two-way radio while using heavy equipment, but for times when you can avoid talking over a loud machine, do it. No one wants to respond to anything when their hearing is plagued by loud background noise. Consider the hearing ability of your coworkers—especially since many of them will be wearing protective hearing gear.
Learn To Trust One Another
Construction can be a dangerous job! Get to know your crew so that you can all begin trusting one another. Having friendly work relationships will improve communication on a construction site, which will improve overall workplace safety. This may involve icebreakers or attending work-sponsored events, so be sure to stay attentive to the work calendar.