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  • Writer's pictureJohn Macedo

Have construction communication problems? You should READ THIS.

Updated: May 27, 2022

Maybe you're not speaking the common language. As Construction workers - Supervisors or Labourers - we always find ourselves in a situation that requires describing tasks to each other. However, communicating well can sometimes be a problem which is why we have written some tips to guide you.

▶️We've noticed along the years dealing with Project Managers, Construction Foremen, and Labourers that multiple construction communication problems happen while information is sent down the ranks. Sometimes the parts simply don't understand each other.

▶️ In this article we will explore the nature of this problem and how to solve it by meeting everyone where they're at, language-wise.

Many communication problems can be avoided by following the first step of real time communication channels in a successful project, which is to ensure that everyone involved is aware of the communication channels that will be used during the project.

✅By doing this, team members will know how to contact each other and will be less likely to miss important communication. In addition, everyone will be able to use the same communication channels, which will make it easier to keep track of conversations and discussions.

✅By taking this first step, you can avoid many communication problems and set your project up for success.

How effective communication on a job site will improve project management

✳️Good project management is the first place that is all about effective communication. If you can't communicate effectively with your team, you won't be able to manage your project effectively. That's why it's so important to make sure that communication is a top priority on your job site. There are a few ways to do this:

  • First, make sure that everyone on the job site knows who the project manager is and how to get in touch with him/her. The project manager should be the go-to person for any questions or concerns about the project.

  • Second, establish clear channels of communication between the project manager and the rest of the team. This could include daily check-ins, regular updates, and dedicated time for questions and discussion.

  • Finally, encourage open communication among all members of the team. Encourage people to speak up if they have ideas or concerns, and make sure that everyone feels like their voice is being heard.

If you can improve communication within your project team, you'll see a big improvement in project management. So make it a priority, and you'll be on your way to success.

At this point, I would like you to imagine that you’re a mechanical engineer who delivers the plans to a team of welders in a factory.

​👉🏻Imagine they all read it but have an issue understanding what you have presented.

You can see that isn’t a situation you would like to find yourself in.

​👈🏻You may try to simplify the plan by showing different angles to help them understand better. But eventually, you will get a response like “please can you come up and show us where the welds go”.

This can be annoying!

⬅️But remember: When workers understand your instruction or ideas, it sticks with them. And not every worker has the same language/knowledge arsenal so you have to always communicate in a way your workers understand, regardless if that means the spoken language, gestures, or showing them what to do.

⬅️The same applies when speaking with people in the same rank or even above: Use the words, expressions, and vocabulary that is coherent with the receiving part level.

⬅️This simple trick, which sometimes is even done unconsciously, results in a change of behavior that can benefit your work and the company.

Our suggestion is: to make it conscious and take it to the next level.


In our example above you will realize:

  • The drawing you presented becomes the language you speak.

  • You understand the drawings, but your team doesn’t.

  • Due to a lack of a common language, you will have to explain everything or the project will fail.

  • In the end, you can see that poor communication only leads to more work.

➡️Your workers need to be able to read the plans easily. If your workers can’t read your plans (not even the simplified ones), consider teaching them.

To do this, you will need to allocate time, prepare printed materials, and let them take notes and ask questions

Even though we've used an example that involves complex plans, this problem can happen every day - in different scenario and different proportions. I am sure you can think of situations this is happening in your own company.


In a situation where you're not confident about how your message is being received, ask the listener to explain BACK what was said, using their words. This will allow them to express their idea and you will be able to double-check their understanding of the matter.


  • Improving team building: Good communication creates better teams. By speaking in a way that everyone understands, workers feel more comfortable working with you.

  • It increases innovation: when there is a clear communication path, you and your workers can discuss and come up with brilliant ideas. By discussing with workers, you allow room for innovative ideas to appear.

  • It improves productivity: with good communication, you can understand your workers better. You can appropriately delegate tasks to workers because they fully understand you and you understand their skills and talents.

⚠️ If instructions aren’t passed properly, mistakes will occur and will destroy your short-term results. On the other hand, with good written communication in the long term, there will be way less need to clarify correct issues.

This creates the need to avoid bad communication between the supervisor and the workers. As different minds contribute to making the job great, there need to be flows of information to enable everyone to work in sync.

⚠️The application of high standards to workplace culture is crucial for project success

A company's work environment plays an integral role in how productive it will be. If employees do not have positive relationships with their co-workers, it can make the production process much more difficult because there won't ever seem like enough time spent getting things done!

The key here lies within maintaining good communication skills which allow people from various departments to come together as one unit working towards bringing your vision into reality - this has been shown by past studies conducted on military bases around America where soldiers reported feeling better about themselves when surrounded by other males who appreciated being treated fairly (source).

Proper construction communication is essential for maintaining high standards of workplace culture and ensuring project success. By clearly communicating expectations and deadlines, construction companies can help to ensure that all workers are on the same page and working towards the same goal. Furthermore, effective construction communication can help to prevent misunderstandings and errors that can lead to construction delays and cost overruns.

To ensure proper construction communication, construction companies should make use of construction management software that includes features such as task tracking, project scheduling, and document management. With the help of these tools, construction managers can more effectively plan and coordinate construction projects, leading to better overall results.

​5 steps to overcome communication problems on a construction site

Construction sites are notorious for communication problems. With so many people working on different tasks at different times, it can be difficult to ensure that everyone is on the same page. However, effective communication is essential to the success of any construction project. Here are five steps that you can take to overcome communication problems on a construction site:

  1. Be an active listener. When someone is speaking to you, give them your full attention and try to understand their point of view in a timely manner.

  2. Make eye contact. This will help to ensure that both you and the other person are fully engaged in the conversation, one way or another.

  3. Repeat back what you have heard. This will help to confirm that you have understood the other person and avoid miscommunication.

  4. Clarify any points that you are unsure about. If there is anything that you do not understand, do not hesitate to ask for clarification.

  5. Follow up with written instructions. In addition to verbal communication, make sure to follow up with written instructions so that everyone is clear on what needs to be done.

By following these steps, you can help to overcome communication problems on a construction site and ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Explore the curse of Knowledge and how it impacts your Labour productivity and your overall profit.


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