Good communication practices are vital on construction sites to help ensure construction projects are successfully completed, that workers are safe, productivity is improved or maintained, and different teams collaborate well together to ensure positive outcomes.
Unfortunately, when there is miscommunication, it can be chaotic and becomes challenging to overcome. Construction projects plagued by communication issues can end up being delayed, over budget, and/or unsafe places to work.
Modern methods of communication on the construction site
How workers communicate on construction projects varies greatly from project to project, site to site, and even team to team. However, in general, these methods of communication are the most widely used on the modern construction site:
- Text messages
- Site meetings
- Phone calls
- Hand signals and signs
- Written notices.
While these forms of communication on the construction site all have a time and place, they aren’t always reliable. Each of these methods relies on both the sender and the recipient of the message to be conscientious about on-site communications. Emails may not be sent in a timely manner, or people may not see them when they need to because they are working and not checking their emails. Site meetings rely on managers being good communicators or that everyone will be present at the meeting. Written notices rely on people stopping to read them, and so on.
How DeskAlerts improves communication in construction projects
DeskAlerts is a versatile internal communication system that cuts through digital “clutter” and sends notifications in an intrusive way to any computer, cell phone, or tablet device.
The messages can be sent to the entire construction project team or to niche audiences, and you can be guaranteed that they will be delivered and seen within minutes.
DeskAlerts messages can be sent using a range of different channels, meaning you can create engaging and eye-catching content. This includes:
- Pop-up notifications - boxes of text that appear on computer screens containing important construction project information. Perfect for those who work in head office or on-site offices, or have access to laptops on site when you need them to know about something quickly.
- Scrolling desktop tickers - a scrolling band of text, similar to what you see on screen during news programs, providing a variety of updates and information on different topics. Good to use when you have lots of different topics to communicate about the construction project. Embed hyperlinks in the ticker headings so that people can be directed to intranet or internet sites for more information.
- Mobile push notifications - notifications that appear on a mobile or tablet screen alerting the user to an important update. Perfect for those who aren’t in front of a computer so you can reach any employee, any time, no matter where they are working - indoors or outdoors.
- Digital signage - turn any screen on your construction project site into a digital bulletin board using text and images to grab attention.
- Surveys, polls, and quizzes - quickly get feedback or test employees’ knowledge and see results in real-time.
These communication functions will help bring together your project team no matter where they are located - whether they are on site or in your head office. Notifications can be scheduled in advance so you know that people will have a timely reminder of when they need to take particular actions to ensure the construction project runs smoothly. You can also create custom audiences so that you can target which employees you send the information to.
How DeskAlerts can help overcome common construction industry communication problems
There are lots of unique challenges when it comes to construction site communication. By taking advantage of the many different features and attributes of the DeskAlerts system, you can easily overcome these.
1. Overcoming local network communication obstacles
Sometimes construction projects may be located in remote and far-flung areas where internet connectivity isn’t reliable. To overcome this issue, DeskAlerts has solutions that are fully hosted locally and are able to operate without external internet connections.
2. Quickly let people know about lockdowns or all-clear
When you need to let people on site know about hazards and emergencies, time is of the essence to ensure that people can be safe. If you need to lock down a site or reopen it, relying on email and telephone alone to let everyone know is time-consuming, while time delays can mean the construction project’s safety is compromised.
The mobile component of DeskAlerts allows you to inform your workers about site closures and lockdowns without needing to call everyone of relying on email alone.
3. Improve productivity when there are outages
When there are outages or other technical issues with systems infrastructure, it can cause your construction project to be delayed and your workers to be inefficient. It’s important when something goes wrong that construction project workers are given accurate and up-to-date information about any outages, status updates, and estimated time frames for system restoration.
Sending emails isn’t reliable as these are easy to miss. And if the email system itself is down, then the emails won’t get through anyway!
DeskAlerts tools such as pop-up notifications, scrolling tickers, and mobile push notifications will let you bypass the email system entirely and deliver messages straight to the computer and mobile screens.
4. Replace unreliable emails
As mentioned above, email isn’t reliable. Not just when communicating about outages, but whenever you have important information to share. People get too many emails every day that they never open and never read. Some corporate emails may end up in spam folders. And other workers who spend little to no time in the office may never even check their emails anyway! Unfortunately, email is still one of the most used methods of communication in construction.
Sending alerts via DeskAlerts can overcome this and also reduce the number of emails your employees receive.
5. Improve compliance
The construction industry is heavily regulated in many jurisdictions around the world. It’s important that projects comply with a range of rules, regulations, and legislation. And these rules can, and do, change a lot, which can affect your construction project. Failure to comply can result in penalties and legal costs.
There are also internal policies that need to be complied with, such as workplace health and safety, appropriate use of company property, leave, etc.
Whenever you have compliance-related information to send people, doing it with DeskAlerts will guarantee that your employees have seen the message. Not only that, but the metrics you receive will show you who has seen it and when they saw it so you can use this information later to prove an employee did know about something critical.
6. Improving health and safety
Construction sites are dangerous places. Workplace health and safety is extremely important in the construction industry, with a range of different hazards that could affect workers at any given time.
With DeskAlerts you can quickly send reminders about different health and safety issues to your on-site employees. You can even send video alerts demonstrating the correct way to do something. And if there is a new hazard that has been identified on-site, you can tell everyone involved with the construction project about it within seconds.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, DeskAlerts is proving extremely useful in construction projects to let people know if there has been a confirmed COVID case on-site to keep other team members safe and for different workplace health promotion activities.
7. Improve the communications of your leadership team
In many organizations, employees believe that leaders aren’t visible and don’t communicate well. For construction companies this might be because of the distance between corporate headquarters and where the work site is located - the leadership team may be very infrequently on site at all.
You can improve your leadership team’s visibility by sending video alerts to all staff involved with the construction project via pop-ups or mobile push notifications.
8. Send to custom audiences
When you send information to everyone, it isn’t always going to be relevant. Unfortunately, this can dilute your communications’ overall effectiveness, regardless of which channel you are using, because people will become annoyed with irrelevant information and will naturally begin to tune it out. Remember that targeted internal communication message is always more powerful and effective.
DeskAlerts will sync with your staff Active Directory to allow you to send targeted messages to different groups of users, meaning that you can send information about specific issues only to those who need to know about it. There’s no need to create and maintain new lists, it works seamlessly with your existing systems.
DeskAlerts will transform the way your team connects and help you achieve greater efficiency, productivity, and cohesiveness. Get in touch with our internal communication experts today for a free demo showcasing how our system can work to improve your construction site communication.