Building effective construction teams is necessary in complex construction projects. Trust and communication are critical in a likely dangerous environment where performance, productivity and quality are expected. As a result, effective teamwork is required to meet crucial deadlines and lower risk on construction site.
Many different groups are included in an industrial construction project which includes engineers, craft workers, architects, management and various contractors. All the teams should try to share the single vision of completing the task effectively, efficiently and safely on or before the deadline. Goal is to align the interests of all these groups and team building is the best way to get everyone invested in the outcome of the project.
Here are five tips to strengthen teamwork and promote team building both on and off site.
- Communication. Effective teams communicate well. Team members should feel free to share their opinions and thoughts within the group. Decision making should include a strong communication for free exchange of information and data vital to the project. Although, open communication is more that member talking freely, it’s also about members listening each other and respecting each other’s opinion.
- Trust building. Trust is another foundation of team building. Construction projects innately involve risk, hence it’s most important that team members have trust in each other’s abilities and skills. Trust needs to be built to that point that every team member believes that all team members are doing their part in ensuring the safety of each other. This trust includes continual training where the craft workers are informed the ways to do their job safely for themselves and for others within proximity.
- Set clear goals. Without clearly expressed goals, a team loses its effectiveness. Specific goals with set deadlines should be there, along with an idea of what must be done next. Goals do not always come from the team leader. Engage the team members in forming out the goals so they also understand the timeliness of completing the goals.
- Review progress regularly. When goals are set, and the team starts working on it they should be reviewed regularly and benchmark progress against goals. As new information can affect completion progress, it is important to review weekly and provide solutions to any obstacles that may have arisen. Every project is different, so the review time should also be different depending upon the phase or timing of the project, complexity of the project, and many other factors.
- Focus on risk management. Industrial construction project by their very nature have high degree of risk, hence from the beginning team members need to understand the risk so they can be managed and mitigated. Teams should be aware about the risk and they should try to minimize them.
The bottom line is open communication is the essential element for team building. Your team needs to work as a singular unit and must be completely connected, share information among themselves and trust each other to achieve the pre decided goals. From leadership perspective, you should clearly establish each team member’s responsibilities and make sure each team member understands their role in the team. Effective team building would increase productivity and lower risk.