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Communication skillsMarch 2007

Communication between project managers and the site workforce needs to be a two-way process. Without feedback, contractors won't know that their concerns have been acted upon, explains Sarah Cudmore.

If someone ignores you, you quickly stop making the effort to talk to them. The same is true of workforce suggestion schemes: if there is no apparent response, people stop using them.

Near Enfield, a new printing works for News International is taking shape. Like most large sites, the project uses a worker suggestion scheme for improving site safety.

However, workers reported that there was no apparent action from the management team in response to repeated reporting of safety issues relating to traffic and pedestrian separation on the site. As a result, the workers no longer had confidence in the process.

BSRIA supported the site team in increasing the visibility of their responses to workers' suggestions, placing feedback boards around the site, telling individuals what was being done as a result of their suggestions, and publicly awarding monthly prizes for the best suggestions.

The lesson learnt is that a management team must be seen to react to suggestions made by its workforce. This will maintain vital lines of communication about site improvements.

For more information contact Construction Improvement at BSRIA:

Tel: +44 (0) 1344 465600
or Email Construction Improvement

Construction compliance

Stress-free compliance with Building Regulations, including airtightness, sound insultation and ventilation