There are many employees that must work together in order to complete a construction project from all personnel in the office to everyone in the field. Communication and collaboration are key in order to keep on schedule and within budget. However, many companies may neglect to consistently ensure all departments are working with one another on a constant basis.
Paying invoices is a simple example of a task where an entire company must work together for a small portion of the project. This simple task can turn into a large problem if collaboration isn’t happening. An invoice may come in from many ways, from the project manager, to accounting, or to job superintendents. It must receive approval from the field personnel to ensure the work was completed and is satisfactory and by the office for consistency with the contracted amount and amounts previously paid. It is usually applied against a purchase order, which is generated by the construction management department when the contract was created. If unorganized, purchase orders may not get issued and supervisors may approve invoices that should not have been approved without the purchase order. Invoices may also get lost when moving from one department from the next. Problems can include change orders and schedule changes being approved in one department without the others knowing. All aspects of the project must be communicated throughout the company in order to have an efficient and smooth workflow.
A common mistake that companies make is allowing departments to assume that they are the most important department within the company. Although all employees want to believe that their job is the most important, the company would not be able to run without every department. This must be communicated throughout the company. Lack of unity is a common problem within many businesses, not just construction. If departments become disconnected in this way, communication also becomes unintentionally disconnected. Departments may believe that since they know a change has happened, all aspects of that change has been handled. Without fully understanding the purpose and importance of other departments and processes, employees may not share information with employees that need it.
Efficient companies strive to keep communication continuous, making sure all departments keep in constant contact with one another, even if this includes sharing a break room. If departments become too separated, employees will start to lose the connection they have with their coworkers, communication breaks down and employees become frustrated. This also includes making sure contact with superintendents is continued, which can be challenging as they may rarely be in the office. Another way to make sure all departments work diligently to communicate with each other is to establish the pride of the entire company. If employees feel proud to work for a company, not just their department, they are more inclined to make sure projects go as smoothly as possible. Once employees understand that their work helps create the company’s achievements, not just their department, they may be more united and may consistently work together for the success of the company.
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