Why Construction Managers Need To Build Relationships To Build Projects
As a recent graduate from a construction management master’s program, my professors taught me that a good construction manager only needs to focus on four things: schedule, safety, budget, and quality. If one is more important than the rest, the others will suffer. For instance, if you’re cutting cost and taking short cuts to help improve your budget the quality of the project will deteriorate. If you want to expedite the project to have a quicker turnover, the safety of your workers will be impacted and vice versa.
Through the two years that I have worked at Tocci, I have come to realize that, yes, my professors were correct about schedule, safety, quality, and budget theory. What they didn’t teach, but should have taught us, was the brilliance of forming a good relationship both on-site and in the office. It is key to making the job both more enjoyable and a smoother process. We’ve all heard the saying, “there is no I in team” but by working with people the efficiency of getting your tasks done will improve tremendously.
In order to develop good relationships a great manager needs to be a skilled communicator. Without this skill, group tasks will become difficult and labor intensive. The ability to deliver intricate and complicated project details or directions that everyone can understand and follow improves the efficiency and effectiveness of the team. As a project moves along, the entire effort could become derailed if the manager lacks communication skills.
An additional benefit of developing positive relationships is getting to know people on a more personal level. Managers and projects benefit when each team members strengths, weakness, and personal interests are known. At Tocci, we recently had a project laborer move to the IT department because he felt he could speak openly and comfortably with his manager discussing his interests in IT. He is still involved in projects on site setting up technical needs for projects to run smoothly, but he works in a different capacity. This type of smooth transition is a result of a manager being open to listening to his team and the team feeling they can discuss their interests openly.
The benefits of good relationship are:
- When you have a request, you receive answers back faster
- Larger support system and a more effective team resulting in greater efficiency
- Ability to work through issues when things aren’t going according to plan, mitigating potentially heated arguments
- Improved morale
- Higher quality end products