Harness The Power of Shared Experiences
Written By Steve King
Jobs in construction are specialized: metal fabricators, detailers, electrical engineers and installers each have their own set of skills that help them do their jobs well. But a key part of efficiency is the ability to communicate with other team members quickly and effectively.

How do you get your team to speak the same language?

To get them talking, give them a shared experience to discuss. Along with “Take Your Kid to Work” day, host a “Bring an Architect to the Prefab Shop” day or a “Show a Skilled Tradesman How eVolve Creates Models” day. It doesn’t need to be an all-day event and you don’t need to bring everyone in on one day, but the benefits of such learning sessions will percolate through your company.

When people see how different disciplines work, that knowledge allows them to better integrate their skills with their teammates’ jobs. For example, if a tradesman in a pre-fab shop understands why a detailer includes specific information on a plan, he’ll likely pay more attention to those data in the future.

Similarly, having an engineer recognize the capability of new equipment available in the field– based on a review from a construction foreman or machine operator–allows them to better appreciate and plan for the capabilities of those skills in the field.

Having periodic, planned short sessions where you introduce the various project components will aid in cross pollination of ideas. For instance, a fabrication shop may bring in an architect to learn how her drawings are realized into parts. An electrician spending time with a pre-fab shop can explain how the kitting on a previous project was good, but not great. It’s these shared experiences that lead to improvements.

To plan and execute ideas better, foster communication and understanding about the conditions, environment, potential and impossibilities on a project–from technical skills to scheduling to purchasing.

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