In our last few blogs about the importance of good communication at construction sites, we discussed what effective communication is and how you can improve this for your current and future projects. It is irrelevant if your project is large or small, complex or simple; good communication saves a lot of time and trouble.
This is also a hot subject. The Considerate Constructors’ Scheme in the UK is a clear example on how stakeholder engagement is in the spotlight nowadays. Although communicating with especially the local communities and shops will seem complicated at first, by using the correct technologies, a lot of this can actually be automated.
In this article, we will speak about the role of technology in improving communication in construction and how you can use it to your advantage.
Technology is everywhere
Paying your parking fee by phone, sharing one post on several social media sites at once, placing an order without speaking to anyone; technology is taking over our society. And the public expect modernised and automated systems for speed and ease of use. Your construction site cannot stay behind in this trend.
That is why more and more solutions are offered to construction site managers and stakeholder engagement teams to take their communication efforts to the next level. Even though this might seem like a far from personal way to engage with your local interest groups, it is no less than what they have come to expect. And let’s not forget, face-to-face communication does not have to disappear completely just by introducing innovative technologies to convey your messages.
Less door-to-door, more one-click messages
Using technology will save you time. Many councils and engagement teams still go door-to-door, pushing letters through mailboxes and speaking to residents. With the right technology, you can reach all the relevant locals by sending just one digital message.
Let’s take SitePodium as an example. Get your local communities and businesses to sign up and download the free app on their phone. From the moment they have access to the project pages, they will see a feed and a timeline with all the relevant information you posted so far.
What can you share? Everything worth sharing, like notices for scheduled road closures or landscaping work, but also of milestones reached and achievements made. Maybe you are organising a townhall meeting and you use technology to send out the invitation. Show the users what the end result will look like, to remind them of the bigger picture.
Instead of spending half a day putting letters through doors, you spend half a minute on sending the same message to everyone through an app.
All communication in one place
Another advantage that technology has to offer is that you can bundle all your communication methods into one umbrella programme. Some like to work with instant text messages, others with e-mail communication and others again with social platforms.
Most engagement teams use a combination of programmes for sending out information, notices and invitations. Technology makes it possible to use just one umbrella programme in which you type the message or official letter. You can upload a progress picture and it sends it through to several applications to whomever it concerns. This is similar to uploading a picture in Instagram and immediately sharing it on Facebook and your other social media as well.
Modernisation and automation will save you a lot of time. You can group receivers by their role and send one appropriate message to all relevant parties at once. Shop-owners receive an official e-mail, local residents a less formal notification; it cannot be any simpler.
Townhall meetings including live stream
Townhall meetings have to be face-to-face. This is when you can immediately resolve issues and concerns and communicate your message in person. You do not have to organise townhall meetings regularly, but they do have a huge impact on how the people surrounding your project perceive it. It really helps them develop a positive attitude towards what you are undertaking.
There will always be people who cannot attend at the appointed date and time. For them you can organise a live stream, where they can watch the meeting on their pc or mobile device. They can respond by asking questions through the message section or chat. That way, you give everyone the opportunity to attend.
And if someone still has other engagements, you can send the link of the recording to all who were invited so they can watch it back. Again, this is easily done through SitePodium.
Communication in construction: the advantages of technology
These are just a few examples of how technology can make communication in construction a lot easier. Messages on SitePodium can for example be translated to several other languages, so that those whose native language is not English are just as included. You give them the opportunity to reply in a language they feel comfortable with.
The advantages in technology for enhancing stakeholder engagement and communication in construction are huge:
- You save time by no longer having to always go door-to-door. Instead, you send the messages through one platform to every receiver at once.
- By saving time, you save money.
- You can group all the parties by interest and send them personalised messages in the way you want to communicate with them.
- By using technology, you can reach everyone, even by video link or a recording of a meeting.
- Because residents have become accustomed to the use of apps for communication, they are encouraged to participate and reply back.
- You are able to regularly remind your subscribers of the bigger picture and how they benefit once the construction is finished.
- Include local schools, sports clubs and businesses and you can really make it a community-wide endeavour and achievement.
Technology is the way forward
In one of the projects where SitePodium was used for stakeholder engagement, we registered almost 300 downloads of the app. Of these 300 interested, only 1 person complained that they did not want to put another application on their phone. In fact, people came to fully rely on the app for communication coming from the construction site.
Technology for communication is the way forward in construction and it is expected. People are used to this simple way of getting informed and would maybe even be surprised if this was still only done through printed letters. Not only will you engage the local communities and business owners in a modern and transparent way. Using technology will save you time and expenses, so that stakeholder engagement can be done the way you want it.
Join forces with SitePodium
A simple and easy to use app like SitePodium can revolutionise the way you communicate with and engage all the stakeholders at your construction site. Instead of going door-to-door, you send one update which reaches everyone instantly. The set-up is familiar and user-friendly and will be recognised instantly by your users.
SitePodium has all the information your external stakeholders need to get an idea of what you are doing. Communication in construction has never been so easy. Through our website you can book a demo or download our brochure, free of charge and without obligation, if you want to know more.
We invite you to contact us, so we can show you how we can improve the communication going out of your construction site. We also love to hear about how you engage your stakeholders now and how you envision doing that in the future. SitePodium is happy to be at your service.