Why Job Site Communication Fails

Why Job Site Communication Fails
  • Opening Intro -

    Running a construction site or a business warehouse can be a tough job—especially when communication errors happen.

    Failures in communication are easily preventable and are embarrassing when they happen.


Whether your team struggles to communicate with a client on-site or with each other, knowing why job site communication fails can help prevent misunderstandings in the future.

Lack of Communication Training

There need to be proper guidelines for your employees when discussing how to effectively communicate issues, especially over long distances. Have an official tree of communication in writing that each employee can reference when wondering who to contact about an issue.

When employees are not guided with essential communication training, a problem may take longer to solve than it needs to as they may ask the wrong supervisors or even attempt to solve it themselves.

Teach employees how to have walkie talkie etiquette when communicating over a device. Make sure employees know code words that indicate emergency situations.

Make the training a yearly occurrence for all employees and add communication training to new hire orientation.


The simplest mistake in word choice or sentence delivery can result in a communication failure. If uncertainties arise on the two-way radio, clarify them immediately.

As a leader, remember that your instructions must be crystal clear for your employees. Do not leave any instructions up to their speculation or guesswork whenever possible. Some scenarios will still be situational and may require their best quick-thinking judgment.

Train your employees to be ready for any worst-case scenario that can happen on the job site. Make sure any questionable situation is documented and okayed with you or another supervisor.

Malfunctioning Technology

We rely on technology every day to keep the cogs moving in the workplace, so when it fails so does the communication. Recognize when your communication systems, like two-way radios or cellphones, are not working properly. Act immediately to repair or replace them to avoid catastrophic communication errors.

When a workplace’s communication grid goes down, an employee’s reaction can vary from panicked to unphased. Both reactions can be at fault for why job site communication fails—panicking can lead to hasty decisions while being unphased by a communication issue can leave the problem unchecked and unnoticed.

other valuable tips:

No Respect

When an employee does not respect you or their supervisors, it can lead to communication error as time passes. A lying or disrespectful employee will not listen to instructions or communicate through the correct channels. The littlest white lie can lead to a communication failure.

Even if they have good intentions when they lie, such as bumping numbers up falsely, the mistake can ultimately cost you and your business money or make you think you have equipment ready that you do not.

Be a respectable boss. Keep morale high while making employees aware that you can also be strict. Make sure that all employees are respected in turn.

Image Credit: why job site communication fails by twenty20.com

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