By Jake Meador | 25 Aug 2020
Here’s a scenario you might have some experience with if you’ve been in the commercial construction industry for awhile: Your team has been able to dramatically improve their communication concerning worksite safety, emergencies, meeting reminders, and project updates via text messaging.
That’s the good news.
Here’s the bad news: Your team is now managing some of the most important aspects of their work from a very small computer they carry around in their pockets—and likely with some fairly basic software at that.
The potential for problems to develop is quite high.
So what can be done?
You aren’t going to eliminate texting. Email is slow and people don’t always read it. And all your other communication methods are even worse. For communication on-site, texting can’t be beat.
What you need, then, is a tool that gives you the flexibility and immediacy of texting while also providing the structure and organization of email.
In other words, you need bulk SMS messaging software.
There are five main categories of messages where SMS can help a commercial construction company.
Sometimes accidents happen on large job sites. After all, it’s not as if there is a lack of things that can go wrong on a worksite. To name a few:
Explosions or burns
Slips and falls
In cases of emergency, or potential emergency, prompt messaging is essential to keep your team safe. Email obviously isn’t fast enough. An emergency alert call can work. But if an employee misses the call, they might not get the message. Texting is simply the best way to inform your team about emergencies. It’s not reliant on them hearing their phone right when the message is sent, as with phone calls, but it still gives you a fast way of contacting your team, unlike email.
Before going on a site, every worker needs to be aware of the major safety concerns with that particular site. Text messaging is a great way to remind your team of the main dangers on a site. As an added bonus, whereas something that they are told in a meeting can be forgotten and lost track of, texts stay on a person’s phone. So if a safety question comes up while they’re working, they can easily pull up the message and review everything at any time.
A further benefit of using texting for safety updates is that you have a text record of your communication with your team on a specific site. This is useful for being able to demonstrate, in the event of an accident, that you did all you could to alert your team to potential dangers.
Construction sites are complex, often having many projects going at the same time. In other cases, one project cannot begin until another is finished. These facts mean that the situation on a site is fairly fluid and can change a great deal over the course of a single workday, let alone over a week or two weeks.
For this reason, it is important to have methods for keeping your team up to date on the latest information on-site so they know what they need to be doing at any given time.
Once again, compared to any other communication method, texting is by far the best—it’s immediate communication to each individual person in a text format that makes it harder to misunderstand or to not hear due to noise on-site.
There are other ways that texting can help your communication as well. If you have a meeting coming up where you need to share some vital information with your team, texting can be a great way to let people know about the meeting and to remind them that the meeting is happening.
It is also helpful to use texting to send out post-meeting notes—reminders of what was covered, perhaps a link to an online record of the minutes, etc.
Finally, we have also seen construction companies using text messaging to provide a more personal touch in their communication with employees. If you have some kind of internal contest or simply wish to send out a note of encouragement to your team, SMS messaging can be an excellent way of doing that.
Communication is vital in any industry, but especially in commercial construction where communication breakdowns can jeopardize worker safety and hinder a team in their work. Texting is a great solution. But if you want to adopt texting while retaining some degree of control and centralization with your internal messaging, then you will need some kind of software to manage your texts. To try a free 14-day trial of Mobile Text Alerts, sign up using this link.