Why Communication is Key in The Construction Industry, According to Specialists

Ajoy Gonsalves
Ajoy Gonsalves

The construction industry is struggling with high levels of suicide, job dissatisfaction, and poor mental health among its workers. To combat this, the CIOB has released a report that calls for changes in how work is done and how people are rewarded.

It also suggests establishing mechanisms for workers to contribute ideas about how jobs should be done and gain more control over their job. In order to make these changes, the industry as a whole needs to begin a conversation about how to make things better.

The Study

According to researchers from RMIT, the University of Cape Town, and the University of Manchester, poor communication is a crucial element in the development of job stress. Workers said they had a lack of control, input, and influence in their jobs, according to the study.

Employees in construction were more likely to report a lack of feedback on performance as a bigger problem than the average employee, according to the survey. People need constructive criticism to perform well at their tasks, according to the study.

Workers in the construction industry, according to a study done by Gallup, are less likely than other employees to feel they have control over their lives and are more dissatisfied with their salaries. They also reported that their ideas or recommendations were not taken into account as frequently as others.

Work settings were also a concern. Respondents mentioned excessive travel time (44 percent spent two to three hours commuting to and from work), an overload of technology, unachievable deadlines, and isolation or lack of social support at work as problems.

For the Chartered Institute of Building in the United Kingdom, this study was conducted as an update on a 2006 study on occupational stress in construction. Almost 800 individuals were interviewed. Respondents were questioned about six โ€œimportantโ€ aspects that impacted overall well-being: resources and communication, control, equal workload, job security, and change in employment relationships and working conditions.

What the President Says

According to the CIOB, construction workers have a suicide rate that is 63 percent higher than the national average. Rebecca Thompson, the president of CIOB, claims there are more suicides among construction workers than any other profession; employees are 63 percent more likely to kill themselves than the general population. โ€œUntil recently, it appears that the industry has not treated mental health with much urgency,โ€ she said.

โ€œCompared with the laudable zero harm culture that is now commonplace on site, there has been a marked contrast in the attention paid to well-being.

It is clear from the report that construction does have a unique set of conditions compared to other sectors, but that the problems are not insurmountable.

Looking to the future, if we want to attract the brightest and best young people to our sector as well as encourage experienced professionals to stay, having an industry that cares and provides conditions for its employees to thrive is absolutely vital.โ€ - (R. Thompson)

What the Workers Say

Construction workers, according to the survey, function in an unsupportive environment with little sense of purpose. In comparison to the rest of the workforce, they have a lower level of job satisfaction.

To change the culture, the document calls for changing the way people are rewarded and encouraged to give feedback. It also suggests establishing mechanisms for workers to contribute ideas about how jobs should be done and gain more control over their job.

It also proposed setting more attainable goals and providing improved assistance in businesses through programs such as mentor schemes and team-building exercises. It also suggested collaborating more with younger workers to enhance job fulfillment, as well as medium- and long-term career options.

Women, who made up 7 percent of the respondents, were less confident in the workplace than men and advised that organizations work to enhance their sense of worth.

Poor mental health has a number of consequences, including absenteeism, reduced productivity, physical and emotional problems, as well as poor coping skills such as smoking, drinking, and gambling. It stated that company-level adjustments can be made, but cultural shifts may be more difficult to implement.

What the Specialists Say

In a press release on the study, one of its co-authors, Professor Keith Cattell, stated: โ€œIf work stress levels are to become better aligned with the general working population, analysis and interventions are required by firms, the industry, and the government.โ€

โ€œResponsible organizations will need nothing more than knowledge of what the problems are, and the current study indeed provides such direction.

โ€œHowever, problems that are widespread and deeply rooted in the culture of the industry will require more than the optional moral response of firms. Mental health promotion programs will need to be formalized and designed using a multi-stakeholder, multi-level approach.โ€

That means the industry as a whole needs to begin a conversation about how to make things better.

Conclusion

The construction industry is struggling with high levels of suicide, job dissatisfaction, and poor mental health among its workers. To combat this, the CIOB has released a report that calls for changes in how work is done and how people are rewarded.

It also suggests establishing mechanisms for workers to contribute ideas about how jobs should be done and gain more control over their job. In order to make these changes, the industry as a whole needs to begin a conversation about how to make things better.

If you're willing to improve your team performance and avoid future problems in your organization feel free to contact one of our specialists!