Make no mistake about it, the qualities you have as a construction site supervisor definitely correlate to how effective you are in this position.
How could they not? When you consider the size and scale of some projects, and how many workers you’re responsible for – workers that will constantly look to you for guidance with you being an authoritative figure.
Guiding these individuals can be tough when you lack some of the required qualities that we’re about to cover in this post, which isn’t to say that established construction site supervisors are screwed, as there’s always plenty of time to develop and come into your own.
You see, site supervisors aren’t born to be able to handle what’s expected of them, they simply develop these skills over time.
Consider this post as a sort of baseline of what qualities you need to bring to the site each and every day.
Let’s jump right in.
7 Qualities Needed in a Construction Site Supervisor
Disclaimer: Some of these qualities we’re about to get into are pretty self-explanatory for anyone getting into a supervisor-type position. That said, not every site supervisor in construction has these qualities.
For the sake of time (we know that time is a valuable commodity to a lot of you), we’ve limited our list to seven unique qualities.
You will already possess some of these qualities, others, not so much. Again, this goes back to what we were just saying about always having time to develop these qualities and get better at your responsibilities.
Why things go wrong on the construction site has a lot to do with poor communication; poor communication amongst workers, and poor communication from authoritative figures to workers.
A great site supervisor should be more than comfortable with communicating to others in a clear and concise manner, leaving no room for misinterpretation or confusion.
They should also be pretty adept at handing out both positive and negative feedback to workers, no matter how ‘harsh’ the feedback you’re giving them may be.
In other words, if someone isn’t doing their job right, then tell them, but make sure that you tell them in a constructive way. The last thing you want is to rile them up. This will only lead to delays.
There are multiple ways to define leadership, especially when it concerns construction site supervisors. Still, some leadership qualities are universal, meaning they apply to any position, regardless of the company culture or management structure.
Ideally, a site supervisor takes initiative while also providing support, motivation, and accountability in and amongst other workers. They are more than equipped to handle what is expected of them and any problems that might arise.
Site supervisors must also possess the ability to objectively evaluate other members of the team, identifying strengths and applying them to the appropriate areas.
For example, let’s say that one of your workers has shown to have great hand-to eye coordination. In knowing that, you would then task them with some of the more intricate tasks on the site.
A proactive leader/supervisor will be able to spot these sorts of things.
Problem Solving Skills
Critical thinking, creativity, and consistency are all very effective tools in problem solving. Try to use all of them as often as possible. You can plan all you want, but problems do occur; sometimes, when you least expect them.
As a site supervisor, you will be expected to take the lead here, providing an accurate fix for whatever’s happened. In other words, your job is to get to the root of the problem and do something about it.
Your intuition will play a significant role in how you choose to approach these situations. Still, that’s not to say that company policy and procedure won’t also be a motivating factor.
Remember, while your intuition will guide you, there are still legal precautions to take.
Empathy and Compassion
Workers will approach you with a range of different concerns and issues, some deeply personal. We’re all human and will often go through tough times and situations that have a lasting impact on how we approach work.
As a construction site supervisor, it will be your responsibility to help these individuals the best you can with both empathy and compassion.
Of course, certain behaviours and attitudes are unacceptable and will require a different approach. Again, your intuition – and common sense – should dictate your response. Just remember to be compassionate when the time comes.
How productive your team is has a lot to do with how confident you are in this position as site supervisor.
When you make a decision with confidence, and then communicate them candidly, you help to create a positive environment where employees know what they’re doing, and can approach you should they need assistance.
Confidence typically leads to clarity, which for a construction project, is beyond important when you stop to think about how many moving parts there are. It’s like we said:
A lot can go wrong when the supervisor in charge isn’t equipped well enough.
Do keep in mind that confidence can only take you so far when you make the wrong decisions. All you can do at that point is learn from your mistakes and choose a different path for the next time.
Time and Priority Management
It goes without saying that time is everything to a construction project. Things like supply delays are sometimes unavoidable, but there are other tasks that can be controlled.
A great site supervisor will be able to prioritise tasks based on a level of importance, which is no small feat when you consider the size of some construction projects. Just remember to delegate tasks to only the relevant individuals.
Here’s a top tip for site supervisors:
Be very careful not to burn your workforce out. By all means delegate tasks, but try to keep track of how much time is being spent on certain tasks. Giving someone a break at the right time is beyond helpful.
The last quality we want to bring to your attention is conflict resolution. This might seem like an obvious one to include, but it’s worth stating regardless, what with there being multiple examples of conflict within the workplace to handle.
By handling conflict at the right time, you can strengthen relationships, and continue to establish trust amongst your team.
An important part of conflict resolution is learning about different conflict styles, methods, and triggers to help outline a process for both preventing and addressing any problems that arise.
How you approach conflict resolution is completely up to you.
Simply, find what works and you’ll be a better site supervisor for it.
The Qualities You Need to be a Great Site Supervisor
Did you learn a thing or two on how to be a better construction site supervisor, or did you know all of this already?
Either way, let’s all agree that every single one of these qualities are beneficial, not only for the supervisor, but for everyone involved within a construction project; be it the workers, to the stakeholders, to the client. All of whom benefit from the increase in productivity and morale.
Again, if you are an established site supervisor, know that there’s still plenty of time to hone these qualities and scale to your own expectations.
All you need is time and experience.
YardLink can’t provide you with time or experience, but we can make life as a construction supervisor that much easier thanks to our intuitive central hub. Every tool, every machine, everything you could ever need to get a construction job up and running; it’s all there.
To find out more, simply get in touch with us. A friendly member of the YardLink team will happily take your request and answer any questions you might have.