Keeping Great Relationships in Construction


Thinking carefully about how you treat others and how you would like to be treated is one of the most important factors in performing at the high level needed to for success in the construction industry. As a Project Manager, some of the most important tools that I can utilize are the relationships that I have cultivated over time in the construction field with my co-workers. It starts with my assistants and the other fellow coworkers in my office from estimating, purchasing, accounting, and marketing but also includes working with clients, subcontractors and other professionals working in collaboration with our company. I must consistently maintain these relationships as they are often critical to a project’s success.

Collaboration with Coworkers

One of the most important professional relationships that I have developed with the Project Superintendent is based on mutual respect and understanding. We all know that the job needs to get done in an often high pressure, schedule-driven environment with a lot of moving parts. These moving parts include the countless subcontractors that we, as a company, need to hire to perform the physical work of building the project. Sometimes we are able to work with subcontractors who have already worked with us on prior projects. This allows us to quickly excel because we all know who we are dealing with and already have the trust and respect in place. However, sometimes we need to work on building a new relationship with a new subcontractor which can take time, patience and understanding. How we handle these subcontractor relationships is often critical to the success of the project.

Relationship with Township Officials

The relationship between myself or my Project Superintendents and the township building official or inspectors is an important one. These individuals have the ability to bring a project to a screeching halt if you cannot get along with them. Building a good relationship with these officials requires nothing more than you or your subcontractors doing their work according to the plans, specifications, and the local building codes—asking for or performing nothing less than that. The trust and respect that you establish with these officials is critical, especially during the home-stretch of a project when going for your final Certificate of Occupancy.

Collaboration with Other Professionals

The design professionals that we work with to build these important projects have two aspects to the relationship; the working relationship and long-term trust. Project plans and specifications have millions of parts and can be very complex, requiring creative decision-making, cooperation and teamwork with the design professionals. The working relationship that you first have during the course of a project can often lead to continued success on projects. This success sometime leads to design professionals making client recommendations to us for other projects that they are working on and vice versa—recommendations that are critical to increasing reputability and growing in the construction industry.


Crucial Relationship with Our Client

Our relationship with clients arguably ranks at the top of the list of the most important relationships that a company must continue to work on day-in and day-out; whether it is by continuing to do a great job each and every day, delivering a quality project at the time of turnover and possession, on-time and under-budget, or simply having great communication with the client. Our relationship with clients are built on honesty, trust, respect and the mutual appreciation of doing business together.

I am very fortunate to work for a company that values their employees highly and consider each and every one of these relationships to be extremely important.  Not any one of these relationships are more important than the other, but being able to utilize all of these can be considered part of our secret to success.

Article by Project Manager Rob Rinaldo

Editing by Marketing Assistant Briana J Samman