Different Types Of Construction Management Positions and Management Styles

construction management positions

There are almost as many different management styles as there are construction management companies. What makes a truly successful construction manager is their ability to take from a variety of different management styles and truly make their own blend that works for them and their companies.

The Most Common Types Of Modern Construction

Modern construction is consistently gaining ground in its complexity. With recent technological advancements buildings are getting more complex, and there are more roles than ever to fill on the job site. This means the need for an effective construction manager and top quality construction crew is continuing to grow rapidly into the future.

There are four main styles of modern construction that you need to be aware of. Usually, most construction companies focus on one style of industry. However, in some cases, construction companies and their employees may be working on projects across multiple areas.

1. Residential

Residential construction includes individual or custom homes, apartments, condominiums, townhouses and other housing types. The most popular method of residential construction throughout North America is the classic wood-framed construction.

2. Commercial

Commercial construction is any type of construction that deals with the needs of commerce, government and trade. This includes buildings like shopping centers, schools, banks, hospitals, government buildings and even movie theaters.

3. Heavy Civil

Heavy civil construction concerns itself with transportation infrastructure. This includes crucial infrastructure such as, bridges, roads, tunnels, dams, railroads and airports.

4. Industrial

Industrial construction concerns itself with buildings and other items that are used for the production of products. Common industrial building projects include chemical plants, steel mills, oil refineries, manufacturing plants, and oil pipelines.

Styles of Project And Business Management

One of the most important elements of managing a successful construction company is leadership. A construction company without leadership is equivalent to a ship without a captain. There’s no set direction and your company will simply wander aimlessly. Without effective leadership there’s a good chance a company won’t remain a company for very long. Good leadership also includes making the right decision when it comes to staffing and quality professional construction equipment purchases, such as the right concrete and masonry tools.

There are four basic management functions that are extremely important to becoming an effective manager. These functions are referred to as: planning, organizing, leading and controlling. In order to successfully manage these projects you’ll need to have these qualities.

Planning refers to the ability to effectively envision a project. You’ll need to be able to see how certain elements of a project interact and how every piece fits together to complete the project. A successful construction manager also has the ability to manage multiple projects at once.

Organizing is the ability to keep track of all the moving pieces that a single project contains. Without the ability to stay organized it would be too easy for a project to fall behind schedule, or to forget about crucial elements of the project.

Leading is the ability to inspire trust in your workers. This is an often overlooked quality; however, it’s one of the most important. Workers tend to work harder for those they trust or respect. Effective leadership demands developing both of those qualities in yourself.

Lastly, controlling refers to the ability to take charge in every situation, even those situations that are less than ideal. If your company can look to you to handle stressful and tough situations, then you’ll see your ability to take control of situations continue to grow.

Beyond the traits mentioned above, there are also a few different leadership camps that most people end up falling into.

1. Autocratic

Autocratic leaders are more authoritarian leaders and end up making decisions based upon their own opinions and experience. Although they are often not the most popular with employees, they do tend to make decisions very quickly and efficiently.

2. Consultative

Consultative leaders are a step down from Autocratic leaders and still make unilateral decisions, but they do take the opinion of the workers into account when making a decision. They do tend to be popular with their workforce, as the employees feel like their voice is heard.

3. Persuasive

Persuasive leaders tend to maintain control over the business through indirect means. Instead of directly giving orders they tend to persuade employees that the course of action they want to take is the best means to getting the desired result.

4. Democratic

A democratic management style includes almost every level of employee in the decision making process. This style of management relies heavily on two-way communication between both management and employees. This style does reduce business efficiency; however, it increases employee satisfaction.

5. Laissez-faire

A laissez-faire management style is essentially a hands-off management style. Managers act as mentors, guides and motivators. Employees tend to manage their own sections and take responsibility for their own work.

How To Become A Construction Manager

Becoming a successful construction manager doesn’t have to be difficult. However, it does take work, dedication and persistence. Below you’ll find a simple three step process that will help you get going in the right direction.

1. Determine which construction field you’d like to explore and spend your time managing and diving into.

2. Discover your management style. Most management styles are unique blends of two or more different management styles. Don’t be afraid to experiment to see what works best for you.

3. Figure out if your preferred management style is in alignment with the type of industry to want to have a career in. Sometimes, they are out of alignment so you’ll want to ensure it’s a perfect fit before you invest too much time.

Having a basic understanding of the varying styles of construction management practices and an overarching view of the different types of construction today will help you immensely. It never hurts to have more knowledge about the industry you know and love. Read more about the topic of construction management in our previous posts here and here, and review our great selection of professional construction tools and accessories.