Essential soft skills for success in the construction industry

A successful project is one that meets or exceeds expectations, is completed on time, within budget, and delivers (or exceeds) the expected outcomes. To do this, your team needs a combination of hard or technical skills related to competencies and their specific areas, and also a range of soft skills relating to problem-solving, communication, and time management.

An informed understanding of the current construction industry landscape reveals a growing number of growth opportunities in residential, commercial, and public sector construction, alongside an increasing need for adaptability, leadership, communication, and teamwork.

However, as the industry faces a chronic shortage of both soft and hard skills, it becomes all the more important for contractors to focus on the essential soft skills that would set them apart. These soft skills will play a decisive role in achieving success for both employees and businesses.

The growing skills shortage

The UK construction industry is facing a well-documented skills shortage, with fewer professionals possessing the necessary breadth and depth of skills to tackle the challenges of contemporary project delivery and technologies. According to the Construction Skills Network (CSN) five-year Industry Outlook Report for 2023 to 2027, an additional 225,000 workers will be needed to meet the demands of the sector by 2027, with all UK regions expected to deliver annual growth of at least 1% to 2%, despite the current economic climate.

Essential soft skills to overcome challenges

Amidst this industry-wide skills shortage, it becomes crucial to cultivate a workforce with not only technical competence but also strong soft skills. Key areas to focus on include:


In an industry riddled with unexpected challenges and complex projects, efficient problem-solving abilities are essential. Sound decision-making and a results-oriented attitude can contribute significantly to the overall success of a project.


Effective communication is crucial for ensuring that projects run smoothly from start to finish. In the construction industry, professionals are required to collaborate with a diverse range of stakeholders, including architects and engineers, contractors, supply chains, clients, and regulators.


Working cohesively with a broad spectrum of professionals across all disciplines is indispensable in the construction industry. Coordination and seamless collaboration between team members fosters a productive dynamic and leads to efficient project execution.

Time management

Understanding the value of time and efficient resource allocation is essential in construction, given the tight deadlines and financial constraints typical of most projects. Professionals who excel in time management are well-positioned to mitigate delays and unforeseen setbacks.

Cultivating essential soft skills

The good news is these soft skills can be developed and integrated into the working environment in a variety of ways. Attending workshops and trade events, participating in mentoring programmes, taking on apprentices, investing in in-house training and professional development for your team, working with an experienced construction consultancy, and being part of industry-specific groups on LinkedIn can all offer valuable opportunities to improve your team’s overall skillset.

Boost your construction industry skills with tailored consultancy services from Cube

At Cube, our services cover the whole spectrum of construction management and service delivery, including how best to strengthen the skills of your team, and to address the current shortage of skilled workers in the UK construction industry. 


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