two construction workers on site, looking over plans

Developing Your Construction Supervisors

Construction supervisors are the pillars of an effective and safe job site or project. They focus on ensuring job tasks are on schedule, building teamwork and collaboration, and monitoring the well-being of team members. Because construction resources are often subcontracted, training and retaining qualified workers has been an ongoing issue, which can lead to delayed schedules, lower team effectiveness, and lower levels of safety performance.

Being a successful construction supervisor requires competencies in the following skills:

  • Coaching
  • Problem-solving
  • Communication and building relationships

CMOE’s Construction Supervisor Program aims to develop these skills with globally-trusted leadership and developmental resources. We instruct leaders on how to be good construction supervisors to meet the people challenges of today and tomorrow with ease and confidence.

The Challenges That Construction Supervisors Face

Construction supervisors and leaders currently deal with the challenges and frustrations that occur due to a scarcity of qualified team members.

Scarcity of Qualified Team Members

There are three main reasons why there is a lack of qualified construction workers:

1. More entry-level workers and a wider generational gap: Since 2011, the number of entry-level construction workers has increased by 72.8%. In addition, one in five workers are over the age of 55 (the average retirement age in the construction industry is 61). This means that there aren’t many experienced workers that will remain in the industry for the long term.

With skills and generational gaps, construction supervisors spend more time managing conflicts among team members and doing more with less to meet customer expectations. These gaps require more team coaching sessions to help the team become better aligned. However, due to the lack of supervisor development opportunities, supervisors may not feel as confident or prepared to tackle these difficult challenges.

2. Lack of technical knowledge: Another source of unqualified team members is the lack of technical knowledge. Roughly 60% of organizations state that their construction workers do not possess the skills required to work with Building Information Modeling (BIM) technology.

3. “Separations: Separations include quits, layoffs, and discharges. Construction experienced 375 separations in February 2024. This value has changed very little over the past year. In fact, separations increased by 9.97% within the year. This is just a statistical representation of the broader and more prevalent issue in both securing and retaining talent. This adds consistent pressure on supervisors to plan for vacancies and replacements, resulting in time and productivity losses.”


Four out of five construction businesses, supervisors, and staff express the need for training on preventing various safety incidents on the job site, including struck-by hazards. Supervisors need thorough training to properly communicate and coach to safety and safety expectations. This requires having the necessary skills, knowledge, and qualifications to perform tasks safely and efficiently, to teach and coach others to work safely, and the communication skills needed to listen to concerns and smooth out misunderstandings or address a lapse by a team member.

two construction workers on site, looking over plans

Developing the Right Skills in Construction Supervisors

Leadership qualities are key to the role of a supervisor. The specific qualities will vary across organizations, but they generally fall into a few key categories: coaching, proactive problem solving, and communication and building relationships.


Supervisors will learn how to prioritize the development of their team. By understanding an individual’s strengths and development opportunities, supervisors can better strategize how to delegate construction tasks in a way that elevates a team member’s learning and performance.

Coaching is a supervisor skill that facilitates constructive performance discussions and creates a culture rooted in ongoing development, trust, and safety. Based on the needs of your team members, we can introduce a tailored coaching framework to guide your performance discussions.

Proactive Problem-Solving

We will focus on developing key skills that will enable supervisors to think through and diagnose the problems and challenges they face. As part of this, they will learn how to craft appropriate solutions and make decisions. This process is intended to help supervisors adopt a solution-oriented mindset to keep projects and initiatives on track.

Examples of proactive problem-solving have manifested in numerous ways such as:

  • Clarifying confusing project expectations and deliverables upfront.
  • Working through project coordination issues involving work teams, project teams, or subcontractors.
  • Working through scheduling delays that will impact project timelines and building out contingencies.
  • Cost and budget implications that may impact quality.
  • Creating a range options and solutions (e.g., considering pros/cons, feasibility, risks, and the impact of each option).

Communication and Building Relationships

Supervisors will learn how to build connections with the workforce to improve relationships and enrich team alignment. This helps to build a culture and working environment that will help to reduce turnover and retain good talent.

Areas of communication and relationship building can focus on:

  • Understanding how to work with diverse team members and a wide range of personality and communication styles and preferences (based on your audience) to create a greater impact and stronger relationships.
  • Communication and dissemination of information to reduce silos and increase collaboration across functions and teams. Communicating legal and regulatory compliance guidelines and explaining these expectations to team members to protect all stakeholders.

Actionable Takeaways from CMOE Construction Supervisor Training

Upon conclusion of the leadership training, supervisors will walk away with four key takeaways:

  1. Have a clearly defined plan for how to overcome current team member and jobsite specific challenges.
  2. Adapt communication styles to various team member personalities and styles.
  3. Proactively and effectively make decisions that benefit the team’s safety and outcomes.
  4. Use an effective coaching model to manage performance, improve productivity, and promote safe working practices.

From instructor-led learning experiences to self-paced digital courses, supervisors will have access to the best training approach for your organization.

Elevate Learning and Growth in Construction Supervisors

Supervisors play a critical role in each construction project that is taken on. CMOE’s team has the resources and solutions to help supervisors elevate their skill sets and tackle their leadership responsibilities head-on. Contact our team to get started.

About the Author
CMOE’s Design Team is comprised of individuals with diverse and complementary strengths, talents, education, and experience who have come together to bring a unique service to CMOE’s clients. Our team has a rich depth of knowledge, holding advanced degrees in areas such as business management, psychology, communication, human resource management, organizational development, and sociology.

Get Exclusive Content Delivered Straight to Your Inbox

When you subscribe to our blog and become a CMOE Insider.

And the best part?

It's 100% free.