This page is password secured. You can view this page after entering the password

Course Access Student Area Notice Board
Course Access
Student Area
Notice Board

Unit 5 Working with People on a Construction Site


Section 1. Selection of Personnel

Section 2. Working Relationships

Section 3. Leadership & Management Skills


Information and Guidance is available on how you should study

Study Guide

Assignment for Unit 5

Before Submitting your assignment you MUST read 

Instructions for

Submitting Assignments


Additional Learning Resourses



Additional Information

You should relate your responses to any of the tasks set in this unit to the documents listed below; these will provide information about the type and size of the project.  

Section 1



Section 2



Section 3


Unit aim: This unit is designed to meet the needs of construction Site Supervisors, to provide them with knowledge of how to work with people.

This unit has an Introduction and is divided into 3 study sections.


Section 1 Selection of Personnel

5.1.1 Understand the selection process for new personnel
5.1.2 Define the requirements for the post, including essential and desirable characteristics.
5.1.3 Identify the selection procedures.
5.1.4 Compare the applicants’ with Job.
5.1.5 Selection interviews with the applicants.

Section 2 Working Relationships
5.2.1 Understand how to establish and maintain working relationships with managers, colleagues, customers and the community
5.2.2 Identify the characteristics of good working relationships.
5.2.3 Inform people about work activities.
5.2.4 Conveying information and instructions
5.2.5 Maintaining working relationships with customers and members of the community

Section 3 Leadership & Management Skills
5.3.1 Understand the characteristics of leadership and people management skills.
5.3.2 Identify the characteristics of leadership and management.
5.3.3 Choose different leadership and management styles appropriate to the situation.
5.3.4 Describe motivating factors and explain when to apply them to a team.
5.3.5 Explain how to minimise interpersonal conflict between staff.

Unit Recommended Reading

Foster, G (1989) Construction site studies production, administration and personnel (2nd Ed), Longman; Harlow.

This book is recommended for units 1, 2, 4, 5 & 6

Books can be ordered from most bookshops or online from Amazon.

Before starting you should read the ‘Study Guide’ accessible from the link on the left.


In order to supervise people you must be able to work with them. This entails understanding how to get the best from them. 

Working with people involves the process of recruiting and retaining. It also involves being able to motivate and get the best from them. In order to do that you will need to be able to understand them and approach them in a way that is likely to engender a positive feeling about you and that which you are asking them to do. This does not just relate to your subordinates but affects the relationships you have with all people you come into contact with. The failure to be able to work with others can result in the failure to complete tasks within your job situation and will have a detrimental effect on the reputation of your organisation and their willingness of others to work with you.

In this unit you will learn how to recruit people and some of the ways that relationships can be maintained and improved with other people within the company and with those outside the organisation.

Please Note

All information contained in this Study Unit was considered correct at the time of writing but Students must not rely on information contained in the Study Unit and/or references for any purposes other than use within this CIOB qualification aim as legislation and working practices are constantly being revised and updated. Students are advised therefore to continually up-date themselves as to current legislation and construction practice and must not to rely on information contained within the Study Unit and/or references for practical applications in the workplace. Where legislation or construction practice has been superseded to that contained in the Study Unit Students should note this within their responses to the tasks.

 Section 1 Selection of Personnel

Learning Outcome: On completion the learner will understand the selection process for new personnel.


5.1.1 Define the requirements for the post, including essential and desirable characteristics.
5.1.2 Identify the selection procedures.
5.1.3 Comparing applicants to Job.
5.1.4 Selection interviews.

Selection is the process of matching the persons abilities, aptitudes, interests etc. to the requirements of the personal specification, short listing candidates, interviewing, testing and choosing someone for the job.
5.1.1 Determining Requirements

Once it has been decided that a job exists and that we need a person to carry out the tasks related to that job we need to go through the process of determining the requirements of the job and the skills that a person must have in order to carry out the work efficiently. This is done by assessing the job itself and then the skills and attributes of the person who can carry out the job. The way that it is assessed is by looking at what is involved in carrying it out. To do that a Job Analysis is carried out.
Job Analysis
This is the systematic study and statement of all the facts about a job which reveal its content and all the modifying factors which surround it.
A job can be analysed for three reasons:
  • Health and Safety Purposes
  • Method Study
  • Job Description
It is essential that a job is analysed before drawing up a job description.
Job Description
A job description is a statement of the general purpose of the job, which also provides an outline of its scope, duties and responsibilities related to the work. It will also look at the conditions i.e if the person will need to work unsocial hours or work away from home. It will also specify such things as pay, holidays and any benefits offered etc.
A job description cannot be fully comprehensive in respect to all the details but it should provide enough information to:
  1. Give the job holder a clear indication of what is expected;
  2. Give an indication of the importance of the job
  3. Indicate the important areas of the job;
  4. Describe the required behavior of the job holder.
Job descriptions are normally drawn up using a standard format. A job description should be continually reviewed to ensure that it meets the needs of the organisation.

  • Job Title
  • Responsible to
  • Location
  • Duties and Responsibilities
  • Working Conditions
  • Hours of Work
Task  5.1.1 Job Description

Produce a Job Description for your job.

Word Guide: 300 - 400 

Job Specification
This details the qualities, skills and attributes required by a person in order for them to be suitable to carry out the job. These will depend on the job and must be produced by considering the Job Description. The factors will consist of those which are essential and those which are desirable.
Any qualifications, skills or experience specified must be capable of being justified by reference to the duties and responsibilities noted in the job description.
It is normal to use a standard format.
Job descriptions and specifications are developed into a person specification for the purpose of recruitment and selection.

Person Specification

This sets out the personal qualities required by a person for a particular job. These are often expressed in terms of "Five Fold Plan" or "Seven Point Plan". This covers:
  • Physical Make‑up
  • Attainments
  • Interests
  • Disposition
  • Circumstances
  • Intelligence
  • Aptitude
The qualities and skills required can be essential which candidates must have and desirable, those which will be useful to have.

Task  5.1.2 Person Specification

Using the Job Description you submitted produce a Person Specification for the job.

Word Guide: 300 - 400


5.1.2 The Selection Procedures

Having produced the Job Description and Person Specifications we need to attract suitable candidates.
Attracting Candidates
The way we attract candidates will depend on the level of the job as will where we attract them from. Consideration must be given to the efficiency of each method and the costs involved. One of the ways of finding suitable candidates used may be by advertising although it is essential that consideration is given to ensuring that adverts are drawn up and placed for maximum results.

Candidates may be required to send a CV, an application form or both. Application forms should be designed for quick assessment and ensure that they include all the information required to enable them to be assessed for suitability.

Task  5.1.3 Attracting Candidates

Suggest the ways that can be used to attract candidates and state the advantages and disadvantages of each method.

Word Guide: 300 - 400 

5.1.3 Comparing Applicants to Post

Assessing Applications
When all applications have been received (a closing date may be set for applications to be in by) these will need to be assessed. Having an appropriately designed application form will make it easy to compare applicants to the job. Assessing CVs in many cases makes it more difficult as information is not always easy to see. It also makes it harder to compare applicants as the information can be insufficient or may take a lot of finding.
Each application will be compared to the job description and person specification to determine that the applicants meet the essential requirements and to assess the number of desirable requirements.
Applicants will be sorted into either not suitable or may be suitable. Those who may be suitable can be further sorted into call for interview and retain as a reserve. If none of the people who are called for interview are suitable then the applicants in the reserve can be reassessed.

Task  5.1.4 Assessing Applications

Produce a form which would enable you to assess candidates suitability for a job to be used in conjunction with the descriptions produced above.

Guide: 1 or 2 sheets 

5.1.4 Contribute to the selection interviews with the applicants
It is essential that a suitable person is used to carry-out interviews in order to project a good image of the company. Untrained employer talking generally about the job he is not familiar with to a potential employee he knows very little about can be very off-putting to the person being interviewed.
It is costly both in time and money to get people to an interview. It is essential therefore that the best use is made of these resources and that it is not wasted by creating an unfavourable impression with the people who are attending interview.
Ensure that suitable people only are being interviewed. Compare their information with the job specification. The application forms should be given to those conducting the interview in sufficient time for them to read and assess them and to formulate relevant questions for the candidate.
The interview should be planned with regard to timings and type of area each person on the interview panel will pursue.
Plan the time and who is to ask what questions in what order.

The Interview Setting
Should be Private, Quiet, Comfortable,
  • Arrange seating – interviewer should not dominate candidates.
  • Remove barriers such as large desk
  • Ensure there are no interruptions
  • Avoid glare.
The Interview
Have candidates application form and read prior to them entering
  • Put candidate at ease
  • “Sell” the company and the job
  • Ask the candidate questions that draw out responses, do not ask questions that require just a yes, no response
  • Reduce note taking when candidate is answering your question, write notes after they have finished talking, ensure they cannot read your notes.
  • Give the candidate the opportunity to ask questions
  • Tell the candidate when he can expect to hear the results

The Interviewer
The interviewer must:
  • Retain control at all time
  • Be balanced between informal and solemn (friendly but firm)
Basic Faults
  • Inadequate Application Forms – vital facts may be missed or misconstrued
  • Subjective spot checks – favourite questions lead to unfair weighting in the assessment.
  • Belief in first Impressions –
  • Halo Effect – influences subsequent judgements
    • Logical Error –
      • thinking that certain traits go together
      • personal ideas, or prejudices.
The Interview should reveal:
  • Previous experience
  • Training
  • Manner and appearance
  • Social Skills
  • Emotional stability
  • Maturity
  • Personal Qualities
Notifying Candidates
Candidates should be informed at the interview when they are likely to hear the outcome of their interview.
The selected candidate may be offered the job immediately after all the candidates have been interviewed or they may be phoned later in the day. It is essential that they are offered the job, and that the job is accepted, before any of the other candidates are informed that they have been unsuccessful.
If someone attended interview it is not normal to say why they were unsuccessful though many companies will give feedback if they are asked.
After the person has been selected letters will need to be sent out either informing the candidates who were unsuccessful or confirming the offer of the job for the successful candidate.
If someone has not been called for interview, it is normal to wait until the position has been filled before informing them by letter that the position has been filled. Unsuccessful candidates should be informed by letter thanking them for the interest they have shown in the company. Although it is quite common these days for unsuitable candidates not to be informed that they are not suitable. Wording in the advert may indicate that if they have not heard anything within 6 weeks they can assume that they have not been successful.
Task 5.1.5 Interviews

Produce a concise guide to assist someone in preparing and conducting an interview. The guide should be a single page and use bullet points.

Word Guide: 300 - 400 


Section 2 Working Relationships

Learning Outcome: On completion the learner will know how to establish and maintain working relationships with managers, colleagues, customers and the community.


5.2.1 Identify the characteristics of good working relationships.
5.2.2 Inform people about work activities
5.2.3 Conveying information and instructions
5.2.4 Maintaining working relationships with customers and members of the community

5.2.1 Working relationships
In order to carry out your work you need to establish a number of working relationships. These will need to be with your work force and colleagues, both subordinates and superiors and also with people from external organisations. The better the relationships you have the smoother any dealings will go. It is important, therefore, that you are able to establish working relationships in order to smooth the progress of work.
A good working relationship involves keeping people informed on what is going to happen and to provide a clear channel and process to deal with any problems. A good working relationship will ensure that any areas which are likely to develop into a problem are dealt with efficiently and effectively in the shortest possible time. It will mean that there will be a channel of communication which can be opened by all parties in the event of a situation arising. The way that a situation is dealt with will reflect on the organisation and the way that the other person feels about that organisation. An aggressive response is likely to generate more aggression whereas a friendly “I’ll see what I can do” approach is likely to have a far more positive effect.
Both parties in the relationship need to feel confident that the other party will listen to any grievance in a sympathetic way and that there will be a willingness to resolve any differences in a non confrontational way. Therefore the person will need to be able to look at the situation from the other person’s point of view.

Task  5.2.1  Breakdown of Relationships

What would be the consequences of a breakdown in the relationship with the following:
  • Building Inspector
  • Sub-contractor
  • Your line Manager
Word Guide: 300 - 400 


5.2.2 Informing people about work activities
A number of people will need to be informed and kept informed of the work. A number of activities will be required by law, i.e. relating to Health & Safety, building and planning requirements. These will be time sensitive in that you will not be able to proceed with the work until these people are informed and in many cases have responded so it will be imperative that these notifications go out at the appropriate time in order to prevent any delays to the work.
Your company is also likely to have procedures to ensure that they and the client is kept informed of the progress and of any factors which are likely to effect the project in any way.
Informing people about work activities may also take the form of providing advice, guidance and support to managers, colleagues or teams. This may relate to how work is to be carried out or to suggest ways that suggested work could be improved for better efficiency or to make cost savings. You will also need to be able to assess situations and then convey any instructions to the workforce.
Task  5.2.2 Information Requirements

List the people and the type of information that they will need to be supplied with information in order to ensure that the work is conducted according to requirements.

Word Guide: 300 - 400 


5.2.3 Conveying information and instructions - to work teams and team members
In order to ensure the work is carried out efficiently and according to plan you will need to convey instructions to members of your work team. The way these instructions are conveyed will depend on the work involved and its complexity. It will also depend on the abilities of the person you are conveying the information to. This should be set at the level of the person who is receiving it to ensure that they understand the instructions.

Another consideration is the urgency and the time available to provide the instructions. If the work is to be carried out some time in advance it may be better to provide written instructions rather than verbal, though if it needs to be done immediately then verbal instruction would be more appropriate.
It is always wise to retain a record of instruction given either written or verbal. Verbal instructions can be recorded in the site diary; this should be considered if it might need to be proved that instructions were given.
Task  5.2.3 Recording Instructions

Explain the procedures which can be used to record instructions given and provide examples where it might be necessary to prove that instruction have been given.

Word Guide: 300 - 400 

5.2.4 Maintaining working relationships with customers and members of the community
Apart from maintaining good working relations with those directly connected with the work, be that your work colleagues, sub-contractors, client, suppliers and professional consultants etc you will also need to maintain positive relationships with members of the community.
Your organisation may have a policy that specifies how various parties are to be dealt with in ensuring that a positive relationship is maintained. This may require that certain actions are carried out to keep people informed of any activities that they are planned and to provide a procedure for dealing with any problems that may arise.

Task 5.2.4  Working Relationships

Suggest ways that can be used to promote and maintain good working relationships with the community to ensure that they are positively disposed to your company and the work that you are doing.

Word Guide: 300 - 400 

Additional Information

If you would like additional information you can visit the constructionsite unit listed on the left.


Section 3 Leadership & Management

Learning Outcome: On completion the learner will know the characteristics of leadership and people management skills.



5.3.1 Identify the characteristics of leadership and management.
5.3.2 Choose different leadership and management styles appropriate to the situation.
5.3.3 Describe motivating factors and explain when to apply them to a team.
5.3.4 Explain how to minimise interpersonal conflict between staff

5.3.1 Identify the characteristics of leadership and management
In order for a task to be completed there will be a need for the group tasked with carrying it out to have effective leadership. The leader will be responsible for organising and ensuring it is completed according to requirements. This will entail assessing what those requirements are and in defining and abiding by company policies and procedures and in setting a good example for others to emulate.
To maintain an effective group the leader must reduce tension and resolve differences. He must also maintain cohesion within the group, and inspire its members. Bad leadership leads to a lack of direction, dedication and assertiveness. This can produce indecision and failure to reach objectives.
The Role of the Leader
The role of the leader is three fold:
1. Interpersonal. This means dealing with people ensuring that they are allocated tasks and directing and controlling them in order to ensure that the tasks are carried out to the specified requirements. This will cover the handling and how to motivate and get the best from people
2. Informational. The leader of a group is responsible for ensuring that all personnel are provided with all information they need at an appropriate time. They must also ensure that an efficient system of communication is used.
3. Decisional. It is the leader who has to make any decisions relating to the work. This can only be done effectively if they have access to the information needed to make that decision. This will also relate to Problem solving in that they must be able to assess and find solutions to problems.
The leader is selected according to three factors:
1. Qualities – needed by a leader in order to function efficiently
2. Situation – how leadership will depend on the situation in that certain people with specific qualities or abilities will take control in a given situation. When that situation is no longer relevant they will relinquish leadership.
3. Function – what tasks the leader must carry out. If a particular task requires specific skills for a short duration someone with those skills can take on the role of leader until that function is complete when the leadership will revert to the original leader.
Task  5.3.1 Leadership

Briefly describe the leadership roles of a site supervisor.

Word Guide: 300 - 400 

5.3.2 Choose different leadership and management styles appropriate to the situation
Managerial behaviour can be classified by two approaches:
1. Scientific ‑ This is concerned with production. Here the desire is to get the task completed as efficiently as possible. Goals are defined and problems outlined, suggestions and ideas are then offered as a course of action, these are then evaluated and progress checked.
2. Humanistic ‑ This is concerned with people. Socially orientated managers strive to create a harmonious climate within the group. They encourage group members, show regard for the feelings and welfare of the group, attempt to reconcile discord, reduce tension, ensure group members contribute to decisions and attempts to improve group efficiency by collaboration.
Leaders may also be classed as being one of the following types:
  • Autocratic ‑ Here the leader determines all group policies without consultation. Group productivity may be high but people will not work on their own initiative, also apathy and hostility are common.
  • Laissez‑faire ‑ This allows complete freedom within the group as the leader does not direct effort. This produces low productivity and inferior quality. The group will also not work on its own initiative.
  • Democratic ‑ The leader encourages and assists group members in making decisions. Productivity is high and considerable originality is shown by the group while hostility is negligible. The group also works on its own initiative.
Task  5.3.2 Styles of Leadership

Describe the style of leadership that best relates to the way you provide leadership and give examples to justify your selection.

Word Guide: 300 - 400 

5.3.3 Describe motivating factors and explain when to apply them to a team
A 'motive' is an internal force pushing a person towards a desired goal, or a fear making them retreat from an undesired goal. They can be positive when the person will have a positive gain i.e. more money or promotion, or negative when they will experience something which they may prefer to avoid i.e. being sacked.
Motives are drives, needs or wants and can be divided into two groups:
  1. Physiological: e.g. food, drink, sleep, shelter, warmth etc.
  2. Psychological: e.g. friendship, approval, self-esteem etc.

Human beings put their needs in a system of priority rankings whereby physiological needs come first. After these are satisfied the order of priority will depend on the individual and his/her circumstances.
The main factors which affect a person’s motivation are:
  • Personality – their aspirations, expectations, ambition and aptitude.
  • Economic and Social Status ‑ a blue collar worker may be more interested in job security and earning while a white collar worker who may be interested in status.
  • Age and Family Circumstances ‑ a person with a young family will possibly be more interested in overtime to pay for the upkeep of their children, than someone who is older, with grown up children.
  • Group Goals ‑ these can determine the attitude of its members, as people want to be accepted by the group.
When trying to motivate people it is important to know the type of person they are and their wants and needs.

Task  5.3.3 Motivation

Explain how you could motivate someone who is not pulling their weight at work.

Word Guide: 300 - 400 

5.3.4 Explain how to minimise interpersonal conflict between staff
It is very unlikely that you will not come across some form of conflict on site within the work group.
Conflict is not necessarily a bad thing, providing it is a conflict of ideas and not personalities. Certainly it is unrealistic to expect everyone to agree. Conflict can lead to clarification and different ways of looking at things and the group is unlikely to produce good ideas if everyone agrees on all points. However, conflict is to be avoided as it diverts the efforts of the group from the task in hand; although it can have positive effects also.
Conflict between groups or subgroups has the following effects:
  • Cohesiveness - Each group will become more cohesive if it perceives another as the enemy, the loyalty of the group increases, however, if this happens within a subgroup it can divide a group.
  • Perception - This becomes distorted as the group see only the good in itself and the bad in others. This can distort any information it receives.
  • Territorial - A group can become territorial seeing things as belonging to it ie. its room, its job.
  • Conformity - A group may expect or demand more conformity from its members in order to increase its unity.
  • Atmosphere - This can change according to the urgency of tasks and the way that they are going.
  • Hostility - Members of the group can become hostile to other groups.
  • Communication - This reduces between groups as members do not want to associate with other groups or their ideas or view points.
  • Mistrust - Members of the group mistrust the actions and motives of the other groups. Politics become more important than the task.
Dealing with Conflict
In the event of a clash of personalities it is the leader who must attempt to deal with the situation.
The leader must be able to gauge when tensions become conflict and when that conflict will affect the work of the team. It is at that point the leader must take action.
The first thing to do is to attempt to de-personalise the issue so that the difference of ideas or policies becomes central. This is not easy as personalities and issues tend to become intertwined.
If the conflict is between two people it is those two who resolve it. The task of leader is to assist in any way he can, perhaps by acting as mediator, or by applying pressure.
If this fails you may have to make changes to the team.
A problem can always occur if conflict exists just under the surface, some people may suggest that it is better to bring it to a head; others may suggest that this is likely to make the problem worse. The ideal situation is to have a team which is held together by mutual trust and respect, where they are friends as well as colleagues.
Another problem which can occur is what to do about an underachiever or someone who is not pulling his weight. The leader must be able to tell him the impression that he is projecting. A few examples may be necessary. A selection of options open to him should be presented.

Task  5.3.4 Conflict

Give examples where conflict could occur on site and which may need you to intervene in order to resolve the situation.

Word Guide: 300 - 400 

Additional Information

If you would like additional information you can visit the constructionsite unit listed in the left hand column.

Task  5.3.5 Reflective Account on Unit

Produce a reflective account on what you have learnt in this unit and how it has been of use to you. You should consider what you have learnt; how you have put this into practice and the benefits it has brought to you and your organisation. You can state examples or incidences as a means of illustration.
Word Guide:  800 - 1000 

Unit Complete
You have now completed Unit 5, and you should complete the assignment and send it to

When submitting your assignment you should ensure that it meets all the requirements set out on the Submitting Assignments page, which is accessible from the Student Area or towards the top of the column at the left of this page.

If it does not conform in all respects it will be returned to you and not sent for assessment resulting in delay. ALL questions must be answered in your own words. Any indication of plagiarism will mean that the assignment will fail and be returned to you.

You will be notified as soon as it has been assessed, which will then enable you to continue.
Site Map