Essentials of a Construction Training Program

Construction is an industry that’s usually associated with on-the-job training. But a more comprehensive training program is quickly becoming essential throughout the sector. What are some of the essentials of this sort of training program?

1. Apprenticeships

High school students who look beyond the “college is the only choice” axion are often on the lookout for an easy way to get their foot in the door. Instead of waiting for them to find you — which may or may not happen, depending on the state of the job market — why not offer apprenticeships as part of your training program?

Keeping everything in-house makes it easier to secure the kind of talent you need without worrying that another company might poach your potentials right out from under you while they’re training.

Construction management software can become an invaluable tool for managing your apprenticeship programs, helping you keep all your ducks in a row, so to speak. With a keystroke or a single click, you can keep track of each apprentice’s progress, hours, certifications earned, and all other applicable information in one place.

This becomes incredibly useful if you’re not used to running in-house apprenticeship programs.

2. Diversity

Off the top of your head, do you know the demographic makeup of your team? If you work with a large number of people or lots of different subcontractors, the answer is probably no.

Experts predict that Caucasian individuals will make up less than half of the U.S. population and workforce by 2030. Discrimination should never have any place in the workplace, and modern companies absolutely can’t afford to exclude people because of their race, gender, or sexuality anymore.

Diversity in the workplace is something every industry should be striving for. In addition to taking all the necessary steps to promote diversity on your crew, frequent diversity training can help keep everyone on the same page.

Incorporate these changes into your construction management programs and let the software do at least some of the work for you. Creating a diversity training program is essential, but it doesn’t have to be difficult.

3. Variety

They say that variety is the spice of life, and that goes double for training programs. Sticking to the same training regimen every time you add a new member to your crew is going to leave everyone bored to tears — and if they’re bored, they’re not retaining vital information.

Not all people learn the same way, it turns out. Some learn best visually, while others learn best when they listen. Others only thoroughly grasp concepts during hands-on instruction. Don’t stick to old or outdated training methods just because that’s how you’ve always done it. Spice things up and provide variety in your training.

Keep track of everything you use and everything you do in your training programs. That way, you don’t cycle back to things too often, and it’s easier to keep track of what works and what doesn’t.

4. Safety

Safety on a construction site is always of the utmost importance. It becomes even more challenging when you bring new employees onto the team. You need to instruct them on-site while still ensuring their safety and the safety of everyone else on your crew.

Before they ever pick up a hammer or get behind the controls of a forklift, instill in your trainees the essential importance of safety in the workplace. Don’t skip this step. Don’t delay it until they have other basics down. Start with safety and then work your way into everything else.

Embracing modern technology — especially things like construction management software — can make it easier to keep track of safety issues, keep your team safe, and with enough data, even predict when and where safety problems might occur.

5. Best Practices

Everything in your workplace should come with a series of best practices, and your training program is no exception. Keep a comprehensive list of your best practices, and allow them to evolve and change as you learn more.

Techniques and technologies are constantly changing — so you need to evolve to match or be left behind. You can use construction management software to keep track of your best practices, so you don’t end up returning to something that doesn’t work because you’ve forgotten about it or a new member of the crew suggests it.

6. Personalization

No two applicants or trainees are alike — and your training program will need to adapt accordingly. Personalized training programs are a great way to attract the younger generations.

While Gen Z won’t outnumber the Millennials that came before them, they’re bringing an entirely new perspective to the field — and they are expecting a fast-paced, tech-centric workplace. Personalizing your training programs is a great way to bring this new generation into a rewarding career in construction.

7. Desirability

One of the most challenging things when building a construction training program is combatting the general population’s perception of the industry. When the average person pictures a construction site, they see dirty men in hard hats, miserable in dead-end jobs.

This isn’t close to reality. We have to combat that perception and turn the industry into a place where people can see themselves building a lucrative, interesting, and rewarding career.

8. Continuous Education

Finally, make sure that training doesn’t stop with onboarding. One of the fastest ways to lose Millennial and Gen Z employees is to allow them to stagnate in their position. Everyone can benefit from continued education in the workplace. Think of it as investing in the future of your company. Instead of continually training new employees because your existing ones leave, you can turn your training program into a tool for employee retention.

Looking Forward

The exact contents of your training program will vary depending on the type of work you do and the markets where you operate. But all of the things we’ve listed above can help you build a comprehensive training program.

The goal isn’t just to train your new hires. It’s to turn your company into one that can help your employees build a career in the industry instead of using it as a layover along their way.

A comprehensive training program isn’t optional anymore for any company hoping to survive and thrive in the modern market. Start by looking at your existing training programs and seeing where you can make changes that will help you move into the future.

This blog was guest authored by Rose Morrison. Rose Morrison is a construction industry writer and the managing editor of Renovated. Follow her on Twitter to see more of her work

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