Tips on Construction Training Programs for a Skilled Workforce
The lack of a skilled workforce in construction has continued to be problematic as the industry struggles to find enough qualified workers to staff the growing demand for construction projects. In fact, 8 out of 10 construction firms cannot find enough qualified workers to staff their projects. This has lead to less-than-qualified workers being chosen to work on projects, which can cause safety issues, problems for the subcontractor, as well as legal issues if these employees are not adequately trained.
Many construction firms do not take the time or expend the resources to train their employees properly. This is a mistake. Construction companies must invest in their employees from the moment they are hired and throughout their career with that company.
How can construction companies use training programs to create a skilled workforce?
Train everyone, all the time
In order to create a group of qualified workers at your company, training must occur not only at the beginning, but also throughout the career. A study from Construction Industry Institute’s research team found that for every 1% of the project labor budget that is invested in training, productivity increases by 11%. This means for construction companies to increase productivity, they must have an extensive training program in place for all new employees that will train them on the skills needed to perform a job safely, and productively. However, construction firm’s training efforts should not stop there. Construction firms should offer and require refresher courses for all employees, no matter their age or job seniority, to ensure that everybody is constantly reminded of safety issues and to foster more teamwork and continuous learning.
Create mutually beneficial relationships
Training programs are beneficial to both the individual as well as the employer. Training programs allow construction employees to thrive in their work environment by creating a safe, challenging and achievable environment where they feel as though they are contributing to the company in a valuable way. This creates more job satisfaction that will cause employees to stick around longer. Similarly, employers benefit from high quality work including fewer mistakes and safety issues and lowered job cost. Employers also can decrease turnover of personnel due to higher job satisfaction.
Offering apprenticeships is an excellent way to offer training to prospective industry members while also getting labor from an eager-to-learn group of people. These programs should offer training in many crafts to give the apprentice a broad base of knowledge before choosing which career path to follow. Aside from technical skills, these programs also help teach leadership, teamwork, work ethic, and other useful work and life skills. These apprenticeship programs can be offered for the intent of training and empowering the construction workforce, or be required for all new hires before beginning their full-time job.
Implement assessments and personalized training
Although continuous training is beneficial, all employees are not going to be struggling with the same skills. This is why is it important for construction managers to perform assessments on a regular basis. These assessments are meant to gauge where employee’s strengths and weaknesses lie. From there, training should be implemented specific to each individual in order to fine-tune the areas that they could improve on. This personalization of training will allow for more productive training and higher acceptance of the training by employees.
Training makes your company more desirable to prospective employees
People want to work for a company that will invest in them and help them to develop as a skilled and knowledgeable employee. Therefore, by investing in training programs and proving the ability of your company to expand on the skills of their existing workforce, prospective construction employees will be attracted to your construction company over its competitors.
Construction companies that invest in their employees through training programs are more likely to have lower turnover rates, and higher productivity from their workers. By training employees from the beginning to the end, employees will be more qualified to move up within the company, have high job satisfaction, and stay with the company for long periods of time.