Although it may seem like a no-brainer, employee training is actually one of the most underrated aspects of workforce management in the construction industry. Sounds crazy, right? An efficient and up-to-date business will realize that training impacts all the major business goals:
- Employee retention
- Recruitment efforts
- Workforce quality
- Bottom lines
Training should not be a one-time experience during the onboarding process, but rather a continuously evolving element of an employee's career.
Still not convinced of the importance of employee training? We've highlighted why workforce training should be a priority for your construction company.
Use it as a Recruitment Tool
Recruiting becomes easier when you offer opportunities to workers that will advance their professional standing and skills. In fact, in today’s competitive hiring environment, a quality workforce training program can be presented to recruits as a competitive benefit.
On-the-job training for high-demand industries like brick masonry, electricians and plumbing decreases the bar of entry and encourages even novices to apply. This larger pools gives you a wider selection for hiring, and allows you to focus not just on skills, but also on personality fit. As your team grows, some of these younger workers will be bound for management and other important leadership roles. With your larger pool of recruits, you’ll have a better chance of having the ambitious personality types you need to take on the jobs.
Reduce the Skills Gap
Baby Boomer retirements and low levels of Millennial and Gen Z workers who can fill those open positions has caused a worker shortage that hinders construction companies. It’s one of the main contributors to the historical imbalance of open jobs versus available workers:
In February 2019, there was a record 7.3 million job openings in the United States
It was also the tenth month in row where the number of jobs exceed the number of workers (Department of Labor)
Because there's a wide gap between the upbringings of the two generations, they differ in experience, knowledge and training. Implementing a systematized and streamlined training process is crucial to closing the gap and building a productive and efficient team.
Tip: If training a younger workforce is as much of a focus for you as the data suggests it should be, make sure to use video training as a primary training tool. Millennials and Gen Zers are accustomed to technology and smartphones, and they expect to use both on the job. Learn why having video training adds value to your Learning Management System.
Improve Risk Management
Nearly every construction company rightfully states “safety” as a business operation priority. But without training, are you really backing up that claim? The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) likely plays a role in your business. With state and federal combined, OSHA conducted more than 70,000 inspections in 2018, and its work makes a big impact: Since 1970, worker deaths in America are down on average from 38 worker deaths a day to 14 in 2017.
While that’s a great trend, 14 deaths a day nothing to smile about. Improving risk management in construction begins with training, continues with training and ends with training ... or big-time fines. Construction is such a high-risk industry that OSHA has designated four areas as the "fatal four" workplace injuries:
Being struck by an object
Caught or crushed by equipment or machinery
With the proper training, these fatal risks can be drastically reduced. Get started with OSHA training on our Learning Management System, which includes certified OSHA training through ClickSafety.
Reducing risk means being prepared, and more specifically, having prepared your workforce with the appropriate safety training. Take advantage of training to reduce onsite injuries and better manage risk by implementing a Learning Management System that is:
Employees doing risky work need to be able to access training content at any time. When they can navigate problems more easily, they’re more likely to retain and implement the critical information. This not only helps with safety, but when deployed properly with a customizable system, great training can extend your company culture and values.
Tip: Consider how company-required certifications can help keep your crew safer. Using a certification management system can give managers a quick glance of the certified employees who are qualified to operate equipment or work on a particular type of project. Or, for new hires, consider the value of being ready on Day 1, when your new team member can snap a picture of their OSHA card, upload it to your training site and get started on the project.
Invest in Employees, Increase Retention
By offering both on-the-job training and online courses, your company is investing time and good faith in your workforce. Creating opportunities through training paves a clear career path for employees to follow, and gives them confidence not only in your belief in them, but also that you’re making plans for the future. Laborers seeking advancement within their organization can take advantage of career development opportunities offered to their current role, whether that looks like preparing them for a foreman or manager position, or teaching them a more niche skill set.
For the construction industry, which has largely focused on drawing in new young workers, learning is key:
87 percent of Millennials rate “professional or career growth and development opportunities” as important to them in a job (Gallup)
Nearly half of Millennials say they’d leave their job for one that offered professional development (Gallup)
78 percent of employees said they would remain longer with their employer if they saw a career path within the current organization. (Mercer)
In today’s cutthroat recruiting and retaining environment, training is a proven path to attracting and keeping employees in construction. It empowers your workforce and gives your company “employer of choice” status by earning a reputation as a company that invests in its team. Learn more about the how to launch a strategic training program - that includes hundreds of on-point videos, as well as OSHA certifications - by getting a BirdDogHR demo today.
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