How to Develop a Training Program for New Construction Workers

Rose Morrison

Sep 1, 2020

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Construction takes a massive variety of different skills, mixing disciplines across trades and sectors. This can make training challenging, especially if you’re trying to develop a new training program. What needs to go into a new construction training program for it to be successful? Here’s some advice that can give you an idea.

Use Multiple Teaching Methods

Some people learn by reading or observing, while others gain knowledge by getting their hands dirty or listening to lectures. People learn differently, and your training program will benefit from adopting different teaching methods. While you can learn nearly any skill on paper, it’s easier to adopt many of the talents necessary to succeed in the construction industry by utilizing a hands-on training technique.

Focus on What Works

If you have a history in the construction industry, you’ve likely already experienced different types of construction training programs in your career. Feel free to cherry-pick through those programs, focusing on what works and discarding what doesn’t. You know what will work best for your company. You don’t need to stick to a single plan or technique. Choose the most effective solution to create the perfect training program. 

Use Your Available Technology

There are plenty of situations in which putting a new and untrained employee on the job could result in a catastrophic injury or death — even if hands-on learning is the best option. Thankfully, modern technology can help your employees learn the skills they need to succeed without putting them at risk. Virtual reality allows us to create an immersive virtual world out of just about anything. It may have started in the gaming industry, but it’s emerging as a valuable training tool in nearly every sector. 

Make Sure Everyone Is on the Same Page

The quickest way to create a training program doomed to fail is a lack of communication. You need to ensure everyone is on the same page, from the newest hire to the highest-paid CEO. Everyone needs to agree on and participate in the training program so they all learn the same things at the same time. 

Create a Safe Learning Environment

This suggestion might sound like something you’d hear in elementary school, but your goal should be to create a safe learning environment for your team. We’re not talking about physical safety here, though that is important. We’re talking about making your employees comfortable enough to ask questions and consider different ways to approach a problem. 

This can be beneficial for you as a trainer too. You may come across someone who thinks a little differently than you but ends up giving you a new best practice as they question your existing ones. 

Include Diversity Training From Day One

Workforce demographics are constantly changing. In fields like construction, which are typically male-dominated, diversity and inclusivity are becoming necessities. With the growing skilled labor shortage, the construction industry can’t afford to be an exclusive old-boys club anymore. Diversity and inclusivity education should be included from the beginning of a new employee’s training. If you haven’t already incorporated these sections into your construction training program, now is a perfect time. 

Use Any Feedback You Receive

While you might be correct in thinking that your training program’s goal is to impart information, it can also become a valuable tool for collecting data. Ask your new trainees for feedback on the program’s quality, the things that worked best for them, and areas they think might need improvement. You might find that your new hires are a wealth of information.

Measure Your Results

Finally, take the time to measure your results. This step is the best tool for determining what you need to change versus what’s working well and can be left alone. Collect data over time and look at the big picture to figure out the best course of action moving forward. 

Evolve and Change as Needed

Your training program is not the 10 commandments — it’s not set in stone. Be flexible and evolve as needed to create the perfect training initiative. If you adopt new technology and techniques as they become available, it won’t take you long to develop the ideal construction training program to suit your team’s needs.

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