What is your construction training program designed to achieve? Some companies focus on meeting minimum standards for safety. Other companies like HDR and Fluor — firms that recently built or repaired hundreds of bridges in Oregon — are known for their investments in bringing new people into the skilled trades.
With all the different possibilities, how can you get the best results from your training investment?
Choose a Construction Training Goal
Pursuing one or two goals at a time is the best way to improve your training productivity. In construction training, a few of the options include:
- Reduce Accidents: When your staff has better training, they are less likely to suffer accidents.
- Eliminate Fines and Negative Publicity: Poor construction training tends to be a contributing factor to fines.
- Develop Future Talent: No matter how good your managers are, they are going to retire or leave eventually. A construction training program can help you to develop new leaders, which is especially crucial because of the construction labor shortage.
- Increase Your Company’s Capabilities: If your company has mainly worked on residential projects and you want to take on commercial projects, training needs to be part of your plans.
Resource: If safety is the focus of your training program, take the time to do your homework on industry trends. Read our guide to recent construction safety trends here: 2017 Construction Safety In the News: 6 Stories You Need To Know.
3 Ways To Use Construction Training Forms at Your Company
Use these digital forms to reinforce the value of your construction training program. Explaining a concept once is rarely enough, especially if the training requires people to change their habits.
1. The Pre-Construction Training Form
If you send your staff into a training course cold, they will not be primed to get the highest benefit from the course. Instead, set the stage before the training experience begins. Ask questions such as:
- How would you rate your knowledge of this topic (beginner to advanced)?
- Do you expect to use what you learn from the session in your work in the next 30 days?
- (If Appropriate) How helpful was the pre-class homework?
- If you could only have one question answered about this topic, what would it be?
- How does this training relate to your career goals?
2. The Post-Construction Training Form
The problem with most training programs is the lack of follow up. Managers do not know if a given program made a difference or not. This lack of evaluation also means it is difficult to make improvements.
In your construction training, use a post-training form to gather feedback.
Make sure you cover the following points:
- Did the instructor provide practical examples to illustrate the material?
- What part of the course did you find most valuable?
- What topic would you like to see covered in greater depth?
- Would you recommend this training course to a colleague?
- In the next week or month, will you have an opportunity to apply what you learned?
3. The Lunch and Learn Training Form
In some training situations, a short training experience is the better approach. Specifically, a 30-minute session during lunch works well for bite-sized training objectives. Use the following themes to collect ideas for possible courses:
- What aspects of company policy or procedures are unclear when discussed by your teams?
- What conferences and events have you attended in the past six months? (Providing a summary of a conference presentation is a tried and true source of ideas for lunch and learn events.)
- Which company systems or technologies have the lowest adoption rate in your group (e.g., updating the project management system)?
For details on how to deliver lunch and learn session, check out “Lunch and learn sessions should be more than free pizza.”
The Need for Digital Forms
When deciding how you want to collect this information about your construction training, you can choose a traditional paper form option, or go for a digital form.
If you use paper forms, you are immediately faced with problems. How do you know if you have successfully collected all of the forms? What do you do if the form is illegible? If the forms have to be sent to a different office, that process could take days to complete. In comparison, digital forms are a much more efficient option.
Your employees open up a digital form right on their mobile devices, enter the information — including photos if needed — and click submit. To make life easier for managers, you have the option to send digital form data directly into your workflow.