Continuity in Construction learning
So you want to be a successful construction company? It’s about a lot more than just building the project. Just as a building needs regular maintenance, renovations, and upkeep, so do construction professionals. Successful construction companies don’t only invest in project pursuits, but in their workers as well and continuous improvement and learning and development is a crucial part of working in the construction industry. In fact, it’s mostly why a lot of people enter the construction industry, to begin with, because just like the building itself, the work is never over. Continuous learning is broadly defined as expanding skills and skillsets through education and increasing knowledge. But if you’re a business, the only way for your workers to continuously learn is through providing them the tools that can facilitate it. After all, if a continuous learning program is implemented correctly, it should be a mutually beneficial situation, a win-win both for the employer and for the employee.
If you’re not the best, you’re only chasing the best. This is true in any industry, let alone in construction. Hence, one of the most significant benefits of implementing lifelong learning programs in a company is to stay ahead of the competition with workers that are superior to the other firm that’s bidding on the job. In construction, profit margins are becoming increasingly thin as labor and materials become more costly.
But by investing in your workers, you’re likely to see productivity improvements that help offset some of these overhead costs, thereby allowing your company to better meet its profit goals on each project. Continuous learning in construction is also essential for staying up on the latest technologies that are entering the industry. What’s more, is that continued learning can also spur innovation and spark new ideas among your employees that your firm can take advantage of to further improve productivity and boost profits.
Benefits of Investing in Continuous Learning in Construction
- Reduce risk: Greater adaptability and agility are a few of the things your workers are likely to gain from continuous learning. This helps them better prepare for and react to the unexpected, thereby reducing risk on job sites.
- Improve safety, quality: Any investment in your workers’ education is going to provide them with a more well-rounded skillset. This will only go to benefit the quality of the work that’s performed at each project site as well as the safe environment on each.
- Attract talent: In addition to retaining workers, offering continuous learning opportunities for your employees will help attract top talent in the long term.
Any continuous learning program should place a large emphasis on technology. Though the construction industry has been one of the late adopters of technology, things are changing with the onset of Building Information Modeling (BIM), collaboration technology, wearables and smart technology for job sites. Keeping workers up to date to learn how to use the latest innovations and technologies will only help businesses remain competitive.
- Leadership: It’s often said that people don’t leave companies; they leave leaders. A bad leader can indeed derail a company’s operations in more ways than one. For starters, an abrasive leader can do more harm than good on a project site. It’s why building the right kind of leader, especially from within, can pay such big dividends. It’s not just a great way to grow professionals internally, but it’s a great way to mold them according to your company’s core values.
- Project delivery and strategy: Design-build and integrated project delivery are essential to learn about and gain experience in considering today’s fast-paced environment. What’s more, is that continued learning can also spur innovation and spark new ideas among your employees that your firm can take advantage of to improve productivity further and boost profits
- Advanced trade training: For a company to prosper, it needs exceptional workers and professionals with the skillsets to market to owners. Any continuous learning plan that you implement shouldn’t just include internal learning opportunities, but external ones as well. Encourage workers to earn certifications from industry associations.
- Conferences and summits: Speaking of industry associations, getting involved with them is great for networking as well as professional development. Conferences also often include breakout educational seminars and exhibit halls to help attendees learn about the products and technologies that are out there to help them do their jobs better.
- Internal corporate programs: Can your company partner with a trade school or association? While not all companies have the resources to do so, it’s a huge asset for the ones that can. On a smaller scale, many companies still are able to host Lunch and Learn events or special breakout seminars within their office space.
With new ideas on where your workers need improvement and want to grow, now it’s time to start executing. But do you know what it takes to implement these continuing education programs effectively? If you don’t earn employee buy-in, you risk these initiatives dying out before they ever even have a chance to get off the ground.