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Ongoing training is a requirement in construction, but in the past it has been somewhat undervalued as a real business strategy. As the workforce continues to evolve and shift, employees are seeking mobile or online training options that allow them to complete their training whenever, wherever and are more engaged when those options are available. This is being driven by the consumer practice of using smartphones to access information in a just-in-time manner. To adjust to these changes, it’s imperative to modify training strategies to meet the needs of the modern construction worker in order to maintain an engaged, educated workforce. 

Mobile and online training have become the hottest trends in training over the last few years, but unlike many other trends, they appear to be here to stay. They allow employees to complete their required and optional training from anywhere on their own devices. With a cloud-based solution the opportunities for learning are endless. Effective training programs can also reduce workplace accidents and time to full productivity. The many benefits make mobile training a no-brainer for developing the workforce knowledge base in any company.

Safety First

The construction industry is high-compliance and goes to great lengths to ensure safety in the workplace for both employees and those nearby. When new employees begin at a company, they can be overwhelmed with training, paperwork and other onboarding tasks. It can be hard to retain that huge amount of information that’s given to them in only a few hours. New safety requirements are being updated constantly and it can be tough to get employees up to speed, especially when they’re spread across multiple worksites.

That’s where mobile training delivery is a lifesaver for any construction company as it makes safety training available in real time, meaning companies can take a no-excuses approach to safety regulations. Employers also have the opportunity to add additional learning modules to aid employees in navigating new situations. For example, employers could add a winter weather safety module to their learning program for employees who haven’t yet experienced their first winter in construction. 

Using Imagination

Mobile and online training options create limitless opportunities for learning. These opportunities extend far beyond the reaches of the classroom, online module or instructor-led course. An online learning database, such as a learning management system (LMS) allows employees to train in a way that works for them. Is there a speaker coming to town? What about that conference? Is the job foreman conducting on-the-job training? Anything relevant can be counted toward training hours or beyond their required training. Employers have the opportunity to create an individualized approach to learning, which will lead to higher levels of engagement and retention because employees will feel that their managers care about their individual development. 

Beat the Skills Gap at Its Own Game

In 2018, construction companies are continuing to hire candidates for culture fit and then train to develop talent, since there aren’t enough qualified people with construction experience on the job market. This means that there is more pressure than ever on training. Mobile and online training can give these high-potential employees a chance to acclimate to their jobs before they even set foot in the office. After they’ve done their onboarding paperwork, they can jump right into their training plans.

There is also the opportunity to repurpose skillsets for new roles, which can promote career paths within the organization. Develop training programs to meet the long-term needs of the company. Hiring costs are also lower when a company chooses to hire internally, so be prepared to see a healthier bottom line. 

Be Flexible

Mobile and online learning meets employees where they are, both geographically and mentally. Employees can complete training that will help them excel at skills they’ve already mastered and continue to develop areas where they struggle. Give employees the ability to opt into nonessential training so managers can identify high performers or those who are willing to go the extra mile, which can make decisions easier when it comes time for promotions or raises. 

Weather delays often leave employees feeling frustrated because they’re losing wages, but employers who choose mobile training options are able to provide an alternative. Instead of losing time and money, employees can have the opportunity to participate in paid training during delays. This could also reduce employee turnover because employees feel their managers care about their training and development opportunities, as well as their need for a consistent paycheck. 

Save Money

While creating an online and mobile training program may come with an investment, it will ultimately end up saving company dollars. By replacing physical training centers with online programs, companies can forego the cost of having to rent those spaces. It can also reduce the costs from delaying a project to devote days to training. Smaller costs, such as feeding trainees or added mileage to the training site are also going to vanish because employees can now complete their training anywhere in the world. 

A trained workforce is a safe workforce. When implementing mobile training, prepare to see a steep reduction in time lost due to workplace accidents and injuries. Complete more projects on time and save money because the team will function more efficiently. 

Effective training is the backbone of the skilled trades industries. With the skills shortage plaguing the industry, it’s more important now than ever to develop a training program that employees are responsive to and can easily complete. Mobile or online training options allow employees and managers to complete training and view progress. Development opportunities are a huge part of what makes employees stick with a company, so it’s a solid business strategy to adopt a mobile or online training program to train and retain the best and brightest in the industry.

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