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Nothing can happen in construction without great people to complete the projects; the key to success is found within the team.

Whether trying to attract new talent to that team or develop the skills of current team members, staying ahead of employee development and engagement is critical. Many companies look to technology for help. When developing the workforce, there are four areas to focus on to get the most from the team and build a great foundation for the future: learning, training, goal-setting and performance evaluation.

Learning

When skills gaps prevent employees from staying engaged and aligning with company goals, many companies elect to develop their existing staff rather than hire external candidates. This is not only more cost efficient for the company, but also improves employee morale and engagement by motivating those who already have a grasp of the company’s core competencies.

Keeping a steady stream of education flowing through the workforce is the lifeblood of the business. For reasons beyond getting everyone up to speed on company culture and expectations, learning will keep employees invested in the company because they know the company is invested in them. Developing their skills will pay dividends. Gallup notes that actively disengaged employees cost a company more than $2,500 per employee each year.

Learning is key to performance and performance is key to succession. It’s important that employees are always learning, collaborating and developing as individuals.

By investing in a learning management system (LMS), companies continually and efficiently educate their workforce by engaging them with learning opportunities in training and throughout their career. Employees know the company is taking an active interest in developing their skills (and not making it hard on them in the process) and stick around to be the kind of employee that are needed.

Training

Construction is a constantly changing industry, be it equipment, processes, rules or compliance. Having a dependable LMS keeps companies agile enough to make moves without shutting down day-to-day operations. Shutting down isn’t an option; projects must be completed on time.

A LMS puts all training materials in one place to access and deliver content quickly to the audience that needs it. This system lays out a roadmap for success through training; employees have a better chance at making a difference within the company. This ensures everyone is working off of the most current information and keeps everyone on the same page.

Imagine a new, mandatory, safety procedure comes down from the top and everyone needs to be brought up to speed immediately. That would be easy if everyone worked in the office, but people are spread across several 24-hour jobsites with tight deadlines. With a LMS in place, employees can access new safety protocols from their smartphones and tablets at the jobsite.

Having these processes automated and available 24/7 saves time needed for administrative setup and execution, automating the process while still maintaining the ability and authority to train.

Goal-Setting

Much like a company’s success, the success of the workforce depends on setting and striving for goals. Goal-setting creates a solid foundation for company growth and success. When employees don’t have goals, complacency kicks in.

Helping employees set goals and managing to those goals isn’t easy, but there are ways to automate the process and streamline it. First, obtain a performance management solution that helps the company stay up to date and track all those employees and goals efficiently. With that in place, a good second step is to sit down with top talent and have a “stay interview.” This technique uncovers the strengths and motives of the most valued employees. By knowing their strengths and motives, it is easy to help them start properly matching goals.

Taking the time to meet with employees and showing interest in them improves their engagement and commitment to the company. Letting them know how their roles and goals line up with corporate initiatives will give them ownership in the company’s success. Having something to shoot for and an exciting career path laid out in front of them will enable both the employee and the company to succeed.

Performance Evaluation

Many companies have the best employees in the industry at every skill level who aren’t performing to their capabilities. All the pieces are there, but the results are waning. Despite trying everything, nothing seems to be doing the trick.

What if that same group of employees had no idea they weren’t meeting the expectations? What if they thought everything they were currently doing was correct and in line with the company’s strategic initiatives? Or, worse yet, they had no clue what the goals of the company were. How can they be held accountable when they are in the dark?

By streamlining the review process, employee performance can be quickly and efficiently evaluated. Follow up with training or development plans, aligning each employee’s goals with the company strategy. Having an automated performance evaluation process is the key to keeping everyone on the same page and at the best of their ability. With this in place, there will be centralized and standardized opportunities for employee review and feedback. With this constant, employees will always be able to use their talents to positively affect the company’s bottom line.

Applying best practices in employee engagement and workforce development can be overwhelming. Think about which areas could have the most impact for the organization and start there.
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