Construction survey reveals big opportunities for efficiency with web-based training
March 17, 2014 | News & Trends
According to the 2013 U.S. Construction Industry Talent Development Report from FMI, the majority of trade and craft workers in the construction industry are still trained via face-to-face, instructor-led training sessions. Less than 1% of respondents are using online, self-paced instruction. For enterprising contractors, this represents a huge opportunity for improved efficiency as well as a potent competitive advantage.
Web-based training programs enable your training department to deliver consistent training on each type of equipment used by your company. These programs can provide a solid foundation of knowledge about their typical job site tasks, components, controls and safety concerns - which you can then build upon with your internal training on more advanced topics.
While trainees are learning from these 1-2 hour, self-paced training modules, your trainers can invest their time in other high value-added tasks - such as updating work procedures and doing one-on-one coaching other trainees.
A web-based training curriculum also enables you to simplify trainee record-keeping. An online learning management system (LMS) can be used to host these training sessions; it automatically tracks the courses each trainee has completed, how he or she scored and other valuable data.
Imagine the advantages of replacing paper-based training files with a centralized online database. If an incident should happen on one of your work sites, you can access any worker's training record in a matter of seconds.
The wave of the future
While few contractors are using online training today, many respondents recognize that it's the way of the future. Survey respondents were asked if their preferred methods for delivery of training would change in the next three to five years. "The majority of those who answered yes indicated it would be in the form of more online and/or mobile offerings. One company sought to increase its online methods as its workforce trends younger. Another anticipated more extensive use of videoconferencing for its training sessions. And yet another organization saw the need for more online classes as it expanded its services into other states and became more geographically dispersed," the report said.
The common thread in these comments is that they are focused on the challenges faced by contractors with multiple locations. This is where web-based training really shines. You don't have to invest time and money transporting trainers to field locations or trainees to a centralized learning lab. Trainees can access an entire curriculum of online training modules from any computer with a high-speed internet connection - any time, anywhere. Best of all, programs like VISTA's Silver Series are very affordable.
Online training: Your competitive advantage
Very few companies in the construction industry are taking advantage of cloud-based training today, which is exactly why it's an excellent competitive opportunity for your firm. A well-trained labor force is not only safer but also more productive. It can help you win more bids, reduce equipment downtime and maintenance costs and help you increase your profit margin.
According to this survey, contractors WILL adopt web-based training. It's not a matter of if, but when. With any industry-changing innovation, the biggest advantages always go to the early adopters. That means you have a decision to make:
Do you want to extend your competitive edge now with web-based training, or wait until "everyone is doing it" to play catch up?
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