Construction training is one of the most critical steps toward maximizing your team's safety, morale and productivity. It establishes a foundation for a crew member's career at your company. These tips for training employees in construction offer ideas for new and experienced construction managers alike.
People learn in different ways, and you can understand how your team processes information by keeping an open line of communication. Let your new crew members ask questions, including repeat ones. You can also encourage your team to provide feedback on your training to learn how to teach them more effectively. These steps can help you tailor your training to your crew and establish trust early in your relationship.
Require all new employees, including temporary and part-time workers, to go through an intensive safety orientation. The Associated General Contractors of America recommend using visuals to help your team recognize hazards on the job. You can also use the Occupational Safety and Health Administration's safety training resources.
When you make it easy for your crew to access training materials whenever they need them, you can save time on questions and help workers retain information. Consider giving each employee a pocket training guide or creating an "education center" in an accessible area.
If your orientation involves multiple trainers, make sure that everyone provides consistent information. When trainers contradict each other, employees can get confused about the proper course of action in a situation. A lack of coordination among your trainers can also build barriers to trust for your new employees.
The physical nature of construction work means that new workers need to learn a concept in practice as much as they do in theory. Demonstrations and workshops let crew members build their technical skills for better execution on the field.
According to the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), 40% of construction employers report a gap in foreign language skills. A language gap in training leads to communication barriers that impact your crew's safety and productivity. If any of your team members don't speak English as their first language, try to provide training materials in their native tongue. You can also teach your English-speaking team members basic phrases in another language to promote better communication.
Even the most thorough training programs may not account for everything that happens on the field. Consider pairing each new crew member with a veteran to give them personalized coaching on the job. This "buddy system" can help you reinforce training concepts and better understand an employee's strengths and weaknesses.
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