How to Speed Up Construction Training
Sonetics | October 24, 2017

Many view construction training as an unproductive but necessary evil. Not true. The Construction Industry Institute found that productivity increases by 11 percent for every one percent of project labor budget invested in training.

Every construction worker—from the green rookie to the seasoned veteran—can benefit from some level of construction training on the jobsite. The trick is to streamline the process so that it’s less disruptive and literally “on the job,” where both the trainer and trainee can be productive. Construction wireless headsets can help.

CONSTRUCTION TRAINING DAY 1

Whether you’re training one new worker, a subcontractor or a whole new crew, classroom construction training will only get you so far. Training in the field embeds the material deeper into your employees’ understanding. Classrooms are great for theory. Jobsites are better for real-life applications. Training employees with construction wireless headsets frees you up to work in the classroom or on the jobsite while keeping trainers and trainees connected at all times.

HELPING THE ROOKIE

Laborers, apprentices, interns and other workers new to a jobsite have so much to learn about their specific responsibilities that safety and workflow processes can be overwhelming. The ability to hear clearly in high-noise areas combined with the ability to ask questions at will can help keep them focused.

IMPROVING THE EXPERIENCE FOR SEASONED VETERANS

According to Josh LeBrun of eCompliance, safety starts at onboarding. Even if a construction worker is an experienced professional, their first few days working for your company “is your greatest opportunity to familiarize them with your safety culture.” With construction wireless headsets, you don’t have to tie up that expensive, productive experience in a classroom. After a brief overview of safety and workflow for your jobsite, put them to work doing what they do best. You can continue construction training while the work gets done, with construction wireless headsets that let trainers deliver instructions and answer questions in the moment.

A MUST-HAVE “BUDDY SYSTEM” COMPONENT

The “buddy system” is a common construction training tactic on jobsites. Part one is to simply pair a trusted experienced employee with a new one and let the know-how trickle down. Outfit buddies with construction wireless headsets to increase participation, limit disruptions and accelerate the knowledge sharing. You can even give each team its own channel.

Part two is to immediately transition trainees into trainers. This will help reinforce what they’ve just learned from their experienced buddy. In other words, it keeps the knowledge from going in one ear and out the other.

ONGOING ASSESSMENTS

Especially for employees new to the construction industry or apprentices, construction training is a part of the job. Construction wireless headsets make it easier to integrate field assessments into the normal workflow, which also reduces the pain of taking a worker out of productivity for a classroom or written assessment.

PERSONALIZED APPROACH

Every worker brings his or her own strengths and weaknesses to the jobsite. It’s not scalable to create a custom training program for each individual. However, construction wireless headsets do allow you to apply a training framework to every worker and then personalize elements of that framework. You can empower workers to shore up their own weaknesses and share their strengths with other crew members. This results in more engaged, accountable employees making larger contributions to the project.

MORE EFFICIENT TRAINING CENTERS

If your company is large enough to have a centralized training center where trainees gather for intensive training away from the jobsite, then construction wireless headsets can make the field training at the center even more authentic. Bring the noise. Cue the organized chaos. Create uncomfortable situations. When communication can still be seamless, you can talk trainees through to success when they fear failure the most.

EXPERTISE STILL ON YOU

Now the big question: What should be included in the training? That’s why they pay you the big bucks. Aside from the individual apprenticeship curricula, you may want to tackle training that combats OSHA’s Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards in Construction. ConstructConnect wrote an informative primer for National Safety Month in 2016.