Digital learning is an essential part of new hire training in the construction industry.
What is digital construction learning? Learning through tools on computers or mobile devices using videos, video games, simulations, and tests. Digital learning tends to be interactive and hands-on, meaning that students push buttons, guess, and use their hands to learn.
Digital construction learning can change the lives of disadvantaged groups who may not have access to traditional "classroom" learning opportunities. Think about the student denied the chance to learn because of where they were zoned to go to high school. Maybe the student was lost in high school and didn't realize they wanted to pursue a career in the trades. Digital construction learning provides a lifeline to new skills, techniques, and knowledge that can open doors to new careers. With digital learning, people learn at their own pace and in their own time. Learning is accessible on their phones and computers. There is no need to pay for expensive textbooks or travel.
Digital learning provides a sense of possibility for those looking to change their lives by entering new careers. Using skills gained digitally, people can use digital training to enter a new career, like construction. Construction careers earn -mid to high salaries, pensions, health care, and other benefits nationally.
Digitally teaching construction skills offers a more affordable and easy way to onboard new employees. For example, the same series of digital content videos and resources can be used to teach each incoming class of contractors. There is no longer a need to have a trainer walk through the same pieces of equipment, inspection reports, team rules, and company guidelines over and over again. This saves a company hundreds of wasted hours training new employees. When company training happens, it usually decreases company productivity by taking the best employees off the job site and forcing them into the classroom to teach. These processes can be captured using video, simulation, or alternative technology.
To run a digital new hire training for your construction company, follow these five tips. We've curated them to help you create a fun digital learning experience for your new hires.
1. Set Clear Expectations for Your Digital Construction Training Program
To begin a training program, set clear expectations for the new hires. Let them know what is expected of them, including the training program's delivery method, the expected completion timeline, and what skills and knowledge they will acquire by the end of the program. These expectations will help ensure a successful and effective training program.
To help set clear expectations:
- Create a comprehensive training plan.
- This plan should outline the construction learning objectives, timeline, dates, quizzes, in-person commitments, and any other expectations you may have of the new hire.
- Share this plan with your new hires, team, and board.
- Provide new hires with any resources needed to complete the program successfully.
- This should be step-by-step, numbered, with an estimated time showing how long each module is expected to take.
- Follow up with the new hire after training to get feedback and ensure knowledge retention.
- Revise your training plan based on the feedback you received from your new hire.
2. Choose the Right Platform for your Digital Construction Training
The second tip for managing digital construction learning is to choose the right platform. With so many digital learning platforms available, choosing the one that best fits your organization's needs can be challenging. If an organization chooses a digital platform that doesn't fit their needs or isn't user-friendly, it can result in learner disengagement or even abandonment of the program. This, in turn, can lead to wasted resources and a lack of return on the investment.
So, when choosing a platform, consider the features essential to your program, such as tracking progress, offering quizzes or assessments, and providing interactive content. Also, consider the ease of use of the platform, as well as the level of support offered by the platform's team. These features can lead to more effective learning outcomes and higher learner engagement. If you want to explore how digital construction learning can help your organization, check out the diverse range of learning resources offered on CaHill's comprehensive digital learning platform here. Overall, digital learning platforms represent a significant investment for organizations, and choosing the right one is crucial for the program's success.
3. Use Interactive Content for Your Digital Construction Training
Traditional classroom-based construction learning can often fail to engage construction workers, who are hands-on learners. They didn't always do their best in classrooms, tied to a desk and textbook. To combat this, use interactive content encouraging these learners to participate actively in the construction learning experience.
Interactive content can take many forms, such as quizzes, assessments, games, and simulations. Incorporating interactive content creates a more engaging and memorable learning experience that will likely stick with your new hires—looking to enhance your new hires' onboarding experience? Our platform here offers a variety of engaging quizzes, assessments, and printouts that can help get them up to speed. Contact us today to learn more, and we'll happily share these resources for free!
Be sure to also check out our blog, 10 Tips for Attracting and Retaining the Next Generation of Construction Workers, for valuable insights on how to build a successful and sustainable construction workforce for the future.
4. Encourage Collaboration for your Digital Construction Training
Encouraging collaboration is another valuable tip for effectively managing digital learning. Collaboration is a critical aspect of education, and digital learning platforms can facilitate collaboration among learners.
It also creates opportunities for new hires to interact with one another, such as through discussion forums or group projects. These interactions can increase sharing of experiences and knowledge, leading to a deeper understanding of the material among learners. Create a group text, Slack channel, or email thread to ensure training expectations are understood and being met. Have you ever been told you are over-communicating? Challenge yourself and aim to be the one who over-communicates responsibilities, timelines, and expected outcomes.
Are you or someone you know interested in getting trained for a job in the construction industry? CaHill Resources offers a hybrid training program that enables new learners to gain the necessary skills and knowledge for a successful career in construction. Please contact us today to learn more about this exciting opportunity.
5. Providing Ongoing Support for your Digital Construction Training
Providing ongoing support is the last tip for successfully managing digital construction learning programs. New learners may require additional assistance or have questions throughout the program, so having a reliable support system in place is essential.
Tip 1: Schedule weekly check-ins with new hires over a coffee or lunch break. We recommend that this meeting last around 20 minutes. Conduct quarterly hour-long 360 reviews to track progress and provide feedback.
Tip 2: Set up a dedicated support team or a system that enables learners to ask questions and receive prompt answers. This setup can include a chat-based platform, email system, or other tools for addressing learners' needs. We recommend that all systems talk to each other in real time.
Tip 3: Create opportunities for new hires to provide feedback on the program. Consider that feedback when making changes or updates. Engaging with learners in this way can help keep the program up-to-date and relevant to their needs. Your curriculum and your workforce are both changing. Make sure your company's processes and training systems also update.
Once you've implemented these tips for new hire digital construction training, be sure to also check out our blog on How to Put Together a Construction Safety Training Course to ensure a comprehensive and safe onboarding experience for all your team members.
Digital learning is a powerful tool for construction companies to boost the skill set of their new hires. By setting clear expectations, choosing the right platform, leveraging interactive content, encouraging collaboration among learners, and providing ongoing support throughout the program, you can ensure that your digital learning platform will be successful in helping employees gain essential skills. Don't hesitate to reach out if you have questions about creating an effective digital learning strategy or are interested in our hybrid training program at CaHill Resources. We'd love to help get your team up to speed on the construction industry technology with our comprehensive resources!