Maintaining a positive and safe jobsite is a top priority for all construction companies. And this all starts with comprehensive training.
The onboarding process is the first introduction new hires get to how your projects and jobsites are run and that process shouldn’t be rushed—especially when it comes to safety. According to injury reports submitted to a property and casualty insurance company, employees who have been at a company for one year or less represent nearly two out of every five injuries.
According to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), new employees should be trained on these top safety topics:
- General safety rules
- Personal protective equipment
- Fall protection
- Ladder safety
- Scaffolding safety
- Electrical safety
- Defensive driving
- Back safety and proper lifting
- Trenching and excavation
- Chemical safety and hazard communication
- Tool and equipment safety
One way to reinforce the training on these topics—and to really get a new employee performing and invested in your company– is to assign new hires a training buddy or mentor. While enhanced safety is one result of using the buddy system, you’ll reap other advantages too.
What is a Training Buddy?
A training buddy is an existing employee who’s assigned to a new employee with the purpose of guiding them through the first few weeks or months of a position. According to Indeed, having a training buddy allows for the sharing of knowledge that goes both ways. The new employee can share tips, knowledge and techniques learned on past jobs and the existing employee helps the new employee learn and understand the current job expectations, including safety.
Benefits of Using a Training Buddy
Assigning a training buddy to new hires provides a positive onboarding experience that engages from day one. A new employee feels welcomed and better prepared, which can positively impact retention rates. Organizations with a strong onboarding process improve new hire retention by 82% and productivity by over 70%.
A good impression makes a big difference when a new employee starts a job. And assigning a training buddy helps make the best impression about the job and company as a whole. The information a buddy shares is not only reliable but also provides the new hire with a point of contact for any questions. Let’s face it, starting a new job can be overwhelming and confusing. There are existing hierarchies and relationships that new employees must unravel. Having a contact person makes the transition much easier and welcoming for a new employee.
Onboarding contains a lot of information a new employee needs to know. No matter how comprehensive the training is, new employees may not retain all the necessary information they receive over the first couple of days or weeks. Assigning a training buddy can help everything sink in and reinforce the most important information. And, the better the onboarding, the better the impression your new employee will have of your company, and the more likely they’ll be to stick around.
How to Choose a Training Buddy
Who you choose to fill a training buddy role is very important for successful onboarding. You want to choose an employee who can not only mentor or guide a new employee but is also conveying the right information to them.
According to Indeed, there are some employee characteristics that make for a great training buddy.
- Strong work performance: Use past performance reviews to help determine if a training buddy will set a good example.
- Skilled in the position: The buddy should have experience in the position that he or she is training the new hire on.
- Good communication skills: It’s essential that the training buddy be able to communicate effectively and use active listening to understand what the new hire needs.
- Isn’t a manager: Ideally a training buddy should be someone who has worked the role the new hire is taking on, not someone who will supervise them.
- Is accessible: Being a training buddy shouldn’t stress out your employee. The employee should have time for the role.
- Wants to participate: You don’t want to force an employee to become a buddy. Your employee won’t appreciate it, and neither will the new hire.
Choose a Good Onboarding System
Pairing a training buddy system with good onboarding software helps ensure your new hire feels welcomed and is properly trained.
Arcoro’s Onboarding system is a compliant, cloud-based solution for companies to organize and automate the process and “paperwork” required to add a new employee to your company. Arcoro’s Onboarding module makes it easy for both the company and the employee to efficiently and effectively process new hire paperwork and improve time to productivity.
Contact us to learn more about the onboarding system features and how this module can onboard your new employees faster, saving you money, without missing any compliance steps.