Implementing a great learning and development program always offers construction companies a treasure trove of benefits but it could really make an impact in 2023. The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) recently released its industry outlook for 2023. And while construction companies are optimistic about demand, especially with the federal government’s infrastructure bill, they will continue to be confronted with worker challenges, namely labor shortages. 

According to AGC’s 2023 Construction Hiring and Business Outlook survey, 69% of respondents claim they expect their headcount to increase but 58% think it will become harder or remain hard to hire. The problem is construction companies need more than just warm bodies to fill positions. They need skilled workers. Without enough skilled workers, jobsite safety could be negatively impacted. According to AGC’s 2023 Outlook survey, 83% of respondents said inexperienced skilled labor and the workforce shortage will be a safety and health challenge in 2023. This is where learning and development can really be a game changer. 

Benefits of Learning and Development 

Learning and development is a specialized function of your HR department. It includes all processes, like training, that allow your employees to improve or learn specific skill sets to help drive better overall business performance. Coaching, mentoring, job shadowing, attending webinars and conferences, and online training courses are all types of development learning. 

Learning and development programs benefit your company in multiple ways. 

  • Happier employees. Dedicating resources to your employees and developing formal training makes them feel valued as individuals and as employees. Valued employees will be loyal to your company because they will feel you’ve invested in them, even when other opportunities present themselves. Plus, when you invest in your employees, they become invested in your company’s future success. 
  • Happier customers. Properly trained employees are better equipped to finish to a higher standard than unskilled workers. When your workforce has a well-rounded skill set, it’s easier to accurately bid on jobs and once won, finish them on time and on budget.  
  • Reduced hiring costs. Happier employees stay with a company longer, improving your retention rates. Hiring costs are reduced because there’s less turnover. And when you don’t have to devout as much time to hiring, you can focus on big picture items like strategic goals and initiatives. 

Learning and Development Pitfalls to Avoid 

While learning and development can hugely benefit your company, it can also set you back if it’s not done properly. 

  • Forcing all employees to learn at the same time. Construction work doesn’t occur on a 9 to 5 schedule, so making your entire workforce stop to train at the same time doesn’t make sense. Allow employees to learn on their own schedule via an online system. You’ll make learning and development flexible while providing equal opportunities to all. 
  • Forcing all employees to learn the same thing. Some mandatory training is necessary to keep your company compliant, i.e., sexual harassment training or product training. But sending employees to conferences or forcing them to sit through webinars that have nothing to do with their skill set will only turn them off to future training opportunities. Allow employees to help choose what training to pursue and develop a curriculum that’s tailored to their needs. 
  • Not capitalizing on new skills. If an employee shows interest in a new skill set, it won’t benefit your company if you don’t allow them to use it. Closing the skills gap is the main reason for employee development. If you’ve invested in new training, make sure you have plans in place for employees to showcase those new talents. 
  • Not choosing development plans that scale with you. There’s a big difference between training five employees versus 50 or even 150. As your company grows, your HR processes will need to adapt to match that growth. Having a system in place that easily adapts from 50 to 1,500 employees means you can offer more training without missing a beat. 

Where to Start 

Implementing a learning and development program begins by investing in a system that both supports and offers employee training. 

  • Consider how your employees learn. Your development strategy should offer learning options for all your workers. Some workers might prefer in-person, hands-on training while others want to be autonomous and go through training on their own. Choose a learning management system (LMS) that tracks both online and in-person training. 
  • Make it mobile. An LMS must have mobile capabilities that allow your employees to finish and track their training sessions from the job site, office or at home. 
  • Use a customizable solution. Your LMS needs to allow you to upload customizable content as well as cover the basics. It should include standard training courses like sexual harassment prevention and cybersecurity and offer multiple formats so you can upload courses specific to your employees’ skill sets, products and services. 
  • Choose an LMS that’s easy to use. We know your employees won’t take advantage of learning and development if they can’t use the system. Arcoro’s LMS features a centralized location for all training through its employee portal which can be used for other core HR functions like performance reviews and onboarding. The dashboard allows employees to see their learning plan, progress and history. Automatic emails alert employees when they have new assignments or when a deadline is approaching. And the system is entirely cloud-based, so your employees can access it at any time, anywhere, on almost any tech device. No special technology is required, and no special apps need to be downloaded. 
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See for yourself how easy it is to start implementing a learning and development program today by scheduling a demo. 

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