Most construction companies’ development programs consist of the training that’s required, like safety, on-the-job training and compliance. But if you’re not training employees on how to improve their skills or advance in their careers, you’re missing out on a golden opportunity to strengthen your workforce.
According to the University of Phoenix’s Annual Career Optimism Index 2022, 68% of workers say they would stay with their employer throughout their career if there are opportunities to upskill and 65% say they’d stay if there are opportunities to reskill.
Paying your employees to train shows them that you’re invested in them and their future with your company. Think beyond traditional areas of training by providing skills that your employees can use with your company and beyond.
CPR and First Aid
Construction work can be hazardous. In 2020, workers in transportation, material moving and construction accounted for nearly half of all occupational injuries, according to OSHA. And while injury reporting is part of OSHA compliance, providing CPR training, or Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation training, is not a requirement, but rather a recommendation. Incorporating CPR training with first aid is a good idea. It’s a skill that will not only make your jobsite safer, but one that a certified employee can keep current for the rest of his or her career.
OSHA notes that first aid training is primarily received through the American Heart Association, American Red Cross, National Safety Council (NSC), and private institutions. OSHA advises the training program should be periodically reviewed with current first aid techniques and knowledge. Basic adult CPR retesting should occur every year and first aid skills and knowledge should be reviewed every three years.
Soft skills are skills that illustrate how an employee works. According to The Balance, soft skills include interpersonal (people) skills, communication skills, listening skills, time management, problem-solving, leadership and empathy, among others. Training in soft skills is important because technology is changing so rapidly that the shelf life of job skills is short. Soft skills are skills an employee can use for any position with your company. And according to LinkedIn, the issue isn’t convincing employees about the importance of soft skills but making access to training convenient.
LinkedIn Learning suggests starting soft skills training on one of three paths:
- Time Management Training: Time management training can help improve workforce productivity by ensuring employees manage their own time efficiently.
- Interpersonal Skills Training: Interpersonal skills training helps workers learn what it means to be a teammate and learn the basics of interpersonal communication.
- Public Speaking Classes: Public speaking classes can help employees overcome a fear of public speaking while sharpening communication skills for better presentations—think toolbox talks!
The importance of mental health often gets overlooked in construction, likely due to the stigma that surrounds getting help for mental health issues. That’s dangerous because the construction industry is ripe for mental health issues due to the physical aspect of the work, where injuries and chronic pain can lead to depression, but also other risk factors. According to CSDZ, these risk factors include:
- Low social image of the construction industry
- Barriers to adequate medical health care and behavioral health services
- End-of-project furloughs and seasonal layoffs
- Worker lifestyle choices with respect to nutrition, exercise, alcohol and substance abuse
For these reasons, construction companies should offer mental health first aid, including suicide awareness training. According to Mental Health First Aid, a mental health training program teaches employees how to notice and support a co-worker who may be experiencing a mental health or substance use concern or crisis and connect them with appropriate employee and community resources. This type of vigilance is essential in construction, which sees one of the highest suicide rates.
According to the CDC, suicide rates are significantly higher in construction. The CDC’s report shows among males, suicide is higher in construction than in all other industries, save mining, quarrying and oil and gas extraction. Train your workers to recognize suicide risk and other mental health issues.
A learning management system (LMS) can track when employees complete training, keeping managers and HR in the loop as to who is certified to do what, like quickly offer first aid or CPR. Systems like Arcoro’s also offer a library of training courses specifically for construction thanks to integrations and partnerships with companies like ClickSafety, Training ABC, AnchoRock and more.