"Multi-tasking" is a buzz word that's fallen out of favor in recent years, and for good reason. Studies have shown that people actually aren't very good at it. But while multi-tasking is now out, possessing multiple skills is certainly in, especially when it comes to the construction industry. There was a time when this industry was extremely specialized, but in these days of increased global competition and fewer people to handle increased work loads, every skill counts.
The question is, where do you find these multi-skilled employees, who can handle saws and software with equal ease? The answer is, you may very well already have them. So the next question is, how can these multiple employee skills be brought into full flower? Employee training is an obvious answer, and it may be more cost effective and less time consuming than you would think. But before setting up construction training programs, employers should:
- assess employees' current skill and training levels
- compile lists of employees' more "exotic" current skill and training levels
- keep detailed records on current and future training needs of employee and firm
Once you've established which employees need specific training and when, the next step is to secure it. Because of the nature of active construction work sites, it is often difficult to schedule group training with a live instructor. As an alternative, many firms will require an employee to set up and attend training on his or her own and reimburse them for it. Increasingly, many industry courses are being offered online. Employees can complete them via computer or device, on their own time, from a variety of locations. Beware of sites claiming to offer training for "free". The cost of many of these courses is often nominal, and comes with official certification. Among the better ones:
Online OSHA Construction TrainingIn addition to a large number of excellent industry compliant safety classes, this site offers certified training in labor law, hazardous materials, heavy equipment operation and environmental compliance, among many others. Class prices range from $20-$300 with class time ranging from 1-40 hours.
Learning Link, Inc. Communications CoursesThis company offers links to a wide number of vendors who offer many online public speaking courses on topics ranging from dealing with employees, to making presentations, to business meetings. Class prices range from $35-$129, with class time ranging from several hours to several weeks.
ConstructionClasses.comDo you or your employees need to update your essential construction math skills? Get certified in green building skills? Or master planning and scheduling? Then this site, which directs users to college level construction industry courses, is for you!