The construction industry is a conservative one — as you have to be when you’re a bona fide engineering discipline, and people’s lives depend upon your products. As such it’s not one known to embrace the latests fads and short term trends.
Which is just as well, as eLearning is neither a fad nor a short term trend. Not just because it’s a mature technology that has been around for a couple of decades already and has been adopted by all of Fortune 100 companies, but also it’s essentially just a variation of the age old practice of training and educating.
Training and educating people is, of course, something that’s needed in every industry. And since it can help improve training efficiency while keeping costs low, it’s a perfectly good fit for today’s competitive construction industry.
Especially as the complexity that construction companies have to manage is now at an all time high, with complex rules and regulations at the regional and national level to be followed, such as the International Building Code that has been adopted throughout most of the United States, but also the tons of special regulations related to things such as environmental factors, sustainability, power efficiency, etc.
eLearning enables construction companies to train their workforce in navigating this increasingly complex landscape efficiently and in a cost-effective manner. Specifically, by embracing eLearning for employee training, construction companies gain:
Employees can educate themselves at their own pace, taking advantage of down-time within a project’s stages or between projects (even if such down-time is difficult to predict in advance, e.g. due to delays in supply lines or permit acquisition). This is unlike standard classroom based learning, were classes are remote, inflexible and have to be scheduled in advance.
eLearning has an order of magnitude lower costs compared to traditional classroom based learning, with increased savings as the number of learners grows.
With eLearning based training you don’t have to maintain or book a school to deliver courses in, or pay for employees’ travel expenses (which in some cases can include plane fares and hotel stays).
You also don’t need to employ as many educators, since a single eLearning platform deployment can handle thousands of students with one or a couple instructors overseeing them all.
Large construction companies can operate in multiple locations, in different cities and often in different countries.
eLearning allows such businesses to deliver training to multiple locations while retaining central supervision, with a single deployment that their IT department can easily manage, monitor and secure.
This enables construction companies to have all their workforce up to date to the latest rules and regulations, something especially useful in compliance training.
Central, web based, deployment also makes updating eLearning material easier and more cost effective (compared to prepared classroom based lectures and printed textbooks), something that’s important considering that construction codes and regulations are frequently updated, and new techniques and construction materials might be needed for specific jobs.
And with the advanced reporting capabilities of an LMS like eFront, managers can keep track of courses, groups of learners, or even specific employees across all their sites and branches, and even automatically award specific certifications upon the successful completion of a course or a set of courses.
Last, but not least, an eLearning management system can be used for employee orientation (or “onboarding“), that is, for introducing new hires to their working environment and giving them the basic information they need to start being productive.
This information includes your construction company’s operating procedures, policies, restrictions and guidelines, as well as the ever more important education in professional ethics, and sexual and racial discrimination issues.
In today’s competitive construction landscape, eLearning can help minimize costs and increase training effectiveness.
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