The world of work has a tendency to change constantly. With technology evolving at a rapid pace, it’s becoming increasingly important for employees of construction companies to upskill in order to stay ahead of the curve.
Due to automation, some experts predict up to 50% of America’s workforce will need to find new employment by 2030. Every day technological and economic transformations impose new skill requirements on workers and companies. Enterprises’ chances of surviving are endangered by a lack of qualified personnel, which impedes the increase of productivity and threatens their survival. In the field of upskilling and reskilling, private sector expenditures on formal education and certification from training providers whose offerings may not match industry norms pose an additional obstacle.
Before we get to the point, let’s figure out what upskilling really is.
Upskilling is the process of learning new skills or improving existing ones in order to meet the demands of a changing workplace. In today’s world, upskilling is essential for anyone who wants to stay employed and move up the career ladder. With technology becoming more and more prevalent in all aspects of work, it’s necessary for construction employees to have a certain level of technological literacy. Additionally, as workplaces become more globalized, it’s important for employees to have cross-cultural skills and be able to communicate effectively with partners from all over the world.
Advantages of Upskilling
In a recent study, it was found that in the next 8 years up to 375 million workers worldwide will need to switch occupational categories as a result of automation and other technological changes. This means that employees will need to be constantly learning new skills in order to keep up. As Benjamin Franklin said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.”
There are several reasons for employees’ upskilling we’d like to highlight:
- Keeping employees’ skills relevant. As the workplace evolves, certain knowledge and abilities become outdated while new ones emerge. If you’re not constantly learning and growing, you’re falling behind. By upskilling, employees of the construction industry can make sure their skills are current and valuable to their companies.
- Increasing the workers’ competitiveness. In the modern job market, workers need to be able to differentiate themselves from the competition. By upskilling, employees can make themselves more attractive to potential employers and increase their chances of getting hired or promoted.
Not only is upskilling important for individual employees, but it’s also crucial for construction businesses. Companies that invest in the skill development of their employees are likely to perform better and more lucrative. This is due to the increased efficiency and effectiveness of upskilled staff, which increases business productivity.
- Attracting and retaining top talent. In order to attract and retain the best talents, businesses need to offer opportunities for growth and development. According to the Work Trends 2016 Global Survey by IBM, 70% of employees stated they would leave their businesses to fully utilize their existing talents, and 65% said they would leave to acquire new skills.
By investing in employee upskilling, construction companies can show their employees that they are committed to their development and career growth within the company.
- Reducing turnover rate. Turnover can cost a business over 50% of the salary for entry-level roles and up to 200% of the salary for senior executive positions. Upskilling reduces the turnover rate since it costs a fraction of what it takes to attract new staff and increases retention rates.
- Positive impact on the company’s culture. 60% of executives in USA believe that a robust upskilling program has a beneficial impact on the company’s culture. Those CEOs whose companies provided more advanced upskilling had greater revenue confidence. Because it gives a clear, realistic action plan, a program for skill enhancement may help the development of morale inside the construction organizations.
- Returning of investments. According to research conducted by the MIT Sloan School of Management, a 12-month workforce training program focusing on soft skills had a return on investment (ROI) of 250% within 8 months of completion. The growth was primarily the result of an emphasis on the vital soft skills required in today’s workplace, such as knowledge, adaptability, and resilience. Adaptability and resilience are likely two of the most significant abilities that employees can possess. Additionally, interpersonal skills including critical thinking, communication, and collaboration are essential.
- Helps business stay ahead of the curve. By investing in employee upskilling, businesses can ensure that they have the skilled workforce they need to stay competitive in the ever-changing marketplace.
5 Ways to Upskill Your Staff
There are a number of ways for construction companies to upskill their employees. We gathered definite variants to get started properly:
- Arrange Developmental Activities
Every employee seeks career advancement chances within the organization. Therefore, construction firms should focus on undertaking upskilling activities, however, a generic strategy or activity is ineffective due to the fact that employees’ learning abilities vary. Activities must be classified depending on employee needs and learning styles, and a business must train staff according to their areas of expertise. For instance, one employee may excel in technology and the other may shine at communication. Construction organizations should recognize that every employee is unique.
- Check Their Progress
Monitoring work patterns will assist an organization in planning activities in accordance with such patterns since a construction business ought to have a very strong understanding of the skills of each person. To determine whether or not more instructions are needed, the companies ought to solicit comments and suggestions from their workforce. Reviewing employees regularly is highly important for a firm to do in order to enhance its level of productivity.
- Provide Individual Learning Opportunities
Provide multiple opportunities for personal development to motivate your staff. Employees are aware of their past, present, and future skill development, so self-analysis enables them to identify their weaknesses and the areas in which they need to improve to perform better.
- Confide in Your Staff
By demonstrating trust in its personnel, a construction company can boost the confidence of it’s employees. Even when an employee is a slow learner and makes mistakes, they must be given the opportunity to develop. The encouragement provided to employees fosters an honest relationship between employer and worker.
- Reward Employees
The employees anticipate that their efforts to develop their talents will be rewarded by their companies. Recognition encourages employees to perform better. Construction organizations should also remember that employee motivation is increased by incentive.
Establish an Upskilling Strategy
The first step for building a construction organization’s upskilling strategy is to answer the question: what key skills will your employees need during the next 1-3 years?
The CEO should answer this question for three groups by collaborating with cross-functional leaders: the overall organization, departments or business units, and individual employees.
Consider first the overarching business plan and objectives of your organization. Determine three to five abilities required for the entire organization to attain its objectives. For instance, data science, cloud computing, and innovation may be the most important abilities for a corporation that must adopt new modern technology.
If your organization is quite large and has diverse business lines, it may be more logical to begin at the department or business unit level. Definition of the direction for upskilling then comes down to department managers. The abilities indicated for individual employees will vary greatly based on their roles and objectives for the future. It is essential that employees take responsibility for their upskilling, and career dialogues can facilitate this process.
The next step is to include objectives in your upskilling plan. Specifically, it involves using the construction organization’s existing talents as a baseline to predict how it will acquire the future skills it needs to fill gaps. Again, company leaders should consider the entire organization, its business areas, and each employee. Plans vary for different staff members. Depending on the results of their skill review and identified gaps, employees should be required to select one or two talents.
Figuring out the best ways to achieve the objectives is the third step of the strategy. Employees must choose suitable forms of learning in order to develop their skills and expertise:
- Self-directed online studying. Statistics say that about 2/3 of upskilling employees use specific websites, and more than a half use Google search to learn. One can conclude that online classes, tutorials, podcasts, articles, and YouTube videos are the most common type of learning for employees.
- Team learnings. Up to 50% of workers prefer a series of virtual and in-person learning sessions with a team or peer inside their company. This type also helps to rally the team.
- On-the-spot-learning. Asking employees to help in managing some challenging issues, giving stretch assignments, and sharing increasingly more instructions and responsibilities in practice can increase engagement by up to 30%.
- Peer-to-peer. The third part of employees ask their coworkers or utilize social networks and online forums to gain knowledge from their peers.
The most sophisticated upskilling programs incorporate engaging learning experiences that aid in skill development through practice, feedback, and reflection. The case for a hybrid strategy is strengthened by analyzing how employees learn at work.
As your construction personnel upskills, managers should gather the insights that help measure progress. Data might come from various sources. Content providers such as edX, Coursera, and Pluralsight give several ways for gaining information about the skills individuals are acquiring.
Now is the moment to connect skills with the appropriate possibilities, so the upskilled employees may continue to grow professionally, and so firm leaders and managers can identify existing talent. This entails establishing a dynamic career marketplace that connects people with new initiatives, stretch assignments, and even jobs, facilitating internal mobility.
The final step demonstrates how your upskilling strategy affects your business priorities and emphasizes the value that upskilling provides. This is typically information directed at the highest levels of leadership, addressing themes deemed most important by the CEO and other executives. Use metrics that are particularly pertinent to the business priorities you are trying to achieve, but also important to senior management to communicate your organization’s achievements effectively. These may include factors like employee retention, staff engagement, productivity time, the amount of sharing and cooperation that occurs, the percentage of individuals working on new tasks, and revenue growth.
If you would like to discuss the best ways and strategies for upskilling your workforce, book a call here with our team members at Raymond Search Group and we would be happy to share what some of the most successful construction leaders are doing right now to ensure they remain competitive in this ever-changing market.