We believe that the ongoing development of your construction professionals – both newcomers and those who have been with you from the beginning – to be critical to your ability to deliver the best value to your clients and to be a great place to work for your people. With that in mind, we offer comprehensive soft skills training and staff development programs designed to teach everyone on your staff the necessary soft skills to thrive in the construction industry.
Importance of Soft Skills Training for Construction Professionals
While it may seem like a no-brainer, soft skills training for employees is one of the most underrated aspects of talent management within the construction industry. Soft skills training should not be merely a one-time experience during the on-boarding process, but a continuous, evolving element of a construction worker's career.
Soft skills training and development is an investment, with major payoff for your company. Recruiting becomes easier when you can offer opportunities to talent which will advance their professional knowledge and skillset. Still not convinced of the importance of employee training and development? The following thoughts highlight why workforce training should be a priority for your construction company:
Reduce the Skills Gap
- The difference in age between Baby Boomers and Millennials has a profound effect on the skilled trades industry. Because there’s a wide gap between the two generations, they differ in experience, knowledge and training. Implementing a formal learning & development process is crucial to closing the gap and building a productive and efficient workforce.
Improve Risk Management
- Reducing risk means being prepared, more specifically, having prepared your workforce with the appropriate training and development in both soft skills and hard skills. Take advantage of training to reduce onsite injuries and better manage risks by implementing an easy-to-use, comprehensive and mobile-friendly eLearning software. Employees who can access training content at any time and are able to navigate those programs easily are more likely to retain and utilize the critical information, allowing your company’s messaging to stick with employees.
Increase Retention and Succession Rates
- Offering both on-the-job and online training to employees, your company is investing time and good faith in your workforce. Creating opportunities through training paves a clear career path for employees to follow. Construction professionals seeking advancement within their organization can take advantage of the career development opportunities offered to their current role, preparing them for a foreman or manager position.
The Soft Skills Needed to Succeed in Construction
Thriving construction careers not only depend on solid hard skills (industry knowledge) but on soft skills as well. Having an set of soft skills increases productivity and safety on the field which can lead to a long-term successful career in this vital industry.
Also referred to as career skills, soft skills are personal characteristics that enable individuals to interact well with others and perform their jobs well. In construction, some of the most important soft skills include communication, leadership, teamwork & problem solving
Soft skills have always been necessary for the success of construction professionals, because they are directly tied to safety and efficiency. Construction sites where there is little or no communication, no teamwork, and a lack of leadership are a disaster.
The need for soft skills is becoming increasingly important as employers realize the importance of tangible, real-world skills in any workplace.
Construction employees' possession of soft skills is what produces remarkable projects. As projects continue to grow in scope and size—often with tight deadlines —the skilled professionals who are building them must have solid communication, teamwork, and problem-solving skills to complete projects on time, on budget, and without any injuries or other safety issues.
Millennials often embody many of the soft skills required in the construction industry, including teamwork, a desire to continue to grow their skillsets, and a wish to contribute to something bigger than themselves.
The Soft Skills Needed
Communication is an essential skill for just about any job, but it’s particularly important in construction because of the intricate nature of building projects. While verbal communication is vital, nonverbal communication is also very important.
In some construction roles, nonverbal communication can make the difference between a successful crane lift and a serious accident. Individuals in these positions have to make sure their decisions and methods of communication keep everyone safe. Being observant, working as a team, and following directions are also essential.
Critical thinking and problem-solving skills are also incredibly important in the construction industry. With the number of subcontractors and craft professionals involved in a single project, the ability for individuals to envision the project as a whole and make adjustments to their work as needed is critical to the overall schedule and budget.
Conflict resolution or the ability to react to and find quick solutions for problems and issues is another key soft skill. Projects will not always run smoothly and knowing how to innovate and make the right decision can mean the difference between an unsafe and safe work environment.
Other soft skills that are highly desirable in construction jobs and, depending on the specific job, essential to success include:
- Anger control
- Attention to details
- Planning and organization
- Crisis management
- Interpersonal skills
- Negotiation skills
Construction professionals should strive to be leaders, team players, and hard workers. However, job titles often lead to an assumption of skills, or those that are expected because of a position. For example, a firm owner or superintendent may be expected to exhibit stronger leadership skills than a worker. But in reality, the workforce thrives best when everyone is leading, communicating, and striving to do their best.
A combination of soft skills and technical knowledge contribute to a well-rounded and successful construction workforce. Learning and enhancing soft skills will ensure a lengthy construction career and can help individuals climb through the ranks of the industry.