4 Ways BuildWitt Training Can Help Your Experienced Team Members
Written by Megan Hamilton
April 23, 2022
Experienced crew members are worth their weight in gold. They're the most knowledgable, skilled workers on just about any job you put them on.
Yet just because they know a lot doesn't mean they know everything.
Let's discuss why your experienced crew members need ongoing training. Then, we'll explore four ways you can use BuildWitt Training to continue their education—without insulting their intelligence.
Why experienced crew members need training
Generally, we've found three reasons experienced crew members need training.
Reason #1: Things change.
Technologies, laws, and processes change. Even your company changes as it expands into larger teams, new types of work, or new locations.
Your whole team needs training to keep up with the curve—especially experienced crew members who are used to doing things "the old way."
Otherwise, they're out in the field trying to figure it out themselves. They'll eventually succeed because they're smart and resourceful, but they may not find the safest or most cost-effective solution. And they'll lose time and money while searching for a workaround.
Reason #2: They've never been trained before.
Business leaders often hire experienced people with the expectation that they know what to do. After all, they've been doing the job for a long time. How could they not know?
Simple: they never got proper training in the past.
Maybe no one ever taught them the right technique for earthwork. They might have just gotten thrown in an excavator and told, "You want to be an operator? Alright, go figure it out."
Or maybe someone taught them how to run a wheel loader, but that person had never been taught proper technique, either. So that person taught your employee an inefficient or incorrect way of doing things. (At the very least, it's not your way of doing things, and you need people to uphold your way of working.)
Reason #3: They want training.
Some people may think training is just for rookies or those who "don't get it." But the truth is, most people want training. Including your experienced employees.
And there's hard research to back this up.
A study from Oregon State University found that training is among the top three rewards construction workers want. (Money and more responsibility came in first and second, respectively). They also found that training makes people more likely to feel "extremely satisfied" with their jobs.1
We did our own study, the Dirt World Workforce Survey, and it yielded similar results.
We asked 600 Dirt World workers what one thing would increase their job satisfaction the most. Again, the most popular answer was a pay raise, with 28% of people choosing this option.
But the second-most popular answer? Training.
One-fourth of site laborers said they'd be more satisfied with training than with a pay raise.
Here's something else that might surprise you: 46% of the people we surveyed had over a decade of experience.
Your experienced people don't just want training; they crave it. They see training as the path to the pay raise and responsibility they want. (These are Dirt people, after all—they work hard for everything they get, and that includes training hard so they can earn other rewards.)
With that, let's look at four ways BuildWitt Training can help you give them the training they want and need.
1. (Re)teach the basics
Nobody fails an algebra class because they can't do algebra. They fail algebra because they can't do multiplication, division, or fractions. They fail because they haven't mastered the basic building blocks of the class.
The same is true on the job.
Experienced workers don't make mistakes because they're incapable or incompetent. They do these things because they are missing basic, foundational knowledge like the proper way to use a particular tool or how to do a machine walkaround inspection.
BuildWitt Training covers these topics and more with technical skill training for:
- Foremen and field supervisors
- Grade checkers
Your experienced people will get to go back to basics and fill in crucial gaps in their on-the-job education so they can perform better than ever before.
2. Give compliance and safety refreshers
Ongoing safety training is a must for every worker, regardless of their experience level.
For one thing, it's required by law.
For another, experience doesn't always equate safety. In fact, sometimes the opposite can be true. It can be easy for experienced workers to slip up on safety protocol.
Maybe they don't put on their climbing harness because "I'll just be up there a minute." Maybe they don't wear their safety glasses because "I've done this a million times." Or maybe they back up a machine without a spotter because "I know where everything's at."
The problem is what can happen in that one minute, or during that one time they don't wear PPE. The problem is that they know where everything is . . . except the new laborer who just walked behind their machine.
Ongoing safety training reminds your experienced people of hazards and helps them stay vigilant so they—and their crewmates—get home safe each night.
BuildWitt Training helps your experienced crew members stay on top of their safety training in two key ways:
- The ClickSafety add-on gets them access to federally required OSHA, MSHA, and HAZWOPER certifications.
- The Safety Basics learning plan gives them refreshers on basics like PPE, mental health, and looking out for others on the jobsite.
3. Level up their leadership skills
Your most experienced people are most likely to become leaders on the jobsite. They've worked their way up to become foremen, superintendents, and project managers.
These are key roles—yet most companies have little to no training for leaders.
That's a problem. Someone who's been an operator for 10 years will know a great deal about how to get the most out of their machine, but that doesn't mean they know how to get the most out of the people working for them.
Even if they're not "officially" leaders, younger people on the crew will look up to them. Giving your experienced people leadership training will equip them to share their knowledge with the next generation.
You have to help your people grow into leadership. And BuildWitt Training can be just the tool you need to do that.
We have multiple learning plans that are designed to help your current leaders succeed in their roles and prepare your next generation of leaders to step up. These learning plans include:
- An Introduction to Management - Equip managers with the skills to build productive teams, decrease turnover, and comply with industry standards.
- Field Supervisor: An Introduction - Teach the ins and outs of a field supervisor's roles and responsibilities, leadership skills, common pitfalls, and tips and tricks for success.
- Field Supervisor: Level 2 - Help field supervisors excel with lessons on communicating with crews, planning jobs, and managing crews. They’ll also get a course on field leadership from expert Wally Adamchik.
- Leadership - Give your leadership team 100+ lessons from experts like Jocko Willink. They'll get industry-specific, practical advice on communication, time management, productivity, inspiring others, planning ahead, business finances, and more.
- Toolbox Talks - Help field leaders level up their toolbox talks to cover safety, jobsite tips, soft skills, and more. Each lesson comes with a PDF they can take to the jobsite to start conversations and tailor the training to their crew.
4. Grow them as people
One reason your people want training is because they see it as the pathway to career growth.
We've already talked about how technical, safety, and leadership training can all help your experienced people level up their careers and crews, so we won't rehash all that here.
Instead, we'll look at the other type of growth that training provides: personal growth.
Dirt World workers are tough and self-sufficient. They can fix almost anything. And if they're struggling? They grit their teeth and get through it—whether the "it" is a financial problem, struggling marriage, or depression. That's especially true of older workers who grew up in a time when people didn't talk about things like mental health.
Because of that culture, experienced workers probably haven't had many opportunities for personal development in past jobs. But you can help them achieve personal growth with BuildWitt Training.
Our Personal Finance: Level 1 and Level 2 courses will teach them how to save for the future, pay off debt, and make the most of each paycheck. That'll relieve a great deal of the financial tension that creates stress in their lives and relationships.
We also have more content coming soon that's all about mental health. It'll help your crew members learn how to mantain good mental health in a demanding job, and it'll give them new words and ways to cope with any struggles they face.
You've got an all-star team of experienced employees—but what if you could help them get to the next level?
With BuildWitt Training, you can. You can use it to help your experienced workers do four key things:
- (Re)learn the basics
- Get compliance and safety refreshers
- Level up their leadership skills
- Grow as people
If any of the BuildWitt Training content in this article caught your eye, head over to the course catalog to preview lessons and see all of our learning plans.
Or, ready to see how BuildWitt Training handles? Talk to one of our sales reps. They'll walk you through the software in more detail, and they'll get you access to test drive it for free.
Written by Megan Hamilton
April 23, 2022