Tag Archive for 'Training'

4 Steps Before Deciding What Works Best for You

Editor’s Note: When a new technology is introduced to the market, you can’t help but think, “will this give me a competitive advantage?” Unfortunately, the answer won’t come from the sales person or tech expert you’re contacting.  Only you can determine whether a technology is the right solution for the challenges you face.

Tauhira Ali, senior manager of construction technology at Milwaukee Tool is speaking about this very situation at CONEXPO-CON/AGG in March. She says that your competitive advantage does lie within construction technology, but there are certain steps you have to take in order to tap into this advantage. If you would like more information about Tauhira or her session, please feel free to reach out.

Attend the education session “Gain a Competitive Advantage Through Construction Technology” on Wednesday, March 11, 2020 from 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at CONEXPO-CON/AGG. Register now

It happens more and more now. A new technology is introduced to the market and you think, “Will this give me a competitive advantage?” The answer won’t come from a salesperson, tech expert or trade magazine. Only you can determine whether a technology is the right solution for the challenges you face. Here are some steps to take before investing resources in technology that you think will give you a competitive advantage.

1. IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM

“Before you can solve a problem, you need to identify it,” says Tauhira Ali, Senior Manager of Construction Technology at Milwaukee Tool. What are the strengths and weaknesses of your  current workflow and how will this change in the future? How do your processes compare with the competitive environment you’re working in?

Chances are that your challenge doesn’t exist in a silo so don’t keep your problem-solving effort in one either. Is it a process challenge? Equipment management? Productivity? Safety? Ali suggests empowering employees to better understand innovation and share their insights.  In that way you are more likely to find solutions that employees want to work with. “Focus on people and tasks. Know who you are and what you need,” she says.

2. INVESTIGATE

After you’ve identified the problem, start investigating. Technology solutions are rarely bought off the shelf these days. You need to get educated on products and solutions. Fortunately, there are many sources of information on the Internet including articles, podcasts, videos. “Find the leading suppliers in your market and invite them to help you solve your particular problem. Be vocal about what you want,” Ali says. “You are the customer, explain your needs. Tell them what your deal breakers are. While you are learning from them, they are learning from you.”  

Construction technology startup companies received $1.05 billion in investment from venture capitalists in the first half of 2018, a record high. Startups and well established companies can introduce you to something you are unaware of such as wearables to improve safety or the latest in drone technology. Convey your high standards and insist the provider you work with share or exceed that standard.

3. FIND THE OPPORTUNITY

Assess the benefits of any solution suggested. Does it fit within your existing processes? Does it offer a more efficient process? What gains will you see and when? Can you test it on a small scale before implementing something more robust? Again, know who you are and establish a process that works.

Investment in technology can bring unforeseen advantages. It can make talent recruitment easier, bringing in skilled people who use data to assist with in-house and on-site decision making. The best people are attracted to companies that are innovating and outpacing their competitors. They see growth opportunities for their careers. Ali previously created technology solutions and assessed business viability for products and platforms in the automotive and aerospace industries before joining Milwaukee Tool. “The construction industry is so ripe for innovation today and in the future of how we build,” she says.

4. PREPARE TO IMPLEMENT

Clean your house. New technology will work better within a strong foundation. That means documented processes, streamlined tasks, proven methods, and vision. It doesn’t need to be complicated, just clearly communicate how work is done and why. Define what success looks like so your progress can be measured. Be flexible. Pivot when necessary.

Market trend reports can help in assessing competition but don’t forget the value of peer groups who are not competitors. “Face-to-face communication at association meetings and trade conferences is always valuable,” says Ali.

Why Recruit Veterans

Beyond Workforce Development, Workforce Solutions

by Julie Davis,

Association of Equipment Manufacturers Director of Work Force Development.

Are you tired yet of pulling from the same employment pool? If the answer is yes, then you are ready to explore the new world of veteran recruitment. If you think that you’ve tried it, it doesn’t work for you or there is no one to recruit in your area, then you simply aren’t up to date. 

Why recruit Veterans?

Many companies find veterans to be more productive employees with lower turnover rates when compared to their nonveteran counterparts. Additionally, their past military background can give veterans distinctive capabilities and perspectives that can add insight and diversity to your team’s problem solving. Employers can also qualify for up to $10,000 in federal tax credits per veteran. 

There are multiple state and federal organizations that exist to connect employers with veterans. Many of them work with veterans before they leave active duty to ensure they have skills that can plug immediately into the workforce. Furthermore, just because you may not have a military base located near you is no longer a reason to exclude veterans from your search. Organizations looking to place veterans into employment include working to get veterans back to their home states if that is what they are looking for. Taking a few extra steps could mean providing a veteran the opportunity to truly come home.

Veteran Retainment

Approximately 40 percent of veterans leave their first job out of the military within a year of being hired. The transition can be challenging but there is some common sense, yet very real ways that you can position your company to retain your veterans. 

First, define what your motivation is to hire veterans. Then identify what skills, attitudes and experience would benefit your organization the most. (If you are not sure, simply find your best current employee in that position and identify their skills, attitudes and experiences.) 

Decide what a successful veteran hiring program for your organization looks like. Are you looking for just one or is this going to become a regular program? 

Identify the service branches, ranks and occupational specialties you might like to target. Don’t know? That’s okay because there’s multiple ways to connect. You could reach out to your state or local Veteran’ office and talk with someone or here are some great website you can connect with:

Understand the basics
https://content.iospress.com/articles/work/wor01987
(A brief introduction to military workplace culture)  
https://www.va.gov/VETSINWORKPLACE/docs/em_termsLingo.asp 
(Common Terms) 

Difference between the branches 
https://www.va.gov/VETSINWORKPLACE/mil_structure.asp

Difference between officer and enlisted ranks 
https://www.va.gov/VETSINWORKPLACE/docs/em_rank.asp

Civilian to Military Occupation Translator
https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/civilian-to-military-translator.aspx?frd=true

While building your veteran’s program, don’t forget to tap into your secret weapon – any veterans you are currently employing. Get their thoughts about skills and areas of service that might be a good fit. Don’t forget to ask them what about working for your organization might appeal to a veteran. After all, they have stayed with you! 

There are multiple employment organizations that will connect you with veterans. A few of my favorite include:

Hero’s MAKE America (Provides 10 weeks accelerated skills training for manufacturing)http://www.themanufacturinginstitute.org/Initiatives/Military-and-Veterans/Heroes-MAKE-America/Heroes-MAKE-America.aspx 

Hire a Hero
https://www.hireheroesusa.org/hire-a-veteran/ 

Bradley-Morris, Inc. (Specifically for Skilled Technicians)
https://www.bradley-morris.com/military-recruiting-firms/field-service-technician/

Orian Talent
https://www.oriontalent.com/military-job-seekers/enlisted-technicians/

Lastly, don’t forget that to retain your veteran, you may want to consider having some supports in place to make their transition smooth. Connect them to existing veterans in your workplace, let them know about opportunities for professional growth and advancement, and consider engaging current veterans in creating the program to ensure its effectiveness. 

Veterans who are coming out of service where they have worked with heavy equipment may be a perfect fit for the construction, agriculture, mining, utility or forestry industry sectors. Don’t let taking a few extra steps keep you from your next best hire.

5 Ways to Shake Up Your Safety Training

Safety is always an important topic because it’s always an important part of our lives, especially in construction where exposure to risk is a constant.

“Safety Training Ninja” will be presented on Thursday, March 12, 2020 from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at CONEXPO-CON/AGG.

Here’s a look at what you can expect, courtesy of the CONEXPO-CON/AGG:

5 Ways to Shake Up Your Safety Training

At 20-years old, Regina McMichael’s husband died after falling off a roof at a jobsite where he was working. That was the day her safety career started. Thirty-three years later she is still laser-focused on making the industry safer by improving the way we teach safety training. Her energy, humor, and engaging style as a speaker and trainer has earned her rave reviews throughout the industry. She recently shared five key ways to change your safety training to make it more effective.

  1. Identify What the Learners Know and What They Need to Know

“The gap between these two areas is what you teach to,” says McMichael. “Nothing more, nothing less.” She teaches trainers to use the ADDIE Model (Analysis, Design, Development, Implementation, and Evaluation) to first analyze and then design training.  “We need to respect our audience and not waste time teaching them things they don’t need to know, like the 29 CFR 19….– they don’t need to know that to be safe,” she says.

  1. Make Training Interactive

It’s time to put away those deadly PowerPoint presentations. McMichael recommends engaging workers with problem-solving activities. “Give them a scenario and ask how would you fix this? It will be much more interesting and fun,” she says. “Have the workers help develop the solutions and train themselves.” Use case studies, group discussion and competition to gain their interest and attention. “Friendly competition makes classes fun and makes things stick,” she says.

  1. Use Multiple Avenues to Train Workers

In construction there are a huge number of small firms without someone in a dedicated safety role. Those tasked with safety training are frequently overworked and can find themselves in a position of having to teach a topic they don’t have any expertise in. McMichael advises firms to use multiple training tools, such as local classes, online training, in-person training, and one-on-one jobsite training with supervisors to help lessen the burden on those in the safety-training role. “There is no one magic solution,” she explains.

  1. Bring Humanity Back to Safety

“If we’re going to be successful, safety training cannot be about compliance,” says McMichael. “We have to let human beings know we care about them and let them know we want them to stay alive.” Jobsite pressures can often result in workers not taking the time to be safe. Employers need to show they value workers by providing them with the knowledge and best practices to ensure they go home to their families.

  1. Support Your Trainers

McMichael believes a commitment to safety and effective training will enable companies to move from compliance-driven checklists to humanity-based solutions. One of McMichael’s classes, Getting a Seat at the C-Suite: What Every Safety Pro Should Know, focuses on how to get management to support safety initiatives. Another, titled Safety Training Ninjas, based on her recently released book, “The Safety Training Ninja” equips trainers with a process to develop effective training, and tools to make it valuable and something people want to learn. Trainers also learn how to develop learning objectives and demonstrate objectives were achieved. People not Policy, is about bringing humanity back to the safety world. All three programs will be offered at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020.

For free safety training resources and information about McMichael visit www.safetytrainingninja.com or http://www.reginamcmichael.com.

CONEXPO-CON/AGG’s comprehensive Education Program is the leading source for contractors, business owners, construction material producers and end users to obtain cutting-edge information for today’s challenging economy and business model.

About CONEXPO-CON/AGG

Held every three years, CONEXPO-CON/AGG is the must-attend event for construction industry professionals. The next CONEXPO-CON/AGG will be held March 10-14, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. For more information on CONEXPO-CON/AGG, visit https://www.conexpoconagg.com.

CSDA Opens Registration for Fall Training and Certification Classes

The Concrete Sawing & Drilling Association (CSDA) has opened registration for its Fall training and certification. The packed schedule features six 101 and 201 courses, as well as a GPR certification! Attendees can expect hands-on and classroom-style learning from one of the most respected and knowledgeable veterans of the industry, Rick Norland.

CSDA has scheduled a series of comprehensive introductory programs geared toward anyone wishing to begin or expand their knowledge of cutting disciplines that will take place in Portland, Oregon, at the ICS Training Facility. They are followed by a series of advanced Operator Certifications designed for experienced operators looking to gain proficiency in sawing and drilling techniques and those classes will be held in sunny Clearwater, Florida, at St. Petersburg College. The schedule is as follows:

Date                                   Course                                                                          Location

Oct. 14-15, 2019               Slab Sawing & Core Drilling 101                                  Portland, Oregon

Oct. 16-17, 2019               Wall & Hand Sawing 101                                               Portland, Oregon

Oct. 18, 2019                    Wire Sawing 101                                                              Portland, Oregon

Nov. 8-9, 2019                 GPR Certification                                                            Clearwater, Florida

Nov. 11-12, 2019              Slab Sawing & Core Drilling 201                                  Clearwater, Florida

Nov. 13-14, 2019              Wall & Hand Sawing 201                                               Clearwater, Florida

Nov. 15, 2019                   Wire Sawing 201                                                               Clearwater, Florida

As part of its Train More Save More program, the association offers large discounts to companies that send multiple operators to sawing and drilling classes. CSDA also has an online training website consisting of 27 classes available via www.csdatraining.com.

“Since its launch in 1995, the CSDA Training Program has had over 9,000 graduates and over the past couple of years, we have seen course participation grow across the board. An increasing number of companies are once again feeling financially confident enough to invest in industry training, which not only improves efficiency, safety, and productivity but raises the professionalism of the whole industry,” says CSDA Lead Instructor Rick Norland.

The association has hands-on, classroom and online classes for every discipline and skill level, allowing contractors to provide operators with superior training. To find registration details and other important information about these classes, visit www.csda.org/training.

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The Concrete Sawing & Drilling Association is a nonprofit trade association of contractors, manufacturers and affiliated members from the construction and renovation industry. Diamond tools for projects requiring sawing, drilling, selective demolition, cutting, and polishing offers the construction industry many benefits including lower total project costs, precision cutting, maintenance of structural integrity, reduced downtime, reduced noise, dust and debris, limited access cutting and the ability to cut heavily-reinforced concrete. Founded in 1972, CSDA has 500 member companies worldwide.

 

Invest in Training for Better Employee Retention