Guide to creating a training plan for construction companies going paperless

February 6th 2020

Going paperless is an exciting prospect for construction companies, with paperwork increasing in the construction industry adopting technology can give you that competitive edge. Before your company can go paperless though, your team first has to develop the digital skills necessary to effectively use the technology, otherwise they won’t adopt the new technology you’re bringing in and it’s back to square one. To make the transition for your team easy, it’s important to create a training plan that covers the technology you will use and how to use it to go paperless; we’ve put together a guide on how to create a training plan for your construction company to go paperless.

Identify the technology you need to cover

The first step to creating a training plan for going paperless is identifying what technology you need to cover. Your construction company may use a suite of technology, or maybe your training plan is just for a new application you’re bringing into the mix, such as a new data collection app, or software for billing. Make a note of what technology you’re teaching in this training plan.

Put together training objectives

The next step is to create a set of key objectives for your training plan. What benefit do you want from the training plan? Generally, training plan objectives fall into two broad categories for construction companies:

  • Proficiency objectives: Where the objective is to learn to use a new piece of technology or carry out a process with technology. An example of a proficiency objective could be “My team will know how to use our billing application to send invoices”.
  • KPI objectives: Standing for key performance indicators, these objectives are about improving metrics, for example “My sales team will use our new prospecting tool to increase sales by 10% in 6 months”

Create a set of key objectives that suit the purpose of your training plan, for this step you could also include your team to understand where their knowledge gaps are and what they want to learn.

Break down your training objectives

Know that you have your key objectives, the next step is to break them down into the individual processes or elements that your team needs to know to achieve that objective. For example, if one of your objectives is “My team will know how to upload a receipt to our shared drive”, that may break down into the following:

  • Downloading receipts from an email
  • Scanning receipts with the scanner
  • Logging into the shared drive
  • Uploading a file to the shared drive.

By breaking down your training objectives, it makes designing a training plan much easier because you know what you will need to teach your team.

Pick a training format

Before you start designing your training plan, you need to decide how you will conduct your training session which includes where you will do it, and how you will do it. Examples of “where” you could do the training are:

  • Your office: This is the option most people would go with, it’s an easy and great place for training your whole team, but if you’re wanting to hands-on learning on-site may be a better option.
  • Online over video call: If your team is hard to get into a room together this may be the right option for you, but generally in-person is best for training.
  • On-site: This is great for any practical learning, but can be difficult if you have a lot of people to train in one session.
  • Classroom / seminar room: This can be expensive, but it’s useful if you don’t have an office but want to get the team together for training, or your training plan is part of a conference, look to see if you can rent a classroom at your local university or polytechnic.

As for “how” you will do you training plan, some options to consider are:

  • Individual training: This is training each person one on one, the benefit of this format is you can tailor it to the needs of the individual, but if you have a large team this could be time consuming.
  • Team/group training: This is training the whole team, or more manageable groups, at once. This is ideal if you need to train a lot of people or have any deadlines, but it won’t be as comprehensive as individual training.
  • External training: This is more self-help than it is training, but it’s worth noting you could also create a documented set of resources that goes through everything your team needs to know for them to read through and practice on their own. While I don’t recommend this for most training plans, I do recommend making documented guides which we will get into soon.

Design your training plan

Now it’s time to design your training plan, take the processes and elements you created from breaking down your key objectives and turn them into a guided tour or workshop of what you would like to teach your team. 

As part of designing your training plan, consider what technology you will need for the training session, as well as what technology your team should bring with them.

You should also consider having a short QA session after your training to answer any of your teams questions just in case they don’t understand any aspect or you may have missed something.

Implement your training plan

After you have designed your training plan the next step is to carry it out. With everything planned using the previous steps this is the easy part. Remember to relax and don’t be too rigid about your training plan, sometimes you need to detour to make sure your team properly understands the material you are teaching.

Document your training plan & results

After your training plan is completed, hopefully your key objectives are realised. For any key objectives that are KPI related, measure those KPIs to determine if your training plan achieved your objectives.

Additional to your training plan, you may also want to document the material of your training plan for your team to use as a quick reference. To ensure your documentation is effective, make sure it’s easy for the rest of your team to access. 

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