Can We “Out Train” a Labor Crisis?
We get it. It’s no secret. People in the glass construction and design field are facing unique obstacles. On top of the typical challenges of quoting and managing projects, they are dealing with supply issues, which means facing delays in ordering materials, switching manufacturers, and working with vendors who are similarly overloaded. And while all this is happening, project timelines are still getting shorter, windows are always getting more complicated, and engineering requirements are becoming stricter. It’s a mess!
Something has to give. But what tools do we have at our disposal to tackle and possibly circumvent these issues? The answer is simple: training. Access to the right information at the right time is how we make the impossible a reality. Whether it’s keeping satellites in orbit or managing the communication between a contractor and vendor, effective training is what helps us achieve our goals.
That’s why we set out to focus on the following three issues facing business today:
- First, filling existing roles is difficult.
- Second, improving productivity and communication is a real challenge.
- Third, implementing a training program seems daunting and could potentially disrupt the flow of daily business activity.
Who Is LearnGlazing.com? Who Is It For?
Before we answer all of life’s questions, let’s focus on some housekeeping.
LearnGlazing.com is an educational resource for the glazing industry. Its information has been utilized by individuals trying to get into the glazing field as well as glazing businesses and professionals looking to extend their knowledge and improve productivity.
The training material is organized into 38 courses housed within 10 different topics. The bulk of the material consists of self-guided “slides” and a combination of video, and each course provides its own quiz at the end. LearnGlazing.com allows a business to designate a “Group Leader” to monitor student progress within their organization. A certificate of completion is sent to each student once a course has been completed.
So you’re probably asking yourself, how much does this all cost? That’s the amazing part: the great people at USGlass Magazine have partnered with LearnGlazing.com to bring this training to you for FREE. How does this work? Each student must have their own subscription to USGlass Magazine. Once the student goes through the signup process (found here), they will gain instant access to the full body of training.
Now, back to those three challenges we mentioned earlier. The team at LearnGlazing.com set out many years ago to address these areas within our businesses: filling existing roles, improving productivity and communication, and implementing a training program without disrupting the flow of daily business activity.
Let’s dive in.
Filling Existing Roles Within Your Organization
We’ve all done it. We’ve pulled talent in from other construction or architectural related fields. We’ve gone on a wing and a prayer. Sometimes this is a smart move, but it doesn’t get us completely across the finish line. There’s nuance to the glazing field, and glazing systems can be very tricky. Cutting, transporting, design, fabrication, not to mention the problems we can create if we don’t know how to place an order accurately. That’s where training comes in — specifically, LearnGlazing.com. LearnGlazing.com helps bright people who may or may not be “construction minded” to speak the language. It provides a road map for new hires to show them what responsibilities might be required of them.
Then there’s the other side of the coin. Trying to pull in glazing talent from the field is another excellent idea. Why not have the people who’ve “lived it” manage the projects as well? While this is a sensible idea, there are still challenges. Again, what are the responsibilities of the role? What are the new tasks asked of the employee? Training like that offered by LearnGlazing.com answers these questions.
Improve Productivity and Communication Within Your Organization
What’s that? LearnGlazing.com is only for project managers? We think not. In fact, we know that’s not the case. Rick from Eagle Valley Glass had this to say about LearnGlazing.com:
“We have a shop made up of varying experience levels ranging from front office staff having very limited exposure in the Glazing Industry to semi-retired field crew members with 40+ years of hands-on experience. Our entire staff has been progressing through the programs and finding useful information applicable in a variety of areas. Those that are new to the Industry are exposed to a broad range of valuable information at a faster rate than without these tools available. For those that do have a few years under their belt, I have seen a sparked interest in moving into positions of greater responsibility. For those that have “seen it all,” this is a good refresher and has opened some dialogue on different ways of doing certain things. Our ultimate goal is to have a more balanced level of knowledge across the board for all our employees. LearnGlazing has provided a well organized platform for us to identify where additional focus on education and training is needed as well as exposing those that have more to offer than we had been aware of.”
While the initial goal of LearnGlazing.com was to pull in new project managers, we’ve noticed that a great number of our clients have been using this training to bring sales, marketing, and office staff up-to-speed on the “language of glazing.” It’s opened up new doors for internal employees to explore new roles as well as solve problems on the fly that might have otherwise required additional training or conversations. More importantly, trained non-glazing staff knows what questions to ask and can point out minor problems before they become major ones.
Implement Training Without Disrupting Daily Activity
So, we’ve identified the issues. We’ve found a solution to our problems. But how do we bring training into our organization without disrupting the daily operations and flow of activity? We address this by identifying and implementing two key points:
First, we identify the roles within our organization that need to leverage additional training.
Second, we assign a seasoned staff member with the task of tracking student progress and working with the students to connect the dots between the training and their real-life work scenarios.
To aid in these tasks, we’ve provided two documents. First is the Training Implementation Guide that you can download here. This guide will walk you through evaluating your needs, assigning training based on staff role, and the evaluation process.
The second document is the full course syllabus. The course syllabus is complete with an overview for each course along with a set of “Discussion Points” that help facilitate conversation between the student and the seasoned staff member.
No doubt there is a time commitment, but we’ve worked hard to soften the blow of getting started. Also, keep this in mind: putting some time and effort into implementing a quality training program will save you a lot of time down the road, as you minimize problems and better retain employees.
Let LearnGlazing.com Do the Lifting
The team at LearnGlazing.com understands that you probably don’t have the time to figure out how to structure such a program and implement it consistently. But we also know that you don’t have the time to deal with employees who don’t know how to perform their roles effectively and efficiently, nor do you have the time to deal with a high turnover rate because employees feel they are poorly fit for their tasks. This is why we have done the heavy lifting for you, designing an internal training system that you can adjust to fit the particular needs of your company, and which is easy to organize and run routinely.
Ready for LearnGlazing.com? Jump right in and sign up for free. Use the link below to subscribe to USGlass Magazine and gain instant access to the training.
If you have any other questions or comments feel free to reach out to us here.