3 Things Your Competitors Can Teach You About BIM Training
Training and professional development are some of the most important investments that companies and individuals make. For professionals in the AEC industries, rapid advancements in technology and trends makes it even more important to stay current. From augmented and virtual reality to new job site wearables, the industry and the technologies that support it are growing rapidly. BIM (Building Information Modeling) adoption has also grown dramatically, with sectors like government poised for an increase in BIM usage. Many commercial AEC firms have already seen the benefits of BIM adoption, and BIM training is one of the ways companies can help their staff staff stay informed about BIM technology updates and changes. Yet why are so many firms still struggling with getting their staff educated and trained in BIM?
To be fair, this challenge isn’t unique to firms of any specific size or discipline. However, firms that successfully implement a BIM training program do share one thing in common: they are much more competitive than their peers. So, what can these firms teach us about BIM training?
#1: Don’t just dump people into a training system; enable people to develop themselves.
Successful companies will tell you that their training initiatives are effective because their staff are able to develop their own custom learning experiences. For example, many firms have unique internal employee portals that provides videos and forums to promote cross-functional collaboration and give people a platform to constantly learn and share their knowledge. By connecting employees access to valuable resources rather than prescribing a specific training regimen these companies are helping their staff adapt to a new world where learning is a continuous process. Why is this important? That brings us to the next point.
#2: BIM training can help companies retain talent.
In today’s economy, employers are recognizing that there is no lifetime employment contract. In the United States, the average tenure for employees is 4.6 years, regardless of age. With an increase in trends like working remotely, many more job opportunities are available to talented people. In the AEC industries, the fight for talent is even more drastic with many job vacancies due to a lack of skilled labor. Unique and dedicated training experiences are one way companies are differentiating in order to attract and retain talent. Training can also signal that the company is developing long-term leadership and further align the long-term corporate goals with that of the employees’.
#3: Take the training outside of the classroom.
While many companies still heavily invest in traditional classroom-style training, research shows that coaching and mentoring is the most effective delivery method. The study identifies over 20 different training modalities, including on-the-job exercises, recorded webinars, and eLearning modules; yet classroom training outpaces the others in terms of usage. What does this tell us? People learn differently, there are many effective methods available, but companies are not taking advantage of them.
The way that people learn has changed.
Not all companies have the ability to build customized internal learning portals, but a 21st century training experience can be more cost-effective than you think. Solutions like CADLearning, which offer personalized vignette-style videos and custom-built playlists, are based in the cloud and refreshed automatically after every software release.
One of the biggest misconceptions companies have about technical training is that retention is constant throughout the duration of the training. However, the simple idea of marginal returns shows that this is not true. Furthermore, the psychology of learning indicates that people learn best when they have a problem. Think of the last time you used Google. While there is nothing wrong with Googling, companies who are using search engines as a proxy for dedicated, expert BIM technical training are missing out on an opportunity to build employee loyalty. More dangerously, they’re losing control over the quality of staff education and development, which can dramatically affect productivity and increase business costs later on down the road.
What kind of BIM training program does your company employ? What other tips would you recommend to those who are looking to implement their own? Share your thoughts in the comment!