Building Success: The Art of Upskilling in the Contractor Industry

Building Success: The Art of Upskilling in the Contractor Industry

Meet Ed

Instructor Ed Jones has over 30 years of experience in theindustry, has the title of MasterWater Restorer, is an Institute ofInspection Cleaning andRestoration Certification (IICRC)-approved instructor, and hasserved on the S500-2021consensus body committee todevelop the most recent standard.

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Insurers and contractors must remain on the cusp of emerging technologies in the insurance industry. For contractors, this means adhering to four tenets to consistently upskill, a term referring to skills improvement and development:

  • Stay ahead of industry trends.
  • Improve productivity and efficiency.
  • Maintain and improve safety standards.
  • Adapt and teach your team to adapt.

This blog considers the best practices to fulfill these four tenets.

Stay Ahead of Industry Trends

The construction and contracting industry constantly evolves, using technology and improved work methods to build safer, more resilient buildings. Contractors who stay on top of these trends and technologies consistently upskill their abilities, putting themselves ahead of others. The upskilling contractor becomes the better choice by learning the latest tools, testing and integrating the newest materials, and utilizing best practices in construction methods.

Industry organizations, unions, and materials manufacturers develop training programs to help contractors constantly improve their skills. For example, most manufacturers develop training in the roofing industry, allowing contractors to earn certification in the appropriate installation of their products.  

GAF and Tamko offer such programs, which teach contractors their technologies and how they combine to offer more effective roofing protection. Each manufacturer’s school requires significant industry experience and general operational knowledge, accepting a small percentage of those who apply for the program. Because fewer than three to five percent of U.S. roofers earn these certifications, which enable them to provide an installation warranty from the manufacturer, they significantly upgrade their skills and their appeal to potential customers.

Flooring and siding materials manufacturers offer similar programs to help contractors enhance their skills and remain competitive in a dynamic market. Contractors who complete these training programs through multiple manufacturers add to their knowledge and competitiveness among other contractors. A roofer who holds both a GAF and Tamko master elite status offers more well-rounded knowledge and skills, plus they can offer potential clients a greater variety of materials options with installation warranties.

Improve Efficiency and Productivity

Participation in these targeted training programs can improve overall efficiency and productivity on construction projects. For example, one Tamko innovation, a wider nail guide on its architectural and extreme weather asphalt shingles, provides a technology that makes them quicker to install.  

During training, roofing professionals learn how to take advantage of this innovation to more quickly install the manufacturer’s roofing products. Likewise, knowledge of how best to apply adhesives developed by GAF and Tamko with their products enables contractors to install a heartier product that can withstand high winds more quickly.

But upskilling applies to more areas than construction skills. It also applies to project management, time management, and advanced technologies. Contractors who invest time and effort into learning better management skills reap benefits in business growth. Consider purchasing and learning specialized ship software that enables contractors to create estimates on their tablet or smartphone and then administer the project from the same space. Learning the essentials of online marketing ensures a contractor hires a qualified website developer who creates a communicative website that accurately represents the roofer, including a gallery of past projects.

Old Pro Roofing provides a good example of a contractor who qualified for GAF’s training and used the program to improve already impressive skills. As the company explains in its blog, GAF’s extensive requirements for applying to its training programs ensure that only extremely qualified roofers who already amassed many years of professional experience operate a well-maintained business. This means that those businesses that qualify for the program and complete it continue to improve their skills. Offering the installation warranty and Master Elite status brings them added customers through the GAF website, which maintains a database of roofers that complete its training.

Enhance Safety Standards and Compliance

Upskilling through the completion of safety standards education from government organizations, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and non-government organizations (NGOs), then implementing the information improves safety on the construction site. Maintaining high safety standards on construction sites helps reduce accidents.  

The few companies putting forth the effort to upskill in safety methods reap the most benefits, including workers who want to remain with the company. This reveals an analysis of a YouGov survey by Safety Culture. According to IOSH Magazine, only 25% of US, UK, and Australian workers had employers that offered training to improve job performance. Of those surveyed, 64% said additional safety training could have prevented on-the-job injuries.

Build a Skilled and Adaptable Team

Taken together, it becomes obvious that the most successful contractors invest time and effort in developing core construction skills, then upskill – enhancing their knowledge through added-value training. They also have their employees do the same, creating an adaptable set of individuals who consistently improve their knowledge and skills. By focusing on efficiency, productivity, and safety equally, these highest-quality contractors further improve themselves and their companies.

Partner With Accuserve to Access Proprietary Training

At Accuserve, we provide our contractor partners with a supportive learning environment that encourages them to pursue ongoing training opportunities and provides in-house training options.

Let us help you reap the benefits of upskilling. Sign up for the Accuserve Contractor Network and learn how it can contribute to the long-term success of your company. We offer assistance in upskilling so our contractors can better succeed in an industry that demands adaptability and expertise.

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