You’ve probably heard that the only constant in life is change. Of course, this is especially true in the construction industry. For instance, your company may be converting to new takeoff and estimating software. Or perhaps your firm is moving from manual takeoff to a digital solution. If you find yourself at such an inflection point, you may be thinking about how to ease the transition and ensure a smooth road ahead.
To that end, here are five ways you (and/or your employees) can get the maximum ROI or return on investment from the training on your new software.
1. Don’t Go It Alone
First and foremost, don’t skip the training. Dedicating the time upfront to taking the training will show your employees you want them to develop a deep understanding of the software, rather than just a cursory one. It will encourage them to maximize their allotted training time – whether online or in-person – so they can begin using the software as soon as possible to win more bids.
In addition, it will help them overcome the challenge of learning something new in a relatively short amount of time. Getting a good sense of how the software works during the training can make employees more comfortable and lay the foundation for more experimentation and self-study going forward.
2. Ensure Attendance from Everyone
Another positive ROI from training is getting all your team members moving in the same direction at the same time. Because they were able to learn in a collaborative environment, they’ll be more likely to share new discoveries with one another, such as how to add supervision costs into a bid or how to take off a complicated roof area.
And when the time comes to expand your team, the newer folks will have less ramp-up time following their training session because they’ll have their fellow team members to go to with questions about the finer points of the program.
3. Pick a Prime Spot
Let me turn now to a few aspects related to the training session itself. To maximize your ROI, pick a prime spot for you and/or your employees to do the training. Assuming the session is being conducted online, finding a quiet place for your employee(s) to go is critical.
If each person has an office where they can close the door, that’s perfect. If not, consider reserving a conference room (if possible) where employees can be free from other distractions, such as ringing phones, talking co-workers, and other ambient noise.
Thinking through such logistics beforehand can greatly increase your employees’ understanding and retention of the information being shared.
4. Ready Your Workspace
After you’ve picked an appropriate place, think about the technology setup in that spot. For online trainings, be sure you have good, strong internet connectivity. If you anticipate any fluctuations in connectivity, check with your IT team about getting a hard-wired connection in place. Having to stop the session to troubleshoot computer issues can negatively impact learners’ motivation and concentration. In fact, that scenario can sometimes result in having to postpone the training altogether.
If you’ll be using a laptop during the training, make sure you have the power cable with you. (You don’t want to run out of battery halfway through.) Also, have a mouse available. Performing takeoff using only a trackpad isn’t ideal and may even be a bit frustrating. Using a mouse is preferred during the training and beyond.
One other tip a lot of folks overlook: Test your audio capabilities prior to the training. For example, if you’re planning to use the audio on your computer, verify that your computer has a microphone. If it doesn’t, consider using your phone instead. In addition, grab a headset if you’re connecting by phone. If your only option is a speakerphone, try to do the training in a quiet area where office noise will be minimized.
5. Team Up with Your Trainer
Finally, to maximize your training ROI, team up with your trainer before, during, and after your session. For example, if you have specific topics you’d like to cover, notify the trainer ahead of time so he or she can prepare what’s needed. That way, you’ll leave with some customized content based on your company and your scope of work.
Likewise, during the session, engage with your trainer. Offer him or her a few details about your background and current job responsibilities. Doing so will build rapport and help the trainer get to know you on a more personal level. In addition, ask questions, especially if something is unclear or if you just need more explanation. Taking an active role in your learning will help you to grasp key concepts faster and increase your comfort level with the software.
Following the session, remember that your trainer is always available to help. It’s common for trainers to provide their contact information so you can touch base with them, especially early on as you begin making full use of the program. Trainers know some questions can be time-sensitive, so they’ll prioritize your requests to get you the information you need.
Hopefully, you’ll find that these recommendations pave the way for a successful training and full adoption of your new takeoff and estimating software.
Are you ready to see how much easier life can be with the industry’s leading takeoff tool? Request a demo now.
Allyson Grove is a Product Training Specialist at On Center Software by . She delivers best-in-class training to construction industry professionals. Her passion is helping estimators and project managers sharpen their takeoff and estimating skills and win more bids. Prior to joining On Center in 2015, she worked in a variety of industries, including broadcast television, publishing, consumer electronics, oil and gas, and management consulting. For the past 15 years, she has held a variety of training and development roles in which she delivered both classroom and virtual training, as well as designed and developed curriculum. Originally hailing from Ohio, Allyson holds a degree in broadcast journalism from Ohio University. When not at work, Allyson enjoys watching sports, doing yoga, reading, and journaling.