Circle Insights

Five reasons learning and development are so important in transport and construction

Ollie Watson

The technological landscape is rapidly evolving, something being experienced across the transport and construction industries. New technologies bring about new ways of working which in turn mean that large organisations need to have robust learning and development programmes in place to keep up. Learning and development extends beyond the frontline too. Whilst there is an obvious focus on engineers and operators in the transport and construction industries, back-office staff are also realising more effective and efficient ways of working as new technology is introduced.

This blog will take a closer look at five key areas in which learning and development can be best utilised across the transport and construction industries to deliver high quality, efficient and safe services for all. For a deeper dive into this topic, our recently published white paper, How can organisations enhance their workforce efficiently, in a data led way? Is available to download for free.

1. Workforce and end user safety

From health and safety protocols to simply using equipment correctly, ensuring that your workforce is operating within defined regulatory standards and your own internal business rules is essential. Frontline workers in both industries are often performing safety critical tasks that carry some form of jeopardy to themselves, their co-workers and end service users, such as passengers on a train. Learning and development is essential in ensuring that your workforce is equipped with the necessary training, experience and knowledge to perform tasks correctly and safely.

This extends to schedulers and administrators in ensuring that tasks are correctly assigned to members of staff. New systems can help large organisations in scheduling tasks, with aspects such as auto-scheduling easing the administrative burden by matching skills, competencies and experience to tasks and reducing the element of human error in doing so.

A robust learning and development programme will help ensure that all staff are competent and trained for the tasks they are being asked to undertake.

2. Ensuring the highest quality of work and standards

In a similar vein to ensuring the safety of all staff and end users, learning and development plays a central role in ensuring that work is carried out to the highest possible standards. By continuing with learning and development programmes across your workforce, you can expose staff to the latest ways of working as well as providing ongoing opportunities to maintain and expand their professional skillset.

Having a team of highly competent, highly trained operators is a great way of meeting high standards across your projects. The better the competency of your workforce, the more likely you are to deliver projects on time and in budget, owing to a reduction in errors and repeating work. The final delivery is also likely to meet the desired outcomes of a project. In transport, it is crucial that skilled operators are performing service delivery tasks competently to ensure the safety of end users and the smooth running of timetables.

3. Keeping up with evolving technologies

Innovation has been a constant in the 21st Century and shows no sign of abating. New and improved versions of old tools and systems are constantly emerging, which poses a challenge to large organisations in not only obtaining the right tools for the job, but keeping the workforce abreast of such developments and appropriately trained to operate them. The same goes for emerging processes and practices; how can the latest technology and thinking be deployed to realise upticks in efficiency and quality of output?

Needless to say, learning and development is central to staying ahead of industry trends and technologies. Exposing your workforce to ongoing training opportunities helps them to develop their skills and experiences within your organisation, thereby helping them to enhance their careers with you.

4. Improving staff retention

Career development is crucial to staff retention. Your learning and development programme can play a significant role in staff morale. If training and career development opportunities are presented to staff, it means that they can progress within your organisation, rather than seeking new opportunities elsewhere.

This can have a knock-on effect in regard to recruitment too. Persuading staff to join your organisation is made easier if you can demonstrate career progression pathways to potential employees.

5. A more efficient workforce

A robust learning and development programme will help to ensure that your workforce is competent and appropriately trained. If you can be sure that each staff member is the right fit for their role, it makes assigning tasks far easier and enhances your chances of projects and tasks being completely properly and on time. Whilst learning and development cannot eradicate human error – mistakes are inevitable at times – it can help to minimise it and its impact.

Avoiding delays and poor workmanship means that fewer tasks need to be repeated, leading to a more efficient process overall in terms of time and cost committed to projects and tasks.

A robust learning and development programme carries myriad benefits for large organisations, notably in the transport and construction industries. With so many moving parts, having a competent and skilled workforce is essential. Failing to conduct training and to create an overview of skills, qualifications and experiences makes the task of assigning tasks incredibly complicated and wide open to error. In understanding your workforce and appropriately managing it, learning and development is essential.

How can organisations enhance their workforce efficiently, in a data led way? It is available to download for free here.

Contact us now
Ollie Watson