There’s an old business saying that says “The only worse thing than training employees and losing them is to not train them and keep them.” This may be doubly true in the contracting business, as keeping employees up to date with their craft is a must to ensure the best results on the job.
Let’s keep in mind the numbers for just how much positive impact training can have on a business. According to The American Society for Training and Development, companies that invest $1,500 or more per employee per year average a profit margin that is 24 percent higher than those who invest less money in training. Other training statistics show that these companies have 218 percent higher income per employee and see a 6 percent higher shareholder return every time the training per employee increases by $680.
This is where Michigan-based Mastery Technologies comes in, as the company has been publishing interactive training videos in an eLearning format across multiple industries. Company President Bill Marker said while they did not initially target the contractor market, it has started to come naturally with the need for training and the advent of mobile video.
“What we find is, we were targeting the larger companies, only ones that were working with eLearning at the time,” Marker said. “Companies would have facilities that would have site training safety requirements, hazards that may be unique to that workplace. We were introduced to the contractor community through that; larger companies wanting to ensure the contractors that they allowed onto their sites were properly trained in hazards unique to their workplace.”
Now, Marker’s company is starting to see some traction with the contractor segment of their base. They’ve now realized that it isn’t only bigger companies that need these videos, but smaller ones have had a demand as well to ensure they are covering for their own liabilities.
Not only are smaller companies interested in training, more will have access to online videos in the next few years. According to Cisco’s VNI Global IP Traffic and Service Adoption Forecasts for 2013 to 2018, 79 percent of all Internet traffic will be video related by 2018. Keeping in mind the workload most contractors have, which entails a heavy travel schedule, and the number of those who use mobile devices on an everyday basis, it’s no surprise to see more small businesses interested in online video training.
Rachel Custer, Mastery’s communications coordinator, said these courses can work on any device, making it easier for a contractor on the run to have access to training on the go. Many want the flexibility to be able to start training between jobs and be able to finish at the office or home, she said, something Mastery’s eLearning platform allows contractors to do.
A report from Deloitte also found that 18 percent of all training is now delivered via mobile devices. The future may be brighter here, especially when considering just how much contractors can gain from having quick, easy access to new information.
“In general, one of the bigger trends that we’ve seen is the use of mobile,” Custer said. “It seems like it’s just creeping out anywhere. I think more and more, people are using that for training. Everyone uses Netflix now, everyone watches video on YouTube. It’s natural to watch a training video on your phone too.”
Kirk Berry, vice president of Sales at Mastery, said the contractor audience benefits greatly from on-demand video training, as it allows them to view videos wherever the contractor is instead of wasting a day at a training session. No appointments have to be made, thus allowing contractors to keep on schedule and not have to miss any time on the job.
“It’s hard for people in a facility to fit into a scheduled class,” Berry said. “It’s costly too. If they’re in the office taking a class, they aren’t out doing service generating revenue.”
The library of videos on demand, which covers a number of business skills, now has a new set of videos based on winter safety topics. Berry said while contractors may not invest in these individually, as they will likely look to training they need to take before they can start work, videos such as the winter series could serve as fantastic reminders of how to keep safe during the most frigid, icy months of the year.
The screen may be smaller, but the opportunities for training and betterment as a company are now much more widely available.