Construction Supervisors and Employers Want Soft-Skills Training
/ Author: Colin de Raaf
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Construction Supervisors and Employers Want Soft-Skills Training

CLAC has developed a new program to meet the needs of supervisors in the construction industry

By Colin deRaaf, Director of Training in Ontario

In 2021, CLAC Training and Forum Research conducted a comprehensive assessment of front-line supervisor training. We surveyed 900 signatory employer contacts and 2,100 supervisors across Canada to determine what type of leadership training they have access to and what else they are looking for. Our aim was to learn what they felt was missing so that we could create a training program to address these gaps. 

What did we learn?  

Our survey respondents said that safety training is available, but soft-skills training is lacking.

- 94% of employers and supervisors said that a front-line leadership program focusing on soft skills is important or very important. 

- 74% of employers and supervisors said that communication and conflict resolution training should be part of leadership training programs.

- 53% of employers offer some supervisor training, but these courses are mostly designed to meet safety legislation or legal requirements. 

- From those companies that offer supervisor training, only 57% of supervisors were aware that supervisor health and safety training was available, and of those who completed the training, most felt they needed soft-skills training to be effective in their role. 

Additionally, supervisors often find it hard to take the training that is available, saying it's offered at inconvenient times/locations, takes them away from site for too long, or is too costly.   

Employers told us that they want a readily available, cost-effective, comprehensive, consistent leadership development program for their current and future supervisors. 

“Having additional training to support the transition from crew member to leader is extremely lacking, and we often find our leaders like fish-out-of-water, not knowing or having access to the support they need on all the soft skills required for a leadership role,” reported one employer. 

Supervisors are motivated to become the best version of themselves and want access to better leadership training. 

“There is always room to grow, and great leadership is built out of experience as well as knowledge,” said one supervisor. 

What did we do?

CLAC Training in Ontario took this data and used it to create the Supervisor Micro-Certification Program. We also applied for government funding to support the development and initial offering of this program and were successful with acquiring funding

This program, delivered as a series of short, interactive modules (either in-class or online), will allow supervisors to focus on the soft skills—such as communication, conflict management, teamwork, and more—that they need to do their job effectively. Our aim is to give supervisors the tools they need to become people-centric leaders, creating positive, safe, productive workplaces. And to do so in a way that is cost-effective and time-efficient. 

You can learn more by visiting the course page


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