- Construction software platform MindForge has rolled out a contactless orientation feature that allows for the safe onboarding of jobsite workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Instead of group classes, superintendents and others can use MindForge's online portal to send new employees safety materials and instructional videos for specific jobsites to ensure that social distancing is maintained during orientation.
- MindForge also tracks whether a worker watched the video in its entirety, and measures how much an employee retains by issuing quizzes and questionnaires throughout the orientation.
MindForge clients include Pasadena, California-based Pankow Builders and Berglund Construction and Pepper Construction, both in Chicago, according to MindForge President Stokes McIntyre. Each company uses the platform at differing levels.
He told HR Dive sister publication Construction Dive that prior to developing the software this year, the company interviewed contractors and found that even some large contractors with hundreds of employees across multiple jobs frequently failed to capture employees' personal data like cellphone numbers or email addresses. That makes widespread communication more difficult and is why contractors often rely on large in-person briefings instead of texts or emails.
The original goal of MindForge, McIntyre said, ended up aligning with needs contractors had for safely disseminating information during the coronavirus. With the pandemic limiting the number of workers in a given area, preventing them from piling into a trailer for a video or even gathering for a quick morning briefing, he said he thinks companies will begin making tech-based shifts they should have made years ago.
“I think what the pandemic did was really accelerate and shine a light on why it's really important to establish a communication network,” he told Construction Dive.
Other tech firms also have contactless tech orientation and onboarding products. For example, Comevo offers what it says is an an easy-to-implement, easy-to-update technology that allows contractors to create interactive training and online orientation programs that can include comprehensive information using videos, quizzes and written content.
One roadblock to the greater adoption of communication technologies on the jobsite is ensuring that employees actually download the app. Especially on the subcontractor side, workers can be wary of using an app when they don't see the purpose so it's important for managers to emphasize the importance of tech-enabled communication, McIntyre said.