eLearning. Online training. Webinars. Distance learning. Web-based training. Microlearning. With new advances in technology, trainers today have a myriad of choices on how to deliver training.
Those of us in the EHS profession know that many regulations applicable to our industries require some level of compliance training, but with all of these new delivery methods, how do we ensure that our employees not only meet the minimum regulatory requirements but also learn something applicable to their role?
The Evolution of Employee Training
There was a time in the not-so-recent past where employee training meant hours in a classroom, and an instructor armed with a big pot of strong coffee and a plate of cookies to keep attendees occupied. Many of us may have walked out of those training sessions wondering “What did I just learn? Was it even useful?” This also took more time away from everyday work.
Employee training began to evolve, where companies could afford to introduce computer-based training (CBT). CBT courses were often dry, with uninspired content and sometimes even worse narration. The content was also a headache to manage, with complicated administration rights for early Learning Management System (LMS) access. Employees may have had to schedule time to utilize a shared workstation just to slog through hours of abysmal content.
Over the past two decades, training – and the means by which our employees access it - has come a long way. We can now be more time-efficient in how we give trainings but the plethora of available options can be downright confusing. Those of us who manage employee training content have many decisions to make. With the push to make many workforces remote in 2020, online training has become more of a business necessity than ever before. Our employees have also become more sophisticated in how they consume information, online training content included. The options seem endless, so where do you even start?
Evaluating Training Needs
Training options should be evaluated based upon a needs assessment, where we determine:
- Is there a business need? If so, is training actually the best way to meet that need?
- What does the learner need to know and why?
- Is there a gap in demonstrated employee knowledge or behaviors?
- Is there a target audience we need to focus on?
- What is the best (and perhaps most cost-effective) delivery vehicle for this content, to ensure our desired outcome?
- How do you assess if the training was successful?
However, many EHS professionals understand that performing a needs assessment can be a luxury many do not have with so many competing priorities. Our vision of developing a comprehensive training management system, which can provide and track targeted engaging content for our employees, goes out the window in lieu of “fast, easy, and cheap” off-the-shelf web-based options. It doesn’t have to be this way! Whether you are looking for just-in-time training to reinforce key safety concepts or looking to support more complex training program elements like employee onboarding, eLearning may be a good fit!
So Many eLearning Options
If you are exploring eLearning, you may have already found that the options present staggering ranges for both quality and cost. Basic compliance courses are readily available but may not meet the nuanced needs or your organization or your workforce. These off-the-shelf courses can check a compliance box, but do not teach the complex technical or decision-making skills that help your employees feel empowered in their roles and more confident in their competencies. They also can’t readily communicate just-in-time information you need your employees to critically apply, in five minutes or less. Each organization – and corresponding organizational needs for your employees – are different.
We commonly hear from our clients that competing priorities no longer allow for employees to sit through multiple hours of training content. Short-format training with multiple modes of delivery including videos, micro-learning, targeted live webinars, games, and quizzes are becoming popular options. They also speak to a new generation of employees who prefer short bursts of information.
The Pros and Cons of a Learning Management System
As we move from traditional in-person courses to eLearning, we also must acknowledge that new and improved content needs a home and an owner. Most online training, particularly very interactive content, is housed on a Learning Management System (LMS). Some companies choose to build their own LMS, others purchase or rent space through a third-party LMS platform. A good LMS can make the headache of tracking and administrating training programs less of a hassle, but it can be costly to start up. It also comes with annual fees to maintain, so it will depend on your organization’s focus on employee training and willingness to support this cost.
An alternative to an LMS is to utilize existing internal systems such as SharePoint to host training content through a variety of newer file formats or embedding direct HTML links into internal web pages. Some third-party training platforms also allow for employers to upload custom content that employees can directly access from a smartphone or tablet or will generate AI-enhanced micro-learning training campaigns from that content. There are training content management and implementation options for all types of content and for every EHS budget.
The Right Fit
Identification of a partner who understands how to balance EHS regulatory requirements, business needs, and the quirks of adult learners sounds daunting but doesn’t have to be. Antea Group’s Health and Safety Training experts are here to help. Whether your team needs ideas to improve one course or your organization is looking for a complete overhaul of your training content, employee access, comprehension verification, means of access, or implementation of a complete training management system, we can help.
Antea Group offers fit-for-purpose training solutions with a targeted needs assessment to ensure that “more training” truly is the right fit for your organizational needs. Our team of EHS practitioners, trainers, and learning designers work cohesively to develop a training approach that makes sense and doesn’t break the bank.
Find out more about our Health and Safety Training services and contact us today to discuss the right fit for you and your organization.Learn More About Our Health and Safety Training Services
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