The Future of Training Today
Training of employees is perhaps the single biggest challenge to the safety professional today. Time is always an issue, and making the training experience relavent to the individual worker is difficult. We all agree that the training content and delivery methods need to ensure that employees are able to recognize workplace hazards, follow control procedures/processes and use any necessary PPE to work safely on the job. However, work and the nature of work are changing. With change comes the need to reassess our training methods.
Traditional classroom training with a credible instructor is still the best way to assure that learning takes place. The instructor can employ a number of techniques to involve the workers in the learning. He/she can also include demonstrations and hands-on exercises that validate an understanding of the proper control methods, etc. However, instructor led classes are often infrequent, delivered from a fixed location, and can be expensive particularly when travel time is involved. More and more the workforce of today is becoming dispersed with jobs that don’t always have a home base, so traveling to take training is almost cost-prohibitive. The instructor led model itself has some inherant problems. Mass training of employees with a one-size-fits-all curriculum does not always meet the learner’s specific needs. To address these unique situations companies are increasingly relying on distance learning supported by one-on-one supervisory discussions, team interactions, observable exercises and demonstrations. Essentially, the nature of training is changing.
- Training needs to provide learners with what they need to know when they need to know it.
- Training content must be relevant and specific to their work tasks.
- The training experience needs to include interactivity that requires the learner to engage with the content.
- Demonstrations, exercises and hands-on learning must be considered, even with distance learning.
- Periodic testing or quizing should be built in to validate that the information is understood.
- Employees need the flexibility to take training when and where they want.
- Training content needs to be delivered on a variety of electronic devices from laptops, tablets, and mobile phones to the normal fixed workstation.
To meet these needs, many safety trainers are considering a newly developed web/cloud based learning system. These systems are available from a few top safety training companies, including CLMI. Whatever system you choose, it should allow employees to control their learning, educating themselves in a manner that gives them rapid access to the information needed to keep themselves safe. The system should also provide the flexibility to adapt the information to the specific needs of the organization. The newest systems now support the delivery of a wide variety of content from written documents, videos, interactive training from any content source including vendors, producers and in-house. They also include information and tips for supervisors and managers to help them bring the training to life for their remote workers.
The CLMI “cloud” learning system is called ResourceNow and was developed as a content mangement system for clients so they could upload, store, assign and deliver hazard control information and activities. Utilizing a “content-on-demand” model, now it is used to deliver all types of training to dispersed workers, primarily in the direct delivery industry. One major client uses this method to train over 20,000 route drivers on several key safety topics, including defensive driving. Another insurance company provides this service to its clients all over the globe.