The global COVID-19 pandemic has challenged the way employers approach worker health and safety. Increased use of disinfectants, the introduction of new personal protective equipment (PPE), and many other changes, have forced employers to modify their EHS programs and training to meet a rapidly evolving landscape.
As employees return to work, many employers may find they have fallen behind on workplace EHS training. Others find they need to modify training in light of social distancing guidelines that restrict large gatherings of workers with in-person classroom sessions or on-site consultants.
To keep from falling behind, a growing number of employers are turning to Learning Management Systems (LMSs) to implement effective employee training in this “new normal.” The benefits of leveraging eLearning technologies include providing workers with access to a wide range of training content on EHS-related topics that can be taken anywhere or anytime. Just as important, these advanced tools help managers simplify the management of training logistics – keeping better track of who’s been trained on what, and even automating notifications for upcoming or missed training.
Here’s a brief look at how LMSs provide the tools and flexibility needed to keep workplaces safe and compliant in these challenging times and beyond.
Focus & communication
COVID-19 upended workplaces in ways unimaginable before the pandemic. Employers forced to send people home for extended periods find it challenging to stay connected with employees and deliver content in a way that is meaningful and trackable. Similarly, many employees, suddenly forced to work remotely, struggle with feelings of isolation and have difficulty adjusting to changes in their normal routines.
Regardless of industry or job, disruptions like these make it hard to stay focused and keep the lines of communication running smoothly. And because of the pandemic, employers must focus on two fronts: returning their people to the physical workplace well-prepared to resume their normal job functions and responsibilities, while also meeting the demands of training them on new safety protocols.
Access to a library of training courses — and the ability to add homegrown courses — means employers don’t have to postpone their workplace training programs and can keep their people on track. This is especially useful for workers placed into new roles upon re-entry to the workplace that need to quickly get-up to speed.
Pandemic or not, training programs that recycle the same dull content year after year benefit no one.
We all learn a little differently, so the freedom to consume training content at the rate they can most effectively absorb it helps workers complete training more effectively. An LMS can improve engagement by offering training content that workers can consume from wherever they choose. The format improves their ability to focus on the training content rather than the people around them or the classroom environment. It also allows them to take the training at their own pace, a feature that’s especially useful for workers who might not be as technologically advanced, and which helps them balance training against other priorities on their schedule.
Of course, an LMS does not negate the need for hands-on skill transfer for certain tasks, but many EHS professionals find a blended training model works best. Marrying e-learning with the hands on allows employees to better retain course content and course-correct more quickly, which ultimately gives them more confidence in the jobs they do.
Training for the “new normal”
The truth is none of us know what the future holds. COVID-19 has taught us the biggest risks are those we have not already accounted for. The companies with the best chance of navigating those risks are those with powerful and intuitive training resources to meet tomorrow’s challenges.
In times of uncertainty, give yourself the agility to keep your workers trained and safe, no matter what the future holds. An LMS can help you create, maintain and deploy training programs that keep you moving forward in the face of changing regulatory guidelines and evolving workplace challenges.
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