The importance of an easy to use learning environment
Organisations that have a large, dispersed workforce, with employees working in a multitude of environments may find it challenging to bring together a unified vision for their organisations training and learning activities. This can make reporting, regulatory compliance and employee appraisals much more difficult to report on in a coherent, easy to manage fashion. Not only can it be difficult for managers to have visibility, but difficult for employees to complete their learning activities and access training and support documentation on demand.
If an organisation has a large number of employees constantly accessing their learning and training platform, they need to insure that it is an easy to use, clear and concise environment. This reduces the need for support, which can use up valuable resources and increase costs.
Features such as single sign on allows integration between your LMS and other software within the working environment such as your CRM or HR system, allowing users to switch seamlessly between systems, making an easy to use learning and working environment. As well as single sign on, having an easy filter system to be able to choose between and complete different training activities also simplifies the process of end user learning completion. Reducing the click count on training also significantly simplifies the learning process for users, which in turn will encourage users to continue using the system and fewer margins for error and support issues.
To encourage continued learning, choose a platform that has the ability to save the users training activities and session at any given point, so that they can login and log out at a time convenient to them, this fits in with the continued pressures at work and the blurring between the working and social day.
There is a move towards graphical rather than text based learning, this simplifies the learning process and can make the training more interactive and enjoyable for the user. Hover and pop out technology also helps simplify the learning process by clearly labelling the steps, showing how too’s, clarifying questions and providing a guidance for the users learning process.
To compliment these simplified features, a successful leaning environment should include a library of support documentation, question and answers, user forums and videos. All of these adding to an enhanced user experience and reducing the need for raising support issues.
Having your organisation’s learning management user interface branded to your image, gives employees the feeling of unified learning and empowers the users to learn to not only improve their knowledge based skills, but have a feeling they are contributing to the success of the organisation, through learning progression and enhancing their skills in line with the business’s strategy.
A learning platform that can be accessed from a myriad of devices can help simplify the learning process, by allowing users to login whenever they require in order to complete training, gain refresher courses or useful information on demand.
A platform which generates detailed or high level reports at the click of a button or scheduled via email helps management easily gain visibility over employees learning performance, competencies and progress. This also simplifies and reduces the time spent on creating reports that can be used for board meetings, reviews, appraisals and help check against performance indicators, ensuring regulatory requirements are met through compliance monitoring.
As you can see the most desirable learning environments for organisations are within a central platform that is easily accessible for employees regardless of time or location, and can support the full training range for employees to complete on one platform. Ease of functionality and support materials is also of the upmost importance, reducing time spent on support issues and the drain on resources. The platform should allow management to have full control, visibility and reporting capabilities to ensure delivery of objectives and strategy. Simplicity is the key, with the working day becoming ever more squeezed and regulations increasingly stringent, it has never been more important to have a centralised, unified learning environment taking into consideration the needs of both the users and managers alike.
Succession Planning and Competency Management: A Formula for Success
Businesses that undergo succession planning and employee competency management communicate and reinforce a shared vision of success, not only for the organisation but employees on an individual basis and collectively as a whole. The idea behind succession planning is to provide focus and a planned action strategy and direction for your employee resources, fostering productivity, creativity and customer focus.
Succession planning helps identify possible internal replacements for critical positions within the organisation. Effective succession planning helps both encourage talent growth and maintain talent retention whilst developing a skilled workforce in line with the organisation vision. Succession planning also helps highlight skills gaps, manage talent pools, find future leaders, plan for employee development and identify opportunities for internal mobility.
Building a succession plan in line with your organisation’s strategy has a myriad of benefits. Nurturing talent through continued training to enhance your employees’ skill base in line with the skills required for their jobs roles, to ensure your employees are the best of the best, pushing the boundaries, and continuously moving the business forwards and retaining employees through an ethical talent encouraging focused working approach.
Competency management is an important practice to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your employees. This will give insight into where improvements through training can be made. This works hand in hand with succession planning: by nurturing employees on an individual basis and having visibility on their competencies management develop the capability to implement an effective succession strategy.
Successful competency management helps identify the essential skills, knowledge, and personal characteristics for each employee, recognising traits of top performers, a great predictor for future successes.
Building a highly effective competency management plan should incorporate assessments of individual’s abilities which adhere to your organisation’s values and enhance the capacity for learning and development, in order to gain a positive outcome.
According to the recent KPMG report Rethinking Human Resources in a Changing World, executives see succession planning rising up the HR function's to-do list over the next three years (20% compared with 17% for the past three years), but only 22% of executives think their HR department 'excels' in succession planning.
Effective succession planning and competency management can be improved through the use of both Talent and Learning Management Systems and these can prove invaluable if you have a large and dispersed workforce. They can enable a company to maintain a centralised platform whereby employees can log in to complete training and on-going learning activities, where management can store and report on their learning and training processes and the skills and competencies of their entire workforce.
The increased visibility of the competency and skills held within the organisation alongside a comprehensive succession plan can have a number of additional benefits. Management find that they gain the ability to nurture talent, manage risk, simplify processes such as promotions, create contingency plans and optimise employee learning whilst empowering and engaging employees. Crucially, the use of such systems can help to clarify the organisation’s competency requirements and corporate mission statement and ensure that management and employees’ objectives are kept in alignment with these.
Speak to the AI Talent team today and find out how our Learning Management Solution can help introduce an effective succession plan and competency management process.
Is Pharmaceutical Mobile Learning like Chilli and Chocolate?
Pharmaceutical companies and mobile learning at first seem as strange a combination as chilli and chocolate. So what, if anything, can mobile learning offer to large Pharmaceutical companies for their compliance training? There has been a recent increase in companies offering mobile learning in various sectors, but often this is to have a mobile version of the training rather than to solve particular challenges or introduce improved training methods.
The reason for wanting a mobile learning solution has often been because it sounds like the thing to do. It’s new it must be good. But where is the real value in allowing employees to access eLearning from a mobile platform?
Mobile learning has several inherent problems. The obvious one is the size of the device, a screen of only a few inches is hardly a replacement for a 15 – 20 inch laptop or an even larger desktop screens (Tablet PCs do overcome this to a certain extent). This affects both the visual appearance of the content and the amount that can be displayed at any one time. The other major problem with mobile devices is the current speed of connections and the fact that these connections are not always on. This limits both the size and the types of content which these devices can deliver. Probably the biggest question is that allowing people to learn in those stolen moments, waiting in the queue in the bank, while on a train or an airplane may seem a good use of time. Are these environments conducive to a successful learning outcome? What are you hoping for as an outcome of these learning moments? Many people expect to just redesign their eLearning courses for the mobile format and achieve the same outcome. This is an unrealistic expectation given the drawbacks of mobile learning listed above.
Instead we should look for the areas of our businesses where mobile learning can give our staff that improved learning experience.
One example is using mobile learning in a PDR (Prepare, Deploy and Reinforce) scenario.
Course introductions and short background articles can be read on mobile devices. These can be viewed in the weeks prior to the course or even on the last minute as you are on the train travelling to your course.
Deployment could be in the form of a standard online course, a classroom or a series of short online courses delivered over a series of weeks. These could also be delivered by mobile. If you are training for a marathon then you would probably train for short period of time each day rather than running a marathon. So why should occupational learning be any different.
Mobile delivery is perfect as a learning reinforcement solution. After an eLearning or classroom course has been taken, then regularly spaced short courses can be taken on a mobile to reinforce the knowledge gained during the online or classroom course. These could be in the form of short fresher courses to reassert or build on the knowledge or quizzes to test the knowledge.
According to the 70-20-10 theory 70 % of the training occurs while working at a particular task or process. Using a mobile device this on the job training can easily be recorded to your LCS. On the job training and assessment almost always takes place away from a PC. Using a mobile device a colleague and their trainer can quickly sign off esignatures for proficiency or OJT on the production line, saving both time and ensure that the sign offs are not forgotten.
One area that mobile learning does come to the fore is that of electronic performance support. Performance support objects can be fetched to a mobile phone or tablet allowing a user to solve a problem or refresh their memory about a device or process. Learning by your mistakes is often seen as a good way to learn. Having short refresher modules available to prevent you from making those mistakes in the first place would be even better. A good example of this would be to put QR Codes on equipment which could be scanned using your mobile phone and then the appropriate piece of training could be reviewed.
Learning is always seen as a go to the LMS and take the training you have been assigned. But mobile learning can be much more than that if the Push mechanism is embraced. Imagine an amendment has been made to one of your critical safety policies this short amendment can be sent to the mobile devices of your employees. A large number of these employees will have read the training and had their training records updated before they arrive to work. Thus reducing the need for possible shut down while staff are retrained.
So where does the future of mobile learning lie?
Both mobile and social learning are seen as the future of learning management, imagine the ability to combine them. Due to bandwidth constraints all mobile learning is asynchronous, but with bandwidths increasing all the time is there a future for synchronous mobile eLearning in the enterprise market place. Learning where multiple people can interact using their remote devices.
The adoption of tablet PC’s within large blue chip organisation means that more training can be delivered away from the classroom or PC, this will have huge impact on the future of learning management, combine this with the latest version of SCORM and particularly the TIN can API then standalone courses can be delivered to a mobile device. When a colleague completes this course the mobile could write to a learning record system thus storing a record of the completion.
ELearning is a tool that should be added to the pharmaceutical companies learning management, but should be added for the correct reasons. Do not try to use it as a direct alternative to the standard eLearning course but rather to compliment it. Look how value can be added to your existing training, such as by adding performance support or online sign off. Investigate how mobile learning could be used to improve the retention of knowledge. You may wish to deliver mobile learning to only one of these areas so as to measure the return on investment more accurately. Using mobile learning in to improve retention could easily be rolled out to a test group while a control group receives the standard training. The effect of the mobile learning could then be easily quantified and provide the evidence for a larger roll out of eLearning across your business.
Performance Management: Everyone’s a Winner
Managing and encouraging the performance of staff is the driving force behind many successful businesses. However with a large and dispersed workforce, performance management can be a time consuming and costly task, not to mention difficult to report on. However regulatory and compliance issues make it mandatory to report on, show proof of performance management and on-going development within many industries.
The process of designing successful training programmes and strategies should come from many levels within an organisation, including managers, HR and other departments and roles, this ensures that there is employee input from different levels to gain an overall focused strategy for the business, catering for the learning requirements of varied skill sets.
The focus on having input from a range of employees comes from the notion that performance management is not just focused on the overall performance of the company, be this monitory or growth, but is also focused on the performance of many different elements within the organisation including a department, a group or individual employees, or even the process of building a product or service, as well as many other areas.
Being able to track and monitor employee performance helps facilitate the effective delivery of strategic and operational company goals and also helps unlock the potential of employees through continuous training and development.
Performance management not only has the potential positive fiscal gains for a business through growth in sales, increased employee productivity, easy adoption of changes in operational directions, but has a direct positive impact on employees including enhancing motivation, improving engagement; creating transparency in achievement of goals and much more.
Performance management aims to improving management control by revealing employee competencies, achievements and areas of improvement, helping complete audits and comply with regulatory requirements. The company strategy and vision can be easily deployed and nurtured over a large workforce, with the input and on-going monitoring of employees throughout the organisation.
Performance management also allows for goal setting (meet set KPI’s), helps within the performance appraisal process and to drill down to the individual competencies of each employee.
As you can see implementing a structured performance management programme can have many benefits, not only for the organisation, but the wellbeing and motivation of staff and management.
In order to create and manage the ideal performance management programme involves using a centralised, secure Learning Management System.
Having a LMS that all employees can access and complete their training and learning requirements gives the opportunity for the company to have one focused unified vision. Allow employees varied user access to learning materials, courses, tests and much more, giving management detailed reports on individual users and groups, allowing additional training to be given where needed and allow employees to complete learning in their own time and pace.
Using a centralised LMS also helps satisfy compliance issues, measure KPI’s and most importantly manage the performance of employees, engage them in on-going learning to help maintain and exceed performance levels, in turn increasing company performance and keeping a singular vision for all employees to work towards.
Speak to the AI Talent Team today and find out how our software solutions will help enhance your performance management processes and line your employees learning with your company’s strategy, so that everyone in your organisation is a winner.
Training on the move, can your business keep up?
The increased use in mobile technology has transformed the way we live and work, and has no signs of slowing down, with mobile to overtake fixed internet access by 2014. Workforces are becoming more mobile and dispersed, therefore mobile learning and training comes hand in hand.
According to a study* 3 in 5 workers say they do not need to be in the office anymore to be productive, and 32% of employees globally now rely on more than one mobile device during their typical working day. Further studies show 46% of employees feel most productive in the office, where as 38% feel most productive working from home, (2% on an airplane, 2% in a hotel, 2% in a cafe, 1% on public transport and 9% had no preference). As you can see the majority of these workers felt more productive away from the office or on the move, therefore it makes sense for them to be able to access their training, when away from the office.
There are many mandatory training activities within any industry such as health and safety, however many specific industries have Continued Professional Development (CPD) programmes (such as the Financial sector), who by law have to complete a number of hours per year of continued learning, and with the average working day becoming more squeezed, access to mobile learning has never been so vital.
A great example of companies using mobile and out of work learning is Dixons Retail, their Learning Management System (provided by AI Talent), has seen an increase in mobile and home learning. In one evening they noticed over 250 employees accessed their Learning Management System after midnight from their games consoles and completed their mandatory training, this shows the blurring between the working and social day.
With the predicted increase in mobile working and geographically dispersed workforce, from a management perspective, it has never been so important to have an easy to manage, centralised, reportable and compliant Learning Management System. Also giving freedom of choice to employees to access learning from a myriad of devices, be this mobile phone, tablet, laptop, or pc, from any location with an internet connection. The ideal solution for this is a web based Software as a Service (SaaS) model, with easy to deploy and scalable functionality, upgrades can take place centrally and employees can access their learning and training regardless of time or location.
It is also important that evidence of learning and training completion is recorded for compliance and record keeping purposes, essential in industries such as Pharmaceutical, Finance, Aviation, Legal and Defence. Also if employees choose to learn out of working hours, then being able to track this with time stamps makes for ease of reporting, gaining a detailed overview of employees training activities and habits.
So there’s no getting away from it, it’s inevitable, is your business ready? Your employees will expect to be able to complete training in their own time from where they choose, and with the ever increasing regulations, will you be able to comply and report on your employees learning activities? Speak to AI Talent today and we will show you how to get prepared.
(*conducted by Cisco)
Compliance Personnel Continue To Struggle
A number of recent reports including a survey by Thomson Reuters has shown that compliance personnel are continuing to struggle against the growing number of new and changing regulations coming into force. Using the information gathered from these reports and our own insight we will give a quick snapshot of the current pitfalls, trials and tribulations that compliance personnel are facing and how these can be can be eased.
The main highlighted difficulties include the continuing diverse pressures on compliance personnel, with the shifting expectations of supervisory bodies, no let up in the number of new regulations and the increased intrusiveness and intensity of political influence.
A way to help ease this burden could be seen by taking a “tone from the top” approach, where compliance personnel and senior members of the company build and maintain relationships with regulators, helping keep abreast of current issues and comply with ever changing regulations. This can also be helped by their boards having a more risk focused agenda and approach.
The typical week of a compliance practitioner can see over one day spent tracking and analysing regulatory developments and amending policies and procedures. With another day spent communicating with people outside their compliance function, this could include reporting to the board and liaising with control functions. The rest of their week is taken up by monitoring activities, training and providing advice and guidance throughout their organisation.
It is now likely that compliance personnel within the largest, most complex organisations may find most of their working week taken up with amending and redrafting policies and procedures to reflect ever changing and developing regulatory requirements. Boards need to be productive in gathering effective management information that provides them with an oversight and high level of control over of the organisations activities in relation to compliance. However, findings have shown ongoing concern in how little different functions talk to each other about compliance.
A total of 65% of the organisations asked in Thomson Reuters ‘Cost of Compliance Survey 2013’ believed that liaising with regulators would increase during 2013, and be driven by the increasing pressures and more intrusive approach, to attempted to control more closely the activities of organisations, particularly larger ones. These opinions maybe reinforced for example by Compliance personnel in the UK deposit takers and insurers industry, as from 1st April 2013 they will find themselves having to manage two regulatory relationships, with the PRA and the FCA, rather then one.
Organisations will also most likely find themselves under a duty to share more information with different regulators, and so reporting tools are high on the compliance personnel’s agenda, as the consequences of not liaising effectively could be severe. Respondents also expected their budgets to increase “slightly” during 2013, but do not feel that the ground is leveling out beneath them. The Reuters survey showed that organisations have a strong belief that there is nowhere to hide, and it is no defense to argue that ‘everyone else was doing it too”. The greatest compliance challenges predicted are implementation, tracking and enforcement of regulatory change, training staff, monitoring, data protection, risk management, anti-bribery and corruption and more intensive supervision and support from management.
How can AI Talent help?
Our Learning Compliance Solution will help satisfy the pain points that compliance personnel are experiencing and predicting, it has been developed in accordance with major international regulatory guidelines, is highly secure and comprises of advance tools for creating, managing and validating formal and informal learning for compliance initiatives, spanning the entire learning continuum. Therefore monitoring and reporting on compliance and training is easily centralised and monitored, helping satisfy one of the major concerns compliance personnel face.
The many benefits of our Learning Compliance Solution include automation of compliance training workflow, standardising training operating procedures (SOP Training) and managing competencies, assessments and qualifications. Our solution also integrates with enterprise quality and document management systems, helps track on-the-job training and is one of the few systems available worldwide with client installations that have been validated in FDA audits for 21 CFR Part 11 compliance.
Our centralised platform will help track regulatory change, enhance management visibility and communication between different job roles, protect secure data by allowing differing admin and access rights, and adhere to corporate governance. These feature all help satisfy the issues raised by the compliance personnel that took part in the Thomas Reuters survey ‘Cost of Compliance Survey 2013’.
AI Talent’s LCS automates numerous regulatory training processes including:
• DOL, HR and labor law compliance training
• OSHA, EPA, health and safety compliance training
• FDA, GMP, GLP, GCP, GXP compliance training
• Pharmaceutical and medical device compliance training
• Food manufacturing, processing and distribution
• DOJ, Corporate ethics, compliance and risk management training
• SEC, financial services and banking compliance training
• JCAHO, medical and healthcare compliance training
• DOE, FERC, NERC energy and utilities compliance training
Contact the AI Talent today for a demo of our Learning Compliance Solution.
Blog: Employee Training Compliance doesn't need to be Complicated.
Correctly training staff within any organisation is key to ensure you have the most productive and competent workforce. Not only is it vital to have trained staff for an optimum safe working environment and high skill based team, but it has never been more important to make sure your business complies with stringent regulations. This can be helped by a water tight record keeping system to provide evidence of your employee training activities and history.
However you have a vastly dispersed workforce that can span the country, even continents; you have numerous different departments, a diverse workforce that crosses many skill sets, from temps that need basic mandatory training such as health and safety, to skilled workers who by law need to complete regular CPD’s in order to comply with regulations.
To make things even more difficult the role of providing training within a organisation can fall on the laps of many different job roles, this could be HR, Line Mangers or any members of staff where they have to take responsibility for other members of their team, but ultimately it is the Owners or Directors responsibility and they will be held accountable for the overall business compliance strategy if something should go wrong.
As you can see there are many strings to the bow when it comes to training within an organisation , be it geographical location, delegation of responsibility, scale of workforce and most importantly complying to strict regulations, this can seem a complicated task to manage and more importantly to report on.
This is no longer the case with Learning Management Systems such as AI Talent. Using a Software as a Service (SaaS) model, that is securely internet based, allows users over dispersed geographical areas to log into a single centralised interface, which is extremely scalable to cater for large and growing workforces.
Admin rights, permissions, and much more enable users to only access appropriate areas of the system and e-signatures ensure that training, learning courses and activities are time and date stamped as a permanent record of a specific employees completing a task. This is a major advantage when adhering to compliance and presenting a measurable, accurate, and regulatory compliant information when required to show this through audits, stakeholder meetings and regular reviews.
Management can also report on the performance of their workforce through detail scheduled reporting tools within the Learning Management System, giving easy access to their employees competency, performance, completion rates and much more.
Centralise and unify your employee training programmes, comply with regulations, reduce costs, view reports and take the complications out of managing your training for a dispersed and varied workforce, speak to the AI Talent team today.
Learning Technologies 2012
AITalent is participating at the Learning Technologies 2012 exhibition in January