It’s 2015 and #FantasticForumFriday is BACK with a bang!
On today’s forum we are talking to Niamh, who works in the retail sector, about her experience with the EazySAFE Learning Centre.
Hi Niamh! Thanks for joining us today, let’s get straight to it!
So, since introducing the Learning Centre, how has the staff induction process changed?
Previously there was a requirement to carry out face-to-face induction training at store level, but it wasn’t very efficient. There were different versions of PowerPoint courses in different stores and there wasn’t much clarity on training material. There was no confirmation or reports for head office showing that training had actually taken place and no way of identifying staff who had begun work without being trained.
Induction training here is now streamlined. Since the introduction of the online training system, training is being delivered to staff daily, without intervention from head office staff or management. New employees receive an email from the HR system containing a link to the Learning Centre. They then register and take the training before they begin work. The induction course for their country in their language is automatically assigned to them. All course completions are tracked, and non-completions are flagged. The Learning Centre system is synchronized with payroll so all staff in the training system are current – joiners are added and leavers are removed without the need for administration at store level.
The introduction of the online induction training also sped up the induction process for new stores where hundreds of staff needed to be trained during a short period prior to opening.
How has the new method of training been accepted by store managers?
Store managers have welcomed this training method as it speeds up the process for new starters, and takes the burden of organizing inductions away from them. Previously there wasn’t much clarity about exactly what training was to be given to staff or what training material was to be used. The existing training material was inconsistent and dated. The online training ensures that all staff consistently receive the same level of training.
I think it’s excellent. Really visual, and very user friendly and will save us a considerable amount of time on new starter inductions.
What does the induction course cover and how it is presented to staff?
The course is called ‘A day in the life’. It follows a character called Sam through his day at work in our store. During the day, lots of things go wrong for Sam from a safety point of view. The course depicts the hazards that the staff member could encounter during their day as an employee here but it also highlights how these issues can be avoided.
The course covers general hazards, manual handling theory, fire safety and environmental awareness. The course is totally tailored to us and our brand and covers a wide range of specific hazards that would be encountered in our stores, from using access equipment and safety knives in the stockroom to raising customer awareness of safety on escalators.
What difficulties were experienced during the rollout and how were they overcome?
In the beginning the company firewall was blocking access to the Learning Centre system but this was just a matter of getting ICT to whitelist the Learning Centre URL.
There was some concern that new employees would not have access to a PC to complete the induction course. However, this did not prove to be much of an issue as the few staff who didn’t have a PC at home were given the option to complete the course on a PC in store.
There is a rule in Spain, Portugal and France that induction training has to be completed during work time, so store management in these countries needed to have enough PC’s available in training rooms for employees to get trained on their first day. This posed a problem for new store openings where hundreds of employees would be starting at the same time. In this case, online training was scheduled for batches of employees over the period of a week before the store opened – while the store was still in set up phase.
Do you have any advice for the smooth rollout of online training in a large company?
I would advise getting stakeholders involved and asking them to review the course during the course development stage. The stakeholder group should be a good mix of people who work on the ground and some Head Office personnel. This helps to ensure that information given is practical, and that basic points are not overlooked. Involvement also helps to get their buy in. The heads of HR & Recruitment in each region should also be involved from the beginning so that they are on board and aware of the imminent rollout and approve of the rollout dates.
Translated courses should be proof read by Health and Safety experts and also by store management in the relevant regions to ensure that they are correct and relevant to the stores in that region before rollout.
The training should be rolled out to a pilot group of stores first before full roll out. Once the course was rolled out to a few stores, others were hearing about it and asking for access to it. It also helped to put the logon procedure and help documents on a central repository (our Intranet) where stores could access them, and they could be updated if required. During the pilot we gathered feedback from employees via an online survey at the end of the course. As a result of this feedback we made some minor updates to the course prior to full rollout.
The induction training was made mandatory for all employees and management from a certain date. It was important to ensure that the target date was realistic and allowed enough time to introduce the training and get staff trained.
Finally, I would recommend that all material should be made as clear and simple as possible. Not only should the course content be crystal clear but you should also provide short procedures for managers and simple steps for users showing how to log on and take their training.
During the pilot users gave some constructive feedback on browser compatibility, time delay button and quiz difficulty levels. In general the employees were strongly supportive of this type of training.
Of the 17,000 users surveyed during the full rollout, 98.3% said they found the process of completing the online induction course intuitive, and 99.1% of users found the course informative.
The managers within stores generally had positive things to say about the online training, with one HR Manager commenting: “I think it’s excellent. Really visual, and very user friendly and will save us a considerable amount of time on new starter inductions.”
Thanks for joining us today Niamh! Tune in next week for more #FantasticForumFriday posts.
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