Writing from his laptop in Derby, our Professional Development Trainer Keith Taynton looks at implementing training for a very special client – Webanywhere!
I recently overhauled our company induction program to take advantage of many of the features that Totara offers businesses trying to deliver and track learning.
Unlike many companies, when you join Webanywhere, you’ll hit the ground running and become involved in making decisions and interacting with customers from day one. This means that the all important on-boarding process has to be flexible while still being comprehensive, meaning there’s a strong focus on on-the-job training. This is a challenging task, but providing a thorough grounding in company process and product knowledge is essential to creating a successful workforce.
This context is a perfect opportunity to deliver everything in a blended learning mode, a combination of self-access online and face to face learning. The challenge was to use the online platform as the hub of learning delivery and tracking.
The requirements were:
- Provide a space where the inductee has access to all the relevant materials and resources that are required for induction. This could be things like access to policies, assessments of knowledge and interactive elements like forums or knowledge bases.
- Order the induction so that there is a clear temporal pathway through all of the required steps
- Track completion of access to documents, quizzes and offline activities
- Give inductees a journal to record notes about activities
- Deliver self access courses to explain our systems, processes and people
- Report on progress to management so they can track, chase and mentor staff who are getting stuck at any point.
The beauty of consolidating all of these things into one place is that Totara is flexible enough to allow a wide range of content and activities while also controlling structure and tracking progress. This makes bringing together all of our diverse business systems simple, and gives us a single virtual space to hang all of our training on.
The induction course is the first thing new staff meet when they join, and it provides them with the security and confidence that all they need to know can be accessed at any time as well as guiding them through the sometimes traumatic process of learning about a new business environment and fellow co-workers.
It also unburdens HR staff and line managers, who no longer have to track progress on paper or chase after staff to see if they’ve completed the compliance training because all the reports are instantly available.
As staff move from induction to medium term training, they continue to use Totara as the hub of learning, but activities become less structured and learning becomes more social as they engage in knowledge generation activities in forums, put together their own courses to help share knowledge and build a knowledge infrastructure that is more than the sum of its parts. This ongoing aspect of the training also serves as a priceless resource for new starters who can follow the development of knowledge in online conversations and get up to speed with their work much more quickly.
In summary, companies today face many challenges in collecting, collating and leveraging their most precious asset: knowledge. By using a flexible open platform, staff can consolidate, share and grow their knowledge from the very beginning.