Success Stories with Online Training

The Budd Group is a building service contractor that employs 3,400+ employees and has been utilizing a customized LMS (learning management system) branded "Budd University". This allows for the majority of employee training and seasonal automated training for issues like proper personal protective equipment (PPE) in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, and helps organizations to avoid liability while also protecting their employees. These learning opportunities provided by LMS platforms allow for continuous improvement and responsiveness from front-line employees to management roles. LMS systems allow their organization to respond to trends and align "training topics with incident trends" (Criscoe). If there is an influx of slips and falls or mishandling of bloodborne pathogens the management system can be tailored to help overcome those challenges and make an organization safer and more efficient. LMS systems are common for janitorial companies because they allow for automated training and they help managers keep track of their training by their workforce effectively. Another "beauty of LMS is that it manages the learning for you" which allows administration to "see each day and hour where we are in our learning plans" (Criscoe). Companies of any size can utilize the benefits of an LMS program, but as with anything there are some drawbacks when using them.

The main concern with LMS is accessibility. Many front-line workers don't have access to computers or tablets where workers are available to complete courses and take learning assessments and "the technological barriers to train a large number of staff during their work shifts is challenging" (Peduto). Certain topics, like dealing with bloodborne pathogens, are sometimes better learned in person for certain individuals that prefer a hands-on approach.

John Law, the director of custodial and grounds services at the University of Michigan, believes the ability for a training platform to have adaptability and have a 100% passing threshold can give it the upper hand when compared to traditional training methods. Participants can be more apt to giving more effort when they are required to get a 100% on a knowledge assessment or course even if it means having to take the test repeatedly until they get a perfect score. Law correlates integrating repetition to higher level of learning and believes "people pick it up because the information is repeating, in some cases, five to seven times". Their LMS system incorporates online training and testing with classroom lessons, which allows the team to talk in depth about their mission and learn more about the chemistry of cleaning. The University of Michigan has 30 computers designated for training at a computer lab on campus and is looking into utilizing tablets for training in the future. It's important to note that some LMS programs offer smartphone accessibility which can help overcome the accessibility barrier.

Another key factor when implementing an LMS system is to keep it exciting. Training programs can become monotonous when they simply go through training material and read off points. Adding certain interactive techniques during trainings, like videos with cartoon animations or having to touch an object on a desk or screen, can increase completion rates. Another final key element is feedback. For example, if an area is not in compliance when a worker is doing a survey it's important that the survey allows for corrective action to close the loop. One of the main points of learning management systems and surveys is for someone to learn how to correct something that may have been done incorrectly. Among these features, it's important to have an LMS platform that's web-based, automated, and scalable for the facility or organization that is utilizing it. 

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