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How to Use Online EHS Training to Engage Your Workforce

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Digital health & safety learning management systems can drive better worker engagement in EHS.

Health & safety training: it’s among the biggest challenges EHS professionals face. 

With everything else front-line employees must do, how can you expect them to fully embrace the work that’s required around EHS training? According to one recent global survey, while 98 percent of EHS professionals say worker engagement in EHS-related initiatives is key to driving better results, 7 in 10 also report such engagement at their company is “moderate” at best. 

EHS leaders know that success depends on their ability to connect with their workforce. What most lack is a strategy for actually getting there—for providing EHS training that makes real engagement possible. Here, we’ll take a look at the common limitations of most current training approaches, and we’ll consider how digital learning management solutions can resolve the engagement problem to make any EHS program more effective. 

EHS Training: Why it’s failing

Organizations across industries face many of the same challenges with respect to EHS training, learning, and development. From lack of visibility into program data to training approaches that ignore the fact that every employee has different learning needs, these limitations come up again and again and can have a significant negative impact on worker engagement. 

Poor data visibility

When organizations approach EHS training with a hodgepodge of solutions across departments and locations, they’re immediately three steps behind on the worker-engagement front. And it’s a similar story for those who think training can be effectively managed through paper-based processes: If your systems aren’t connected, or digitally accessible, you’ll lack the data visibility that’s required to monitor training progress and make decisions around the allocation of training resources. 

For workers, poor data visibility often results in a disjointed and disappointing training experience. Instead of driving better engagement, the process becomes tedious and uninspiring—a one-way ticket to EHS frustration. 

Lack of flexibility

Another common pitfall of many training programs has to do with their general inability to bend. Because paper-based processes and the use of disparate digital solutions inevitably mean more work for administrators, they typically don’t include room for flexibility. 

The problem: Every employee has different learning preferences rooted in everything from their cultural background to their level of literacy. And in companies with departments across multiple locations? For them, their workers may find it difficult to attend a training program that’s only offered at a distant site. 

Similarly, many EHS programs assign training to employees based on their job or the risks to which they’re exposed, but they fail to support an educational approach that considers individual experience or workplace behavior. Someone told to complete a training program that ignores the skills they demonstrate every day may eventually meet their EHS obligations in the end, but they probably won’t be happy about the work that it entails. 

Digital Learning Management: How Software Can Help

“E-learning boosts knowledge retention by 25-60% compared to in-person training”

If EHS initiatives, as they stand now, too often fail to live up to expectations, the question becomes what to do differently to improve worker engagement and bolster results. 

For many organizations, the answer has been to expand their use of software in all aspects of EHS training. They’ve seen the research that shows 90 percent of what’s taught in traditional training programs is typically forgotten in a matter of months, and they’re turning to new digital solutions to help plug their engagement gaps and turn the ship around. 

Interested in learning how to develop a training program with EHS compliance solution? Check out our blog, “Developing Safety Classes through EHS Compliance Software” 

More control for workers

While it’s true that EHS requires the provision of learning content that’s consistent, that doesn’t mean this information can’t be delivered in ways that respect individual learning needs. With a digital learning management solution, you can ensure that your training content includes everything individual employees must know, but you can also give those workers more control over when, how, and where the training takes place. 

If a portion of your EHS program doesn’t require hands-on training, for example, employees could log in from wherever it’s convenient to complete that work remotely. Likewise, through a digital platform, they could learn and test at their own pace. The solution can also dynamically assess (via quizzes, etc) what the worker has learned and what they struggle with and adjust their learning plans to account for it. That means the learning plan is “intelligent” and constantly evolving to the needs of the user – more personalized and therefore more engaging.

More tools for EHS professionals

Digital learning management solutions are similarly advantageous from the EHS professional’s perspective. Some, for example, include automated features that allow managers to tailor training programs to each worker’s needs and job-related risks. If a worker’s past behavior indicated that they might benefit from further education in a certain area, that would become part of their specific risk profile—and a factor in determining their training assignment. 

Digital Learning Management by the Numbers

Looking for hard numbers around the benefits of a digital learning management system to set the stage for your organization to make the switch? Here are several compelling ones:   

  • E-learning boosts knowledge retention by 25-60% compared to in-person training 
  • E-learning requires 40-60% less time than learning in-person 
  • E-learning improves worker engagement by approximately 18% 
  • 42% of Fortune 500 companies use digital technologies to train employees 

Source: SHIFT 

Incorporating digital solutions into the EHS training toolbox is also an easy way to improve efficiency in every aspect of learning management. The key challenge with training management is keeping the training plan constantly refreshed and aligned to the changing risks, tasks, and needs of the worker.  By allowing companies to automate enrollment based on client-defined criteria, we can build a program that is self-sustaining – constantly refreshing to ensure it’s always relevant to the worker, while simultaneously reducing administration to manage training plan changes. By eliminating the need for paper processes—and by automating tasks like employee enrollment in specific groups and the creation of personalized learning programs—they simplify training administration and help organizations become more productive. 

Finally, for the EHS professional, moving to a digital learning management solution can be the first step to greater peace of mind. As you build your own libraries of online learning content that reflect the needs of workers and the risks inherent to your business—and as those workers gain experience with digital learning and recognize how it benefits them—you’ll see that progress manifested in better EHS results. 

By improving employee engagement in EHS training, you’ll make your organization a better, and safer, place to work. 

For more information on our Cority Learning Management Solution, which fully integrates with our CorityOne platform so that EHS training can be connected to other EHS workflows, check out our overview here.