During these difficult times, many are wondering: What should we be doing for training?

The answer changes depending on the client. Some customers are quite busy, so much so that training time is being squeezed. Meanwhile, customers with reduced production are finding they have more time than ever to get training done to keep staff productive. Finally, those who have sent staff home are either maximizing training time, or depending on their work from home policies, have postponed training for now. 

To help you get through this uncertainty, we thought we would share some best practices to respond to each scenario. 

For those of you who have staff that are working hard at full capacity, it’s important to remember that sooner than later, they will need a break. Especially after the crunch is over, scheduling some training time would be helpful for a couple of reasons:

  • It’s a way for staff to destress and refresh their mind.
  • To show reward for the extra effort.
  • You can show that you’re investing in their future promotion and growth.

Providing a long-term training plan will go a long way towards keeping staff motivated and engaged through times of trial, and signals the promise of a return to normalcy before long.

If you have staff working from home or with more available time, in addition to getting some preventative maintenance tasks done, consider scheduling some training time. As we know for a fact, skills are eroded if not used and since extended time away from work will mean less practical application of those skills, it’s critical that you supplement that time with simulated training. 

Maintaining a firm training schedule will also mean productivity and downtime will be less affected when work schedules return to normal. If you allow staff time to train when things slow, the investment will pay off with immediate productivity gains when things stabilize.

Here are some best practices for training if you’re facing this type of work scenario:

  • Nothing beats the real practical skills learned on the floor, but simulation based training is as close as it gets. Online training, which can be done from anywhere, is perfect for times like these. Most importantly, make sure your training involves building the troubleshooting skills that will become more necessary to reducing downtime when work returns to normal.
  • It’s key that mandatory training time is scheduled. Don’t make it just a suggestion, but book the time in and make sure your workers know you are committed to the training, and that you expect it to be completed.
  • Training sessions that are longer than two hours are not helpful to learning, so we recommend you schedule no more than two hours at a time.
  • Don’t forget to check up on their training results. By reviewing the data, you can better recommend a course of action. Many Learning Management System’s offer high level data to tell you how far an employee got in their training, but it’s important to dig deeper. Make sure you take the time to review their quizzes, or in the case of our Simutech Training Systems, take the time to read the detailed fault data, which will help you understand who is not following safety protocols, who is changing parts and why. Our system provides the data to help you understand each employee’s strength and weakness. Once you review the data, make sure you do the following:
      1. Go over the employee’s results with them, highlighting their strengths and pointing out any areas of improvement.
      2. Supplement those areas of improvement with additional online learning.
      3. Create a unique learning plan for the individual.
      4. Continuously assess the employee’s learning, and make sure the learning plan is adhered to.

We would love to hear from you! What are you experiencing at your plant? What training do you have in place and what best practices can you share?

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