Category: Blogpost

31 May 2024
Safety training

What is OSHA-based safety training?

There has been a massive change in the industry now. New rules and regulations have come up for the safety of employees. The employers are also concerned because the OSHA can impose huge fines on them.

But when employers proceed to provide online safety training, they need to be cautious.

There needs to be a special preparation of online training programs in which information for the site needs to be included.

What’s the need for site-specific information?

This site-specific information includes the particular characteristics of the site. These properties can lead to accidents, and hence the safety procedures for a site are very specific. The characteristics of a site decide the hazards present, such as electrical issues, chemical dangers, etc. Hence, according to the dangers present, emergency procedures have to be devised such as evacuation routes and where the safety equipment such as fire extinguishers needs to be placed. This placement has to be done near the areas that are most likely to have a fire breakout. Site-specific information also decides the amount of pathogens and chemicals present in the air, due to which wearing a PPE kit is necessary. If the site-specific information is not taken into consideration, there can be a complete failure of the OSHA-based online safety training. The following things need to be taken into consideration so that the safety training is not a failure.

  • Including assessments:

There must also be the inclusion of assessments to check whether the employees have carefully learned all the instructions taught to them in the safety training. They can show their managers whether they know how to run a machine or if the machine starts showing some problems, how to stop it. Employees can also be given written assessments in the form of MCQs in which they answer what’s the best alternative in a certain emergency. Apart from MCQs, there can also be true/false questions to check the response of employees. When the employer feels that there is a requirement for a more detailed response from the employees to know their reaction in a certain situation, there can be inclusion of a summative assessment in the test. It’s also necessary if, unfortunately, a situation occurs, and employees commit mistakes, and an OSHA audit happens. Such certifications can prove that employers have nothing to do with the accident.

  • Face-to-face training:

Although online training is the best way to teach employees about safety, it must be followed by face-to-face training for employees. It has the benefit that employees can talk with their seniors to resolve any confusion. There can be confusion regarding the steps to be followed when a machine malfunctions. OSHA has laid mandatory regulations that if the employees need direct interaction with the trainer, they should be able to do so through a hotline. An organization can even go further and make the employees go through a fire drill. This can let them know exactly what they need to do when there is a fire breakout. If they can’t douse the fire with the aid of a fire extinguisher, evacuation is the only way possible.

  • Lack of translation:

Some employees might not understand the training provided in English, as they are not familiar with the language. Therefore, if they need to be given translated materials or an interpreter.  Also, some cultures don’t allow employees to be frank. So, if employees are hesitant to ask questions from the trainer, they should be encouraged to resolve their queries. Any confusion among the employees can cause trouble for the company in the form of unwanted accidents.

Some employees might not understand the anecdote shared by the trainer or shown in online safety training because they have never worked in a factory environment before. Therefore, culturally relevant case studies must be used for them.

In fact, for such employees, group discussions are crucial to completely understand the situation so that they are clear about the situation. Since companies are hiring from different cultures now, the performance assessment must be done fairly for different people. Moreover, if the assessments are checked correctly, there is more acceptance of the rules and regulations taught in the online safety training.

  • Slow internet:

Technical issues can also cause a disturbance with OSHA training if the internet connection does not work at an optimum speed. Sometimes, the workers need access to safety training materials to prevent an accident, hence a company can’t afford such an internet connection. The company management must see that there is no server downtime and the internet connection is optimal so that workers can use the material as and when required.

23 May 2024
quality assurance

What is quality assurance in e-learning?

E-learning is an important requirement of our times. Therefore, it needs to be done carefully. Quality assurance needs to be done precisely so that there are no mistakes in the end product. For an e-learning vendor, quality assurance is pivotal to how his course is going to be perceived by learners. 

The entire team of the e-learning vendor should devote perfect attention to quality assurance so that learners don’t find any mistakes. There is a seat time for every course, time which is spent in preparing a course. The time spent reviewing the course should be twice this time. 

The quality assurance process has to be completed in consecutive rounds.

It can’t be all completed at once. The first round should include checking for colors, and text styles whether they are as per the brand’s requirements. In the second round, assess whether the course has the proper functionality. In the last round, check whether the text content is free from all the errors or not. 

  • Navigation in the course:

The most pivotal thing is the quality of a course. You should check every link in the course to see whether they are working perfectly or if there is an error 404. Also, they should be directed to the correct resource. The quizzes should be working perfectly fine, with the learners getting the right score for every wrong or correct answer given by them. The feedback should also be displayed well on time with every wrong answer given by the learner, or he should be directed to the next screen when the answer is right. Hence, the job of a reviewer is to see whether the components of a course are working as per the storyboard. There should be objects aptly aligned in the course and every slide should look perfect, for example the bullets should be correctly aligned. 

  • No grammatical errors in the content:

There is always content included in the course. A major part of quality assurance is to check whether there are any errors included in the course. When the text is displayed in the course, it should not have any spelling or grammatical errors.

Also, the speech of the course must match with the displayed text. This text-to-speech feature is important so that visually impaired people can hear the course content. As per section 508, the course has to be accessible to everybody. 

The staff of the eLearning vendor has to be taught about such quality assurance changes. The reviewers should ensure that the changes are as descriptive as possible. For example, if slide numbers are not included, the reviewers should describe whether the slide numbers should be included, which side of the slide, and which font and font size are to be used. Once these things are clear, there is no ambiguity in the slide numbers. If any vagueness is there, more problems can arise as the developer has to resolve his doubts with the reviewer. 

  • Need for a final decision-maker:

Reviewers can have conflicts among themselves about what changes are final. It can happen that one reviewer does not agree on one change, and another reviewer on another. There should be a final reviewer who should be the decision maker in this case. 

All the reviewers should be on the same page regarding the changes required. So, the edited version should be shared through Google Docs

  • Use of a checklist for reviewing:

Before the reviewing process starts, a checklist should be used. This is important for seeing whether all the changes are carried out. This checklist should contain what kind of things should be checked in a slide, one after the other.

Apart from slide-by-slide checking, it’s also important to see whether the content of the slides confirms the learning objectives. When it does not, designing the slides proves to be a waste of time. (Quality assurance)QA consists of processes aimed at checking that the instructional design content has all the pedagogical elements present such as tests and other elements such as animation in the chapters. 

Final word

Quality assurance is a one-time process, but some problems can also arise when the course is given to the stakeholder, i.e., the learners. Hence, their feedback should also be taken before the course is finalized. There can be problems with the course which are shown in the learner analytics because if they are taking too much time, this implies there is scope for improvement. Sometimes, there also can be alterations required in the course, due to which the course materials have to be changed for it to be pertinent. 

09 May 2024
manager training

How can manager training affect teamwork?

Over the last few years, there have been drastic changes in the workplace. The workers now demand that they must work from home. Although they are working in a hybrid mode, the managers have yet to become able to handle distributed teams. 

This big problem for most companies is how to manage such teams. Managers need help from all kinds of employees here, including human resources and leaders. These are the problems with teams:

  • No, or very less communication:

The first problem is that there is no clear communication necessary for working on a large project. It is a big problem. When there is no such communication, problems can arise. When employees are confused, they tend to do the work wrong. This can create a wrong impression of the company. A communication protocol should be established for this kind of situation where the employee is not clear about his manager’s instructions. 

Solution:

Many forms of communication can take place. When there is in-person communication, it’s the most productive of all. It helps to build relationships. They are required in a company when a celebration happens, like when a new employee has joined the company. Synchronous communication, whether face-to-face or in person, is required when decisions need to be made. These decisions are required because a deadline is looming over managers’ heads. Asynchronous communication is needed when the decision does not need to be made immediately; hence, feedback can be given in this manner. This communication transfer only happens one way, i.e., the other party does not respond immediately.

The managers must be taught how to ensure the team has good communication. The team members can use any kind of tools to interact, such as video conferencing tools. They can even email each other if the response has to be not so immediate. However, it’s in the hands of the manager to decide which communication tool is most apt for which situation. For example, instant messengers can be used when the situation requires an immediate response. Manager training is important, so managers communicate clearly with the team members and don’t allow any obstacles to arise.

Hence, the company should have set up communication protocols depending on the situation.

A team can’t be formed when most members have not met each other. For a strong bond between team members, they must meet face-to-face at least once a month. Manager training is imperative so that they can handle remote teams. 

  • No monitoring of employees:

The manager does not even know whether an employee works from home. This is troublesome for the manager and the employee because an employee is left alone without physical surveillance. This lack of accountability can create problems for managers and employees in the long run. 

Solution:

The managers should, therefore, conduct regular meetings with the team to see how far the project has proceeded and if the team is facing any problems. Sometimes, employees face problems and are shy to disclose them unless specifically asked. 

  • Technical and time differences:

There can be many differences in the working culture of remote team members. Some members like to devote more time to work, while some don’t. Members are working in a different time zone. So, the manager cannot communicate with such employees on time. This can be unproductive for the team when decisions are not conveyed on time. The technology can be different among remote teams. In some places, the internet connectivity might be good, but in others, it might not.

Also, cybersecurity might be a problem because some employees work on other laptops, whereas others on official laptops. There can also be differences between software configurations, making running some software on them tough. It can be a problem for those employees who are not given systems by the company and have to upgrade to the new OS. 

Solution:

Manager training should also include how the work is facilitated for the remote team members.

 

This implies that they should have all the tools to perform the work. They should also assist employees so they can carry on with their work. They should provide training and technical help to them as and when required, so the work is not hindered. Managers can boost a team’s morale by ensuring that they maintain a work-life balance. If their team members cannot get time out for their families, they will eventually be burned out and quit their jobs. Hence, manager training should teach them how to properly delegate work between employees. This way, every employee would be able to have a work-life balance. Managers should also be aware of time zone differences and call an employee at the right hours because employees can be from different team zones. This must all be a part of manager training on how to maintain camaraderie in the team. The managers should also be aware of the progress of the team. If they cannot do so, there can be problems when everything has to be done at the last minute.

In the end:

The manager’s job is to see the bonds are forged between the team. Hence, they should conduct regular webinars from time to time. Manager training is, again, important for conducting such face-to-face meetings between team members. In such meetings, managers can facilitate discussions between team members and allow them to use break out rooms. He should also know how to conduct polls between them for specific reasons. 

Manager training can help them in building powerful team dynamics. The managers should ensure that there is trust among the team members. It’s also their sole job to take responsibility because there can be discord in the company if they don’t. But if everyone knows their work before a deadline, then there is no chaos, and everyone knows their share of work. 

This is how manager meetings can ensure that the company creates a positive impression on clients and there is also cordiality between the team. 

02 May 2024
soft skills

What soft skills are needed in any industry now? 

The world is changing very fast, and now it’s important to make employees learn soft skills as well. They are necessary for career growth. The companies today are dealing with a lot of issues. People are not willing to change jobs even at higher pay scales due to the instability seen during COVID-19. So, companies have to train the existing employees to retain their position in the market.

The employees who don’t develop in the current organization feel a sense of job dissatisfaction, while their employer suffers from job instability. That is why companies are placing more importance on training existing employees with soft rather than technical skills. Employees can become better than others when they have mastered specific soft skills, such as problem-solving and communication. Research conducted by a prominent university like Harvard has shown that soft skills play a significant role in the success of an employee. Hard skills play a minor in determining the success of a person at a job. Following are the soft skills needed in any industry to succeed.

  • Communication: Communication is crucial to employee growth in an organization because it includes handling teams, which is essential for delegating tasks in bigger projects. With good communication skills, employees are able to transfer their complex skills to others, such as how to operate a machine. For an employee who is a good communicator, telling his ideas to others is relatively easy. He can understand the gravity of the situation. And act accordingly with others. 

Communication skills are the most important today because they help in conveying your thoughts to others. Employees who stay mum at the workplace even when they have problems are not preferred by employers. So, employees who have good communication skills can express themselves clearly when they have issues. Also, when writing emails to the boss, it’s essential to have communication skills. Employees with such skills can prepare coherent reports and business presentations, which can be forwarded to the client.

  • Time management: Moreover, soft skills also include time management, which is the ability to do multiple jobs at once. This is not easy and requires discipline, which clearly means employees should be able to prioritize the tasks as per the time available to them.
  • Team Handling: Employees must know how to collaborate and work in a team.  People with good soft skills ensure that there is cooperation between people because they are good at team handling. Teamwork also requires the ability to solve conflicts so that everyone can work with each other amicably. Apart from that, they are able to adapt to situations and go through stress at the workplace. When facing stress at the workplace, employees know how to solve the problem. They can advise the manager about the solution. It’s because they can find new solutions to problems, unlike others. In fact, those with creative skills can get new product ideas and ensure that the company maintains its competitive advantage in the market.
  • Customer satisfaction:

    Soft skills also help in understanding other employees.

    These skills ensure that the employees are able to understand the customers and provide better service. It’s because with empathy, they put an effort into what customer wants. This is how customer satisfaction happens because they are dealt with compassion. 
  • Professionalism: When employees have an enthusiastic attitude, they are treated with respect by employers. They give worth to an employee’s passion for his work. They know that such employees who are dedicated to their work can conquer any obstacle. Hence, employees should be conducive to growth and try to find meaning in their work. Professional employees also find favoritism from the employer. It’s because such employees arrive on time. When there is a deadline, they are willing to stay till late hours. They also follow all the workplace cultural norms. The managers find such employees trustworthy, who show professionalism, and take responsibility for their mistakes. They show accountability and play their role to the hilt in any project. 
  • Networking: Networking is very crucial for an employee to get ahead in this rat race. There can be many business opportunities he can take advantage of when he is good at networking. This is the best way to win clients. Hence, an employee must attend webinars and industry events where all the seniors have gathered and forge new relationships. This is how soft skills beat hard skills when it comes to succeeding at a job and getting ahead of others. You might have hard skills, but how to talk to others about them is also required. 

The companies teach soft skills in different ways: 

  • Coaching: One of them is coaching, which involves giving a coach to every employee who guides him on how to behave. He can give him a session and, after observing his behavior, provide him with feedback. Once the employee’s goals are set, he can proceed further. Then, an employee knows what the loopholes are and which direction he should proceed to improve them. 
  • Technology-based learning: This is also very useful in imparting knowledge to employees. The employees can lay their hands on a variety of resources that they can use to learn about soft skills. Through these mediums, they are given soft skills training through multimedia and even learning recommendations based on their pitfalls. These recommendations will help employees to grow their soft skills speedily. 
  • Fun based games: Companies can also ensure that employees imbibe soft skills through weekend activities. These activities can be like social events so that employees can role-play. In this way, employees can act in a manner soldering their bond with others while showing their soft skills. They are given characters from the office for enactment. Companies have understood the importance of soft skills for overall growth. 

When employers put their money into soft skill development, they benefit a lot. They can create a strong workforce that can survive in today’s changing environment when employees get feedback about their soft skills. They can understand and improve their soft skills. Not only that, but they get information on how to remove their soft skills pitfalls.

29 Apr 2024
employee training

Why is employee training necessary to prevent resignation? 

Employee training is a huge necessity now. It’s because the companies can’t afford to lose employees. This has become a major problem since the Great Resignation. This phenomenon is not over yet.

There is evidence of the Great Resignation when, in 2022, lots of people left their jobs. This number was even more than in 2021, when only 47.7 million quit their jobs, as compared to 50.6 million in 2022.

So, the Great Resignation had a colossal impact across all industries and was not restricted to one industry only. Hence, employees are still quitting their jobs in incredibly large numbers, which could be due to the monotonous nature of their jobs or low salaries. 

There are many reasons behind this phenomenon:

  • Inclination to work-from-home:

First one is employees want work from home opportunities, which is only possible in some professions. Hence, they leave a company with no choice but to quit their job. 

  • Want to join stable jobs:

Many professionals are still reeling from the impact of the pandemic when they were evicted from their jobs. Hence, they want to join jobs that have better pay scales and are stable so that they are not terminated. Some jobs also don’t provide adequate safety, prompting the employees to leave their jobs.

The labor market is now more favorable for job seekers, and many professions have better job opportunities than before.

  • Job dissatisfaction:

Job dissatisfaction is also a major reason why employees are quitting their jobs. For example, many workers have quit the manufacturing industry permanently. 

The effect of the pandemic is still not over, and people are looking for jobs in new career directions. It’s because they also lost their jobs during the pandemic and now want to pursue a job that is in sync with their passion. For employees, having a job is no longer enough. They are now running after jobs that offer better salaries and promotion opportunities. Sometimes, employees want jobs with reskilling opportunities. It’s because they found their skills to be obsolete during the pandemic. 

It’s tough to make Gen Z stick to one job for a long time because they have preferences, such as how a job is going to contribute to their career growth. Often, they leave a job to work in one that aligns better with their career goals.

This has become a vicious circle. When employers have skill scarcity, there will be losses in a certain industry. When certain employees leave an industry due to losses, the turnover is increased, leading to long-lasting labor shortages. This is because when employees see other employees quitting, they are also pulled towards better job opportunities. Plus, when an organization is suffering from losses, there can be salary cuts and no appraisals.

Employers will have to find a solution to this problem of great resignation. It’s not so easy. They will have to provide training so that employees can handle their current jobs better. 

How can training help?

When employers find a solution to the problem of great resignation, they can have a sound business. There has to be upskilling of employees so that they stay in their current jobs and are eligible for promotions also.

In fact, many organizations have resorted to employee training as a solution to employee turnover.

The upskilling can ensure that employees consider themselves valued in a company. This improves the retention rate in the company, and employees are not willing to quit.

  • Better career growth:

When receiving such training, the career development path of employees becomes clear. They can see where they will be in the company five years in the future and hence don’t leave the company for better opportunities.  

When employees are upskilled, they are able to do their jobs better. They feel job satisfaction because they no longer need to ask someone to perform their tasks. They can ask for salary hikes because they become good at what they do. 

  • Better performance:

Employee training is a good measure by a company to ensure that employees are able to process all the changes in the organization, whether it is the introduction of new software. Employees can be shown screencasts of various software so that they can handle all the processes. When employees are not able to understand any software, they can quit their jobs. 

When all the employees receive employee training, the company benefits because even if an employee out of them leaves the company, it does not affect operations. On the other hand, when there is no training, even if one employee leaves the company, a lot of pressure falls on the company to pass on his knowledge to others to ensure continuity of operations. 

  • Good bonds:

When employees are trained together, a bond develops between them. They help each other understand the relevant content and hence become friends. Employees don’t have much of a possibility of quitting their jobs because they have peers in the organization. 

When it comes to employee training, a company has many topics to focus on, like cyberawareness training, soft skills development, compliance, and customer service.

  • Customer service:

Customer service is one of the key areas in employee training because employees who talk with customers in stores are the flag bearers of a company. They should know how to deal with them in terms of understanding their needs through active listening. Even if there is a conflict, like a customer wanting to return a defective item, they should be able to deal with the situation positively. 

  • Cyberawareness training:

With time, compliance laws change regularly. Hence, a company needs to focus on them. When the employees don’t know the basic cybersecurity rules, problems can arise. Their accounts’ passwords can be leaked when an outsider gets access to their PC. This happens when they use public Wi-Fi. Hence, such training ensures that employees protect their computers from all kinds of risks, such as phishing emails

Moreover, today, an inclusive environment is important for employees. For this, it has to hire people from the minority sections. However, it should ensure that other employees behave with them normally and not be biased against them. They should respect minorities and give an equal understanding of their viewpoints.  This is how the company can do employee training to prevent turnover or reduce it.