How to Become a Learning Organization (An Interview with Michelle Ockers)

Learning Organization Image

We’ve written before about what a learning organization is and what are some of their traits, and we’ve even talked about how to integrate safety departments into learning organization efforts (see this Safety & Learning Organizations article or this recorded Integrating Safety into Learning Organizations ASSP webinar).

But we thought we’d shoot big and talk to an expert in the field to learn what organizations can do to become learning organizations: Michelle Ockers.

Michelle very kindly shared her time and knowledge to help us get up to speed. If you’re interested in knowing what a learning organization is, or if you’re looking for some simple steps to move along the path, this is a great place to start.

The video of the discussion is immediately below. We’ve also typed it up for you if you’d rather read–just click the MORE button to read on. 

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8 Ways a Learning Management System (LMS) Serves as a Risk Management Tool

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Risk management is an important tool in many different fields: finance, safety, and more.

Risk management is also central to your workplace learning and development efforts, even if you don’t think of workforce learning in that way. But stop and think of all the different risks you’d face if it wasn’t for your workforce learning programs. You might not be able to recruit as many good new employees without one and you might not keep the ones you do recruit as long. New employees would struggle to understand their jobs and it would be harder to teach them new job roles and skills in their career path. You might quickly run afoul of compliance challenges, and without an emphasis on learning, your company might drift into inefficiency, irrelevance, and ultimately out of existence.

One tool your learning program can use to reduce these risks is a learning management system, or LMS. We’ll discuss a few of the ways an LMS can help your organization reduce risk exposure in this article.

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State of the Training Industry: Our Customers Tell Us What’s on Their Minds

State of Training Industry Graphic

Since Vector Solutions acquired Convergence Training last year, and we partnered up with our new sister company RedVector, we’ve each been borrowing things from one another to create a better experience for our customers.

One of the things that RedVector has been doing for a while, and that we at Convergence appreciated, was taking an annual survey of their customers that they called The State of the Training Industry. We like this idea because it gives us a great chance to see what our customers are doing and how we might be able to help them. And we also like it because it gives our customers a chance to learn from one another.

So below is a quick infographic drawn from the State of the Training Industry survey that we pulled together with questions asked of customers of both Convergence Training and RedVector. Feel free to share your own thoughts in the comments section below.

For an even deeper-dive into this, you can download the State of Industrial Training 2019 white paper RedVector prepared.

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How Is an Academic LMS Different than A Corporate LMS?

Academic and Corporate LMS Image

A learning management system, or LMS, is a great tool for education, training, and learning and development. If your organization is looking to streamline these, an LMS can be a great place to start.

But to get the most benefit out of your LMS, you’ll want to get the LMS that’s best suited to help at your workplace. Although there are many, many different learning management systems to choose from, and no two are exactly the same, it’s very helpful to know that in general terms, we can separate learning management systems into two different broad categories: academic LMSs and corporate LMSs.

We’ll tell you a little more about what an academic LMS and a corporate LMS are in this article to help you find the right LMS for your organization.

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An Online Software Program for Tracking Safety Training: The LMS

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Frequently, potential customers (or even just safety professionals that we meet in the field, at conferences, or on social media) know that there are online software applications for tracking the completion of safety training. In fact, we often get calls, emails, or online web form submissions asking for more information about software for “tracking safety training completion.”

So that part’s easy enough.

But sometimes, people don’t know there’s a name for the kind of web-based computer software that is used for delivering training, including but not limited to safety training, online as well as tracking employee training progress, completion, and expiration–and even more.

In the learning and development industry, the tool that safety professionals would use to track safety training is known as a learning management system, or LMS for short. If you’re a safety professional and you’re looking for an online software application to help you track safety training completion, it’s an LMS that you’re looking for.

And even if your initial focus is on tracking safety training completion, you’ll soon discover that a learning management system does a lot more than just that, and that you’ll be excited to use some of these other LMS tools to improve your overall safety training program.

If you’ve got a few minutes, read on to find out more about LMSs and how to use them for safety training.

And don’t forget to download the free online safety training buyer’s guide at the bottom, which includes a lot of information about LMSs. 

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Training Workers to Use Software Systems with Screen Recording Software Programs

training-workers-to-use-software-systems-w-screen-recording-software-programsComputer software systems are all around us, and we use them a lot.

We use them a lot in our personal lives. For example, Facebook lets us catch up with friends and family. Google lets us find information we need. We watch movies online and we listen to music online. We even go online to do our banking, pay our bills, or shop.

The same is true at work. You’re reading this on a web browser now, obviously. And I wrote it using a blogging platform called WordPress. And if you’re anything like me, today you’ll be using a lot more software, too: Microsoft Office, Excel, and Word, plus maybe PowerPoint depending on how the day goes. I’ll probably be using some image editing software and custom software for logging my time at work, too. Maybe you’ll be doing stuff like that as well.

But it’s not just you and me. It’s all of the people that I work with, and probably all the people you work with, too. And because software is so common at work, it’s important to be able to teach new workers how to use software. Plus you’ve got to train existing employees how to use new software when it’s introduced at work.

And all that software training can burn up a lot of time–yours and theirs–if you do it inefficiently.

But fortunately, there’s a group of products that have the ability to record your computer screen and make little “how-to” videos for software training.  These tools can be very helpful, they can save you a lot of time and money on software training, and they can be used to teach employees software applications more quickly and effectively. So what’s not to like about that?

In this article, we’ll tell you more about these screen recording software applications. Please note that Convergence Training makes none of these products, has no business relationship with any of their makers, and doesn’t endorse any one product. We’re just saying that as a group, they’re a handy product type that can make your life easier at work.

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43.5 Signs You’ll Outgrow Your Learning Management System: LMSs and the Story of the Three Bears

Signs You'll Outgrow Your LMS Image

Most of you are probably familiar with the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

Many learning & development professionals and corporate training managers have a similar experience when they’re trying to find the learning management system (LMS) that’s “just right” for their company. Some LMSs are too big and overwhelming. Some LMSs are too small and limiting. And some LMSs are just right for their company.

At Convergence Training, we’ve worked closely with our customers for more than 15 years to develop a “Momma Bear” LMS–an LMS that has all the features they need but not so many features that it becomes confusing, overwhelming, or too costly.

In this article, we’re going to look at some signs that an LMS is probably too small for your company. Or, if it’s not too small now, signs that it’s likely to become too small soon once you get into the swing of things.

Of course, every company’s needs are different, and what’s too small for one company may be too big for another and just right for a third. So the big takeaway from this article for you should be to begin considering what you want and need your LMS to do before you get one. To help with that, we’ve provided a free LMS guide at the bottom of this article.

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Onboarding New Manufacturing Workers with a Learning Management System (LMS)

Onboarding New Manufacturing Employees and LMS Image

If you’re a manager at a manufacturing company, you know it’s important to deliver training to new hires as part of their new employee onboarding. And that’s also true if an experienced worker is moving to a new site, work area, or into a new role as well.

But you also probably know that onboarding new hires comes with a number of challenges. It’s hard to have time available every time a new worker is hired, and that doesn’t even account for having time every time someone moves from Site A to Site B, or from Production to Warehouse, or from Forklift Operator to Machine Tender.

Plus you’ve got to create, buy, or otherwise collect all the training materials. Not everyone has time to do that, especially create training and lead classroom training for new hires.

And of course you’ve got to actually KNOW that a new employee has been hired, or that someone has been transferred from the Tulsa site to your site in Wichita, or from Line One to Line Two. And let’s faced it–we may all like to say that communications where we work are perfect, and that we’re all informed of events like these, but I’m pretty sure you’d quickly agree that’s not always the case.

So, in a nutshell, there are lots of reasons why it’s difficult to provide onboarding training in a manufacturing environment.

That’s where an online system that includes a learning management system (LMS) can pay dividends. You can think of an LMS as an automated assistant that can coordinate all this stuff for you. Kind of a manufacturing onboarding auto-pilot system.

So if you’re in the market for an LMS, and want to be able to use it for onboarding new employees (plus your other training needs), we’ll give you an idea of some of the features you should be looking for.

NOTE: This article will focus on providing training as part of an onboarding process at a manufacturing company. For a fuller discussion of onboarding as a whole, please see our companion article Onboarding New Employees: Why and How to Do It.
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Learning Management Systems (LMSs) for Online Safety Training

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Many companies are interested in adding an online component to their current safety/EHS training.

It makes sense. We already do so many things online, and we know that putting stuff online can make things easier, more efficient, less costly, more convenient, and more effective.

Why can’t the same be true with safety training? Well, it can be and it is, my friend.

Not only is it possible, by now we all probably have at least some familiarity with online safety training. Maybe you’ve seen and have been impressed by an online safety training course. Or maybe you’ve seen how online systems can keep track of and automate training assignments that workers must complete recurrently (such as every year for HazCom training). Or maybe you know how efficiently and effortlessly online training systems can create and store records of completed training and even auto-generate reports on that training and deliver them to your email inbox automatically.

So in this article, we’ll take a look at one tool you can use in an online safety training solution: the learning management system, or LMS. If you already know what an LMS is and how it relates to online safety training, you may learn some new stuff here. If you’re not aware of what an LMS is or how it’s related to online safety training, this may be really eye-opening and very welcome news.

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How Can an LMS Improve the ROI of My Health and Safety Training Program?

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In other articles, we’ve explained what an LMS is and demonstrated how you can use an LMS to improve your EHS training program and your new employee safety onboarding, and we’ve even given a free LMS Buyer’s Guide checklist to help you get the right LMS for your company the first time.

Hopefully you’ve read those articles and enjoyed them (although it’s not necessary to read those articles before you read this one). And maybe you even learned a thing or two.

But maybe your thoughts are stuck on a single point, one that is often relevant in our society: the almighty dollar and your return on investment (ROI).

Specifically, maybe you’re wondering if an LMS would be “worth it?” Is it just a shiny new toy that you can’t afford and that will never help you recover its purchase price? Or is it one of those things that you will purchase and have it save you so much money you come out looking like a genius and smelling like roses?

Well, we’ve got some thoughts about that in the article below. Read on and reap the profits (ha ha!).

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The 70/20/10 Model for Workforce Learning & Development: How to Help Workers Improve Learning & Performance at Your Work

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Have you heard of the 70/20/10 model as it’s used in workforce learning & development? It’s also sometimes called the 3 E’s (for Experience, Exposure, and Education), and two of the three parts of 70/20/10 (the 70 and 20) are often combined and referred to as informal learning.

Quite a few of you probably have heard of this idea–it’s a buzzword in L&D these days–but it’s possible that others haven’t.

In this post, we’ll briefly explain what the 70/20/10 model is, give you some ideas of how to use it, and explain a few reasons why.

We’re also curious to hear your own experiences and thoughts (as always), so don’t forget to leave your comments below.
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10 Reasons to Consider Online Safety Training: Case Studies + Examples

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Many work places use quite a bit of online training for EHS training, while others still haven’t made the online plunge.

If you’re not using it now, and perhaps are on the fence, you should know that there are plenty of reasons to use online EHS training for a safer workplace. Online training has proven itself, showing it can make training itself more effective in many instances; that it can reduce the cost of training (especially for large workforces or workforces that are spread over a great distance); that it can greatly reduce the time, effort, and cost necessary to administer training; and that it can provide a welcome element of variety to training for employees.

Read on for more reasons to consider adding an online aspect to your current EHS training program.

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