Virtual trainings have been in the process of continual development for many years. In the discussions of moving to virtual trainings, a question that often arises is – is the organization ready for this shift?
The current and unexpected pandemic has forced widespread experimentation over new ideas – right now, the focus remains remote learning. Industries are busy making facilities more conducive to ‘physical distancing’ that includes sanitizing them, and creating some effective guidelines for housekeeping. But one cannot deny the fact that trainings will always remain a substantial need for them. Industries cannot put ‘capacity building’ on hold for longer periods and a sustainable solution, therefore, becomes necessary.
Pharmaceutical, healthcare, food and beverages, and chemical and processing sector, mainly operate under strict HSE policy – they need to abide by the compliance standards (which also includes recommendations from International agencies such as FDA, in case of pharma). Without proper safety trainings and know-how, employees and facilities are prone to lapses in safety and health aspects. Industries mandatory need to train and update their staff in times of such critical adversities, remains paramount.
Corporate virtual trainings target the skill set and knowledge of the workforce to enhance their overall compliance and specific performance at workplace. Declining costs of technology, communication, and better data connectivity contribute to the development of such training programs.
At the plant, installation, or shop floor, being prepared with a comprehensive emergency preparedness and response plan that covers engineering controls, safe work practices, training and other administrative controls, personal protective equipment (PPE) is vital. What’s more important is the commitment to the resources required to execute the above plans. Stronger learning capabilities that stand as a positive long-term outcome are necessary to rise up from this sobering period.
Remote learning – execution and scale-up
To maintain momentum and obtain benefits of training programs that build the foundation for effective virtual learning, industries should –
- Establish a learning-response team
- Adapt digital knowledge delivery
- Practice and prepare for multiple outcomes
- Create engagement with timely planning and follow-up
- Tie communication with learner’s individual motivations
- Reinforce link between business outcomes and capacity-building
In industries, safety trainings stand important from the preventive as well as from the compliance point of view. Since these are self-directed, goal-oriented and mostly relevant to the tasks, employees often relate to them.
This uptake in virtual delivery enhances digital experience – ASK-EHS has modeled these digital-desired behaviors through active participation in digital safety courses. We have embraced and thought of as part of broader learning journeys that last till industries fulfill their long-term safety goals. COVID-19 has acted as a catalyst for this transition and with remote trainings, we are encouraging our clients to accelerate their transformation for their own benefit.
Our key focus still remains to strengthen safety learning, by creating intentional, meaningful interactions.
Virtual learning programs are flexible and agile – they help build human talent and knowledge needed to build this industrial age. These were already on a rise before this COVID-19 struck, and critical workplace learning is now in the process of finding new ways and solutions. How we experiment, test, record and understand our responses will now determine whether we are ready to embrace such shifts and opt for solutions that are independent of face-to-face conversations.