Keeping Employees Safe & Satisfied: Keys to Training in the Packaging Industry

employee training manufacturingThe packaging industry has faced increasing scrutiny in recent years as it has had to adjust to ever-changing compliance regulations, integrate new technologies, and adapt to pressure from consumers to deliver environmentally friendly products. Growing numbers of people are committed to not buying packaging that can’t be recycled and manufacturers have had to expedite product plans to meet these demands. Considering these conditions and a market that was already intensely competitive, packaging manufacturers have had to be more innovative and agile than ever.

Online training is one of the most effective methods that packaging companies have deployed to inspire innovation, drive employee engagement, and unite everyone on the same page, regardless of their physical location or role. Whether it’s training people on the factory floor to work more efficiently and safely, or training the marketing team to reach customers with messages and offers that attract new business, or training sales to consistently execute the customer experience promise, there is no shortage of areas ripe for training in a packaging company.

Complex Compliance & New Technology Training
Worthy of its own callout, training for regulatory compliance in this industry is a continual challenge. Across the globe, whether meeting standards from the EU, or in the US, the EPA, FDA, or OSHA, and others, packaging manufacturers face some of the most complex mandates to enact and enforce. Non-compliance brings the very real threat of fines, not to mention likely puts employees at risk of injury.

Automated, ongoing training isn’t a luxury; it’s a requirement for manufacturers. Without a solid learning management strategy and the technology to support it, there’d be no way to keep up. Suffice it to say that by the time old-fashioned, paper manuals could be printed and distributed, they’d probably be out of date (or soon to be) – and your workers would feel burdened and inconvenienced by the training experience.

Add to this equation the emergence of disruptive new technologies quickly becoming realities on factory floors as well as in other areas of manufacturing, and you can quickly see the clear need for sophisticated, continuous training.

manufacturing industry employee training

Case in Point: Reynolds Group Holdings

Reynolds Group is one of the best-known names in packaging. If your mind went straight to Reynolds Wrap, yes, that’s the one. Or, more specifically, it was the one. The Reynolds Metals Company was founded in 1919 as the U.S. Foil Company in Louisville, Kentucky, by Richard S. Reynolds, Sr., nephew of tobacco legend R. J. Reynolds.

Reynolds Metals Company, which was the second-largest aluminum company in the United States and the third-largest in the world, was acquired by Alcoa in June 2000.

Skip ahead a hundred years from its founding and today you have Reynolds Group Holdings – a New Zealand-based company that employs more than 10,000 people across 127 facilities in 35 countries. With a customer base of national and international brands, they supply a wide range of package formats and offer a progressive portfolio of packaging technologies to their customers.

They chose SAP Litmos Training to meet the needs of the entire organization. The solution offered dramatic improvements over their previous LMS, which required numerous manual processes including using spreadsheets and paper for tracking employee training.

Training at Reynolds Group
One of the company’s most stringent training requirements is to deliver job-specific training according to OSHA mandates. This is a tall order because training needs to be assigned by role across different locations to both salaried employees and hourly workers – two groups that have different learning requirements to remain compliant and perform their jobs safely and legally.

Additionally, beyond mandatory compliance and safety training, the company is committed to providing team members opportunities for personal and professional growth through learning and development initiatives. To deliver on these commitments, they needed the power of a sophisticated, but easy-to-use learning management system that allows workers in any role to access and embrace training as a regular component of their jobs.

Now, with SAP Litmos Training, Reynolds Group Holdings has standardized and automated training, as well as streamlined several HR functions, particularly on-boarding and integration with ADP. For example, they can extract users from ADP into Active Directory, which automatically feeds into the learning platform, so that they don’t need to do manual or duplicate data entry in the two systems.

Further, SAP Litmos Training makes it easy to prescribe learning paths by role. Salaried employees can engage in training online from anywhere, while hourly workers can use iPads and/or kiosks inside the plants and in training rooms to complete their training. All activity is automatically tracked, regardless of how or where the training is done.

In addition to the learning management solution, Reynolds Group implemented SAP Litmos Training Content, which has increased learner engagement with professionally created, video-based courses. They save countless hours by using off-the-shelf content for learning that isn’t proprietary to their business but is generally beneficial in areas such as workplace safety, compliance, sales and service, and many others. In combination with their in-house training content, the company is enriching employees with a learning experience designed to keep people safe, satisfied, and loyal to an organization that cares about them as people and professionals.

See the Reynolds Group Holdings case study on this site or download the PDF version.