Required Learning: When Training Is Life-Saving

Training can be really fun. We get to talk about topics that enrich people’s jobs and lives, such as customer experience training that improves the flow of business and soft skills training that enhances human interactions. These subjects allow us to be creative and even a bit playful in discussing the value of corporate learning – swifter salespeople, savvier service agents, extra powerful partners, more mindful marketers, etc.

But for some organizations, training takes on a different tone and carries a much more burdensome weight. For these organizations, training means the difference between employee health and injury, or worse, between life and death.

In industries from manufacturing to airline to government, safety training sits at the core of the learning culture. For these organizations, training isn’t primarily about honing intellectual skill sets and broadening understanding of products, services, or company culture; it’s about protecting the physical health and safety of workers via carefully constructed courses and learning paths that instill proper process and procedure.

For the L&D professionals who manage these types of learning programs, the bar is set at the highest level. A gap in training doesn’t mean a figurative slap on the wrist from the HR director or a disappointed employee who failed to receive a certification. It means the potential harm of a valued staff member, who was put at greater risk due to inadequate education. These L&D pros need to be equipped with a failsafe learning strategy, highly effective curriculum and courses, and an LMS that can not only bear the load but empower a sophisticated multi-directional hub of learning.

Further Benefits of Topnotch Safety Training

For organizations with a focus on safety training, many will cite the frequently used, but meaningful motto: “safety is a value, not a priority.” This statement is based on the concept that a priority can change due to outside influences and demands, whereas a value is unaffected by outside occurrences. It’s an important distinction with ripple effects beyond the baseline of protecting workers, which should always be the foundational commitment.

When safety is a value, it affects outcomes such as greater financial success and employee engagement and involvement.

According to John Zeigle, a consultant with Value-Based Safety, “Companies must understand the link between safety and profit. Do the right thing and workers comp and medical costs will go down. But management must establish goals and expectations…show visible involvement…discuss safety regularly. Talk about what workers are doing right as well as what they do wrong. And reward people for doing the right thing.”

People certainly have intrinsic motivation to learn safety processes and protect their well-being on the job, but there are other motivations for leaders and management to fine-tune their safety training programs, as well.

The National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD) encourages organizations to embrace the benefits of online safety training, citing ease-of-access, cost effectiveness, reduced incidents, up-to-date information, and better monitoring capabilities among the chief reasons.  

Safety Training in Action with Litmos and TDOT

An excellent example of upholding the most stringent safety standards, the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) is a multimodal agency that manages statewide infrastructure, including roadways, aviation, public transit, waterways, and railroads. The mission of TDOT is to provide a safe and reliable transportation system for people, goods, and services that supports economic prosperity in Tennessee.

They rely on Litmos to power their learning program because of its critical nature in protecting their workers. In particular, the weekly Safety Training TDOT employees get through Litmos helps guarantee workers on the field go home safely to their families.

Please watch this quick video for a real-world look at how TDOT trains its nearly 4,000 total employees, a portion of whom work directly on the roadways and other infrastructure. The organization has the very serious responsibility of protecting those workers, as well as educating all staff on the latest safety protocols and procedures.

From a technology standpoint, they trust Litmos because it enables them to deliver continuous learning that’s relevant, timely, and trackable.

Avery Poor, HR Business Partner, TDOT, comments on how they’re leveraging the system:

“The tracking functionality of Litmos is so powerful and in this modern environment, what we really want to do is use Litmos to empower these employees to access the training they need in an easy way.”

He goes on to describe how in two years, TDOT’s course-completions doubled while using Litmos.

“In our initial year of launch, we had 20,000 courses completed last year. We were able to see quite a bit of growth already this year… We’ve seen 45,000 courses completed.”

Now, that’s successful safety training in action!