“The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”
MPW’s Training & Development (T&D) Department is more than OSHA and onboarding. It’s more than safety, more than compliance, more than the LMS. It’s more than the eight people in the T&D Department.
And it’s more than the 57,785 individual lessons MPW employees completed and learned in 2017.
You did not read that wrong. Fifty-seven thousand seven hundred eighty-five is a conservative estimate of the in-person T&D events last year. To provide some perspective, if a new-hire class covers 20 topics and includes 10 enrollees, for example, then it would account for 200 individual lessons.
“As you can see by the numbers, there are a lot of trainers using the LMS to schedule and record training, but we can get better,” said T&D Manager Matt Dawson. “We believe this measure is actually low and we expect reporting to trend upward.”
The figure becomes even more impressive when you account for the additional 8,287 individual e-courses viewed via LMS in 2017.
“We’re certain we’ll surpass 10,000 [individual e-courses viewed] this year,” said Dawson. LMS learning represents a partnership between MPW subject-matter experts and our department. The concept is ‘for us, by us’ in that MPW employees are creating valuable on-demand content for each other.”
NO ONE CAN WHISTLE A SYMPHONY
Dawson came to MPW about two years ago after 30 years of active duty in the U.S. Army. In his time here, T&D has grown significantly in terms of its strategy and vision.
“We’ve placed a greater emphasis on developing employees,” said Dawson. “Supporting compliance will always be a crucial role for us, but we’ve altered some processes so we can devote more resources toward internal leadership development, which is a need that was discovered through employee feedback.”
Dawson said T&D is also focusing on expanding LMS usage among both trainers and other MPW employees; content development for in-person training and the LMS; expanding assistance to training classes held outside Hebron; and long-term planning.
These are not simple projects. Fortunately, there are resources beyond the T&D team. MPW’s Training Network is comprised of nearly 50 MPW employees from all three divisions. The Training Network includes members from Operations, as well as HR and Health & Safety.
“There are so many people involved in MPW training,” Dawson said. “Experienced supervisors make people better every day. That type of coaching doesn’t count toward our individual-lesson numbers, but it’s imperative to our business. It really showcases the number of people who actually contribute to our efforts.”
T&D INTO THE FUTURE
Dawson said MPW’s recent development of a formal corporate strategy has already shown a positive impact on his department.
“We have a direction that allows us to formalize and standardize new-hire activities,” he said. “The internal leadership emphasis has led to the creation of a First Line Leader Development Program, supported by seminars that teach team-building, motivation, communication and conflict resolution.”
T&D has earmarked other areas of progress, including increased use of the LMS on mobile devices; producing more how-to-type videos; visiting more jobsites to develop relationships; and introducing more auditing processes to improve the relevancy and engagement capabilities of in-person and digital courses.
Dawson offered additional objectives.
“We’d like to build more sustainability into our training, so that when people leave MPW, entire training programs don’t leave with them,” he said. “To reach our goals, we need everyone’s help with content creation and feedback and with spreading the word that using LMS is important and easy. One of our points of emphasis is the need to record completed training in the LMS, which is our program of record.
“Everything we do is to help MPW personnel increase their safety awareness and job knowledge. That’s why we’re here for them. They’re our customers and we want them to be successful.”