Varied Approaches to Employee Training Available to Companies

Article excerpt

Byline: The Register-Guard

The rapid pace of change and technology in today's workplace puts enormous pressure on businesses to continually upgrade the skills of their employees to stay competitive.

Businesses cite a variety of challenges in providing training to their workforce:

Justifying the expense can be hard, especially during lean times.

Maintaining productivity while training can be difficult.

Finding training that is easily accessible and customized to specific needs can be problematic.

Local businesses have used a variety of tools and strategies to overcome these obstacles and address their training needs.

In-house training

Many companies develop their own internal training programs that are either administered by human-resource personnel or conducted by trained employees within the company.

Lanz Cabinets in Eugene has developed an in-house, on-the-job training system that certifies new employees in different skill areas. They also have a series of self-produced DVDs that instruct employees in the use of the most common equipment.

Through this training effort, Lanz has seen a significant decrease in the amount of time before new hires become productive.

E-learning

Some local businesses solve scheduling difficulties by using on-demand training via the Internet or an in-house computer system.

SkillSoft (www.skillsoft.com ) provides a variety of training packages in business and information technology topics.

Capstone Technology (www.capstonetechnology.com ) provides training packages for industrial settings and uses 3-D interactive graphics produced with video-game technology.

Capstone has developed customized training programs for the Lane County RV Consortium, including how to use a table saw. The training orients employees to the machine's features and safety concerns and allows them to make virtual cuts with the saw through the computer. This training reduced the amount of time supervisors spend on hands-on training.

Learning management systems

Many computer-based training vendors offer computerized learning management systems that organize computer-based training materials and track training for employees. Supervisors can develop individualized training programs for their employees and track progress on the system.

Ideal systems are scalable and allow for a business to house not only off-the-shelf training, but to upload customized and internallydeveloped training.

Mike Warner, human resource manager at Marathon Coach, recently began using a learning management system. He says it's been an extremely valuable tool for Marathon to organize and document training for employees at all levels and in all areas. …