Training needs assessments help your organization’s training efforts

In many ways, Training Needs Assessments are the backbone of an organization’s development and transformational efforts. It may surprise you to learn that less than 50% of small to medium-sized organizations actually conduct official, robust Training Needs Analyses to gain insight into training requirements, and even fewer actually use the acquired data in any meaningful way.

Training isn’t about people sitting in a classroom; it’s about how effective those people can be once they are released into their respective roles. Training builds contributors; focused training builds focused contributors, and focused contributors provide an increased benefit to any organization. 

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Training Needs Assessments begin with understanding your current state, and being able to identify the various requirements of your desired future state. The future state is highly dependent on a clearly defined set of corporate goals that serve to inform all supporting activities, such as training.

At Intelex, we are … Read more...

Intelex discusses Oil and Gas safety management in ISHN

As in other high-risk sectors, workplace safety is of utmost importance in the Oil and Gas industry, where the smallest of near-misses and at-risk behaviours can result in devastating consequences for frontline workers, not to mention catastrophic environmental impacts. In light of this, it’s hard to believe some oil and gas companies still rely on archaic, paper-based systems for EHS management. Yet in spite of the adoption of state-of-the-art EHS management systems by some industry leaders, paper- and spreadsheet-based systems are still in widespread use.

That said, the trend is changing and businesses are increasingly beginning to see how streamlined EHS management systems are ultimately investments with great returns that help companies navigate increasingly complex regulatory waters. Learn more about this dynamic by checking out my article “Goodbye to paper and spreadsheets” in the most recent issue of ISHN (Industrial Safety and Hygiene News). You’ll have to register … Read more...

True competence starts with strategy

We’ve discussed how training is not competence and how compromised employee competence can hurt all aspects of business performance. So, what do you do about it? Today I’d like to discuss a very simple approach to developing effective training and cultivating workplace competence.

While a high level of employee competence makes the difference between a simply serviceable workforce and one that truly excels, many might contest that achieving competence is easier said than done. This is true; properly training staff can be a significant burden on any organization. Simply providing training, tracking training, and measuring competence post-training involves substantial costs, multiple dedicated, full-time trainers, depending on the organization’s size – burdens that are significantly reduced if not entirely eliminated for organizations that use the right training tracking and management software. Coupling these software tools with a training strategy will generate results for any organization of any size, under any … Read more...

The organizational costs of incompetence

Yesterday we talked about how being trained doesn’t necessarily equate with competence. Today we’ll take a brief look at how that discrepancy can impact organizational performance.

To start, take a look at the picture to the right. Now, by no means are we casting aspersions on the capabilities of these two able-bodied young men by implying that they are incompetent, as the title above alludes. However, given the tremendous level of accuracy, acuity and precision required every day in their individual roles within their manufacturing setting, it’s a good entry point for this discussion to consider how one hole in their training could, at any point, on any day, engender compromised competence, thereby resulting in a possible environmental, health or safety-related disaster or impact product quality.

Training touches every part of your business

The benefits of a training program that cultivates actual competence are multifaceted and impact all aspects of … Read more...

Is your trained employee competent?

It happens all the time. A worker makes a misstep in his or her day-to-day duties. The mistake leads to a serious injury, compromised product quality, negative environmental impacts, or even a fatality. “But they were trained,” the supervisor responsible for the employee in question objects. Trained, indeed – but were they competent in their job?

This situation is a regular occurrence in workplaces around the world and it speaks to a widespread and persistent discrepancy in many conventional approaches to training management: the gulf between simply delivering training and ensuring actual competency. Organizations that have achieved success know the value of a comprehensive, robust training program. Streamlined onboarding of new employees and ongoing training – and, critically, training tracking – throughout the course of their professional development can, if delivered effectively, lead to a more effective and responsible workforce, and greater retention rates. After all, while the costs associated with recruiting, … Read more...

Intelex contributes to Oil and Gas Product News

Check out the recent Intelex article, When Paper Kills: The Perils of Reactive Management, in the latest issue of Oil and Gas Product News. Sure, the title sounds a bit dramatic, but when it comes to occupational health and safety, you can’t be too serious.

The story hones in on the sometimes archaic paper and spreadsheet-based systems that some Oil and Gas companies (not to mention businesses across all sectors) use to manage environmental, health and saefty (EHS) management data, particularly on oil rigs, drills, platforms and other worksites. 

The article, through a couple of hypothetical case studies, explores the difference between reactive, paper-based EHS management systems and the proactive, streamlined alternative, and discuss how the impacts on workplace health and safety, environmental impacts, time and eficiency, and bottom line/ROI significantly vary between the two systems.

So take a look, and let us or Oil and Gas Product News know … Read more...

The value of soft skills training

A Brave New World

What is it about the term “Soft Skills Training” that sends Accounting Departments and C-Level Execs running for the exits? Perhaps it is an unwillingness to allocate training budgets to courses that many consider to be window dressing, or just nice-to-have learning. Perhaps it stems from an inability to properly calculate and ascribe ROI to such activities; after all, Product or Process training is so much more measurable, visible, and valuable, is it not? There is even a case to be made that the term “Soft Skills” lacks the punch one might expect from serious learning initiatives.

Regardless of what excuses you come up with for avoiding Soft Skills Training, they end up being just that: excuses.

The reality is that no matter how proficient a particular employee is within their job discipline, whether Sales, Development, or what have you, if they cannot interact effectively with their … Read more...

In the heat of the moment

‘Water, rest and shade’ are the three key components U.S Secretary of Labor, Hilda L. Solis, will be focusing on promoting to outdoor workers in the upcoming summer of 2012.   It’s all part of OSHA’s recently launched national outreach initiative to raise awareness over the dangers of working outside in hot weather. 

Every year, heat exhaustion reaches thousands of outdoor workers in industries such as roofing, construction, transportation, utilities, and landscaping, to name a few.  While onsite, what employees may initially discover with simple heat rashes and cramps can often result in severe heat stroke or even fatality. 

Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health, says these are workplace hazards that can be easily avoided with simple precautions.  “Anyone who works outside is at risk”, adds Michaels, “Drinking plenty of water and taking frequent breaks in cool, shaded areas are incredibly important in the hot summer months.”  To add to Read more...

Beyond orientation: the essential advantages of onboarding

If you are an Intelexian, you can’t go far without seeing onboarding at work! And if you’re not an Intelexian, here is our insider perspective:

What is Onboarding? 

Onboarding is an opportunity to get all new Intelexians set up for success in their new company and their new role. Onboarding is more than orientation. Orientation is meant to familiarize new Intelexians with the organizational structure and important policies; it takes only half a day here at Intelex. For us in the Professional Development Office (responsible for onboarding), onboarding is the first chance to reveal the Intelex Platform and Products as well as (equally important) expose new employees to the culture and vision Intelex aspires to achieve.

Why do we Onboard?

Most new employees will decide on staying with a company within the first 45 days of employment. This reflects the importance of a planned onboarding program that helps employees through … Read more...

OSHA Opens Grant Solicitation for $1.2 Million in Susan Harwood Training Grants

The US Department of Labor’s OSHA has announced that it is seeking applications for two types of training grants, with funds to be awarded totalling $1.2 million. The two types of grants available are Targeted Topic Training and Targeted Topic Training and Educational Materials Development.

OSHA has outlined the following topics for the grants: fall protection, grain handling operations, crane safety, workplace violence, hazard communication for chemical exposure, injury and illness prevention programs, and shipyard safety hazards. Under the Susan Harword Training Grants Program, the focus of these grants is to provide workers and employers with the tools and resources necessary to understand workplace hazards, control measures, and rights and responsibilities.

The grant was named in honour of the late Susan Harwood, a former director of the Office of Risk Assessment in OSHA’s Health standards directorate, who died in 1996. During her 17-year tenure with the agency, Harwood developed OSHA … Read more...