It is no small task to manage an organization’s safety training (even with a safety training guide). If you're looking for software to help you manage your company's training, be sure to ask what are your essential features, is it easy to use, and what are your IT demands?
With each employee having different training requirements, different schedules, and different preferred learning styles, you need a better tracking system then an Excel spreadsheet. Of course modern technology offers a solution, but how do you know which will compliment your current training program?
With so many options out there for safety training management software, finding the right one can almost be as stressful as managing an organization’s training! Ask yourself these three questions when you’re shopping for safety training software in order to find the one that best fits your needs.
What are essential features in training management software?
You want your training software to fit into your training program, not the other way around. Before you start browsing software, begin by putting together a simple baseline of your current training processes, pain points, and needs.
For example, does your organization need a better way to:
- Manage both online and classroom-based or instructor-led training?
- Easily create, update, and track training records?
- Upload supplemental course materials like handouts and PowerPoints?
- Notify employees of training that’s coming due or is overdue?
- Generate reports on safety training?
- Deliver training in multiple languages?
Identifying what processes you’ll be sticking with, as well as the problems that you’d like to solve will help you to come up with a shortlist of what features you’ll need. This also gives you the opportunity to think about the training delivery methods you’re currently using, and if you want to start using new methods such as online courses and videos.
Online training videos are great because they can be taken at an employee’s convenience and at a pace they are comfortable with. Plus there’s no doubt the younger generation has a preference for video and will likely respond to it better than in-person training.
But the important thing to remember is your training software isn't replacing your training program, but enhancing it. If employees get real benefits from personal interaction during training sessions, you don’t want your training program to only consist of online training videos.
Create a program that takes advantage of the benefits of both options. For example, you can have employees attend an in-person Q&A after watching online training video for further clarification, or do the opposite and use videos and online courses as a preview to hands-on training.
When your training management software has an expansive course catalog of the most popular topics, you can optimize the perfect blend of online and in-person training.
Is the system easy to use?
It cannot be overstated that the right solution should be easy and simple to use. But everyone has different notions of what constitutes as “easy.”
The best way to determine ease of use is to look at the workflow of different tasks in the training management software. If you have workers in several different locations, each with different training requirements, what is the process to schedule their required classes? See how many steps it takes and determine if the process is too complex.
Ease of use extends to any online safety training content you might include in your training management software. You’ll want to preview and review the content before you purchase to ensure it’s up to par. What is the format of the training content, and will employees be able to easily understand and complete it?
Of course, it is also important to make sure the safety information contained in the courses are accurate, safe, helpful, and credible. The safety training courses should meet all your company’s needs, and be easy enough to use for every worker who will be enrolled in it.
Keep in mind there will always be road bumps when learning a new system for the first time. Don’t count out reliable customer support as a critical feature. There’s no point in investing time and money in setting up your training management software if you are placed on hold for half an hour anytime you have a question. You should also have the option to easily find support information yourself through an online knowledge base or support portal.
What are your IT demands?
One of the biggest hurdles when looking at any new software is getting your company’s Information Technology (IT) department on-board.
Installing, updating, and maintaining programs is a constant juggling act as technology continues to develop at break-neck speeds. Therefore, you want your safety training software to minimize the strain on your IT team.
This is best done when the software is an online web-based service as opposed to an installed program. With online systems, utilizing your training software is as simple as connecting to the internet. Any maintenance and updates will be automatically and seamlessly applied by your software provider, without having to involve your company’s own technical resources.
To make things even easier on your tech team, you should also work with them to evaluate your IT and technical requirements for a training software before you purchase. Review what browsers you’ll need your training software to be compatible with, whether you’ll need it to be available to workers on mobile devices, and if you’ll need to be able to integrate the software with other systems in your workplace, including Human Resources systems.
Bonus Question: What are the next steps?
Finding the perfect training management software doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Keep these key points in mind when conducting your search and you’ll find the one that best fits your organization. The only obstacle remaining, is where to begin your search?
IndustrySafe’s Training Tracking Module is a good place to start. Part of a comprehensive safety software suite, it’s an easy-to-use online system that offers online safety training courses in addition to helping you track, schedule, report on your organization’s safety training. You’ll find it has all the right answers to the questions you should ask when shopping for training software.
Want to see if IndustrySafe is a good fit for your training program? Take a minute to watch an overview video of IndustrySafe's key features in training and other areas of occupational health and safety.