Launching a Learning Management System (LMS)

By Derek Vannice, President and COO

One of our biggest challenges at CNUC is providing ongoing training to all of our employees. Our employees are spread out geographically and work on their own the majority of the time. It is nearly impossible to get them into a central location for training. Since I joined the company, we have worked very hard to find ways to train our employees.

We conduct quarterly webinars on a variety of topics based on an employee training needs assessment survey. On a weekly basis, we email a tree of the week and a driving tip to increase safety engagement. We also hold weekly safety calls, with a specific topic, on all our contracts. These have all been very effective, but are difficult to measure in terms of employee understanding.

Our parent company, Wright Service Corp. has invested in a Learning Management System (LMS). This new system is similar to the system used in online college courses. By utilizing LMS, it will help us take our training to a whole new level. We will be building curriculum for all levels in our company. Lead Consulting Utility Foresters (CUFs) will be taking online training in leadership development and understanding their role in a leadership position. All of our CUFs will be taking training in all aspects of their job.

We have purchased developed courses and we will also be working to create our own. Safety training will continue to be a part of our online curriculum, just as it has been in all of our methods of training. The best part of the LMS is the ability to measure results through quizzes that accompany each course. All of the quizzes are scored and the results are kept in an online employee file. The results are also available to the supervisor.

The curriculum, online courses and quizzes are developed by professionals with expertise in adult education. The training courses are much shorter with videos and other learning tools. Courses can be added as needed. If we begin to see a specific safety concern, we can launch a course that addresses the issue. CUFs will be notified by email that they need to complete the course and given a deadline to complete it. Their supervisors can go online to determine if the employee has completed the training.

We believe that providing effective and efficient online training that allows us to measure the results will improve the performance of our employees, continue to aid their professional development, and most importantly help them to work more safely. All three of these goals are strategic priorities of CNUC and align with our core values.