These are certainly very straightened times in the world of work, commerce, selling, banking – in fact every single area of industry is struggling with downturns in orders. The key for this change in a previously bustling economy is to ensure our staff, at all levels, are fully trained and at the peak of their performance. E-learning, online education courses and role focused management is even more critical when the chips are down and every single opportunity has to be chased to within an inch of its life. Within the healthcare sector, there are so many more things that can be offered at the local medical centre or doctors’ surgery. Blood pressure monitoring and management, lifestyle change courses, anything that doesn’t need a hospital or clinic but still needs trained nursing and councilling staff. All these activities need constant updating for the practitioner – to ensure all the latest trends, statutes and guidelines are being fully met.
Some employers provide e-learning training courses for their staff to maintain and supplement their current job knowledge. This is particularly so with civil service postings where there are constant training courses – mandatory ones to be completed within certain windows and each log in is linked to your line manager or team leader. Whilst I was a cs for several years, I found the courses well designed, to get you to think about the purpose. I remember one concerning anti fraud. It put every day scenarios to you to test how you would react when presented with a preventable fraud. Designed to stamp out under the counter payments, bribery and corruption. So powerful were the examples and multi choice replies, this info stuck with me and I am seriously anti fraud in every day dealings with trades people. No cash in hand payments for my suppliers. It goes through their books or I don’t hire them.
When you are running a business of any size, there will be a need to learn how to do every aspect of the running of it. Even though we can pay an accountant to so much of the financial stuff, there are other responsibilities that have to be undertaken and accepted. If even one part time helper comes on board, the owner then becomes an employer and all the rules and regulations of running a small business come into force. There are of course thousands of small employers who flout the law – it is worrying just how many will happily ignore the rules just to get the maximum work out of the employee – then seem surprised when a tribunal claim lands on their doorstep. Getting training in all aspects of running a business is easier these days and although professional guidance is always best, taking an online course in business matters is essential to start off with.
In my day, when we were asked at school what we wanted to do when we grew up, there was an almost scriped reply sheet; nurse, hairdresser, secretary, train driver, bus driver, fireman, policeman etc. etc. This was because those not at grammer level were not expected to achieve anything more than regular paid employment. However, my own father was a trained aero engineer from the navy. Once out in civvy, he had two paid jobs and also went to night school when we were small, taking technical drawing, to use his natural art skills and exsquisite eye for detail. This was a really difficult thing to achieve, to work in the day time to bring in money, and study at night to take exams. But he eventually became a technical author with a major defence company and I am so very proud of his continued training and work ethic which he instilled in my sisters and me.
There are so many e-learning opportunities out there these days – no need for anybody to drift in a world of incomplete education. Even the most difficult of students know their way around a mobile phone menu and can select absolutely anything they want to – despite not being able to achieve anything beyond being chief trouble maker at school. It’s all about have the nous to realise how important further training is in any field. Some youngsters cannot get to grip with the discipline required for an orderly well oiled machine that a good school is. They resent not being the centre of attention and very often they are lacking the basic skills to keep up with class. It is these folk who would always benefit from gently supervised online education – where they don’t have to stand up and show themselves up in front of others but can actually work their way around the screen with ease and usualy a great deal of knowledge and talent.
Needing to know all the differences in the making up of web based activity can be seriously daunting. At one time, you would hear folk happily announce they were web designers. This seemed to cover a vast array of activities and could often pay over the odds for the jobbing developer. These days however, there ar so many platforms for marketing products, it takes a seriously good agency to be on top of the trends. They need to know before it happens, what is coming down the pipeline. They also need to know what their own competitors are up to in terms of encroaching on a business area.
Being able to dabble with someone’s web site or ordering system is one thing, but not knowing the most relevant and totally up to date system to train people to use is bordering on irresponsible.
I worked in private industry for most of my years out of the home. Then after an aggressive takeover, my company paid me off to avoid a constractual conflict of interest. I irelaxed for a little while, then planning to become a driving instructor, I researched and joined a training group. Whilst waiting for my personal driving trainer to become available, I signed on with an employment agency and took a temporary job in a civil service department. It was the best thing I’ve ever done . . . . . I had to participate in mandatory online training courses on every subject possible. It taught me how to take in a lot of information in a short time. Not something I had really ever had to do in my previous lives. I really did learn a lot about my ability to absorb knowledge and how to get a course done as efficiently as possible. I never did become a driving instructor though!
Putting the fun back in to learning is a skill that candidates do not always appreciate during those hours sat in front of the computer. To most of us, learning a new skill, or taking a job focused training course is about as exciting as watching paint dry. In many cases there is a touch of annoyance at having to take part at all, if it’s a mandatory employer based course, a certain resistance to having to use valuable time that could be spent elsewhere. The point that the course will enhance particular parts of the job or makes it safer when you do it, do not always feature in the mind set. Some of the more modern education suppliers have taken this point on board and have designed their online courses and classroom work with more of an element of humour. This is usually the most successful approach after all, a happy student is a successful one!
In every walk of life there is a need to keep our training for the job in absolute tip top position. Whether we are in the medical industry or law, travel or childcare. With so much emphasis on health and safety and ensuring no fraudulent activity is caused by any of our actions, then making sure we check out the latest in educational options is paramount.
Another point to check is whether our current level of training is still appropriate and adequate. With changes coming along all the time, in legal status and employment law, it is vital to make sure any certification we hold is the very latest available. Checking online sources of e-education is a good way to see what is currently available. It also outlines the type of learning arena available, whether the candidates are on one to one, or large groups logging on to complete multi choice questions etc. You pays your money and takes your choice.
Filling the gaps in our learning can sometimes seem like a never ending journey. One person cheerfully quipped that her learning curve was getting more like a spiral – which is one way of looking at it. This person was doing the mandatory online anti fraud and money laundering course set by our employer. There were always online courses of undertaken during each quarter. These were automatically monitored and anyone not completing, or not even registering to take part, would be notified to their line manager by default. As with every employer, they are persuaded by training suppliers that all the employees would benefit from this course or that. It’s much easier to make it mandatory for all to undertake it than spend time assessing who would actually benefit & who wouldn’t. If the course is well written and not bunged up with jargon and repetitive formula, everyone will gain something from an online course, if only to wake up the brain cells now and then!