As the company grows, Utility One Source needs to expand their training program too, including safety and operations training for their many widely dispersed employees, but also for their customers. They partnered with Convergence to get health and safety eLearning courses and a learning management system (LMS) to help them administer training.
The company’s initial goals were to create a safer workplace, develop more skilled technicians, retain those technicians, increase management skills for technicians recently promoted to management, and better train customers to use their products (and eventually, to sell training materials to those customers).
"I cannot imagine a training and development organization without a learning management system. And Convergence right now is my answer. So I'm very happy to be working, partnering with Convergence to make this happen."
Don had to get buy-in from upper management and rank-and-file employees for the new training program to work. Management was skeptical at first, never having had a real training program before. Management quickly got on board, though, Don explains: "The training from Convergence paid for itself already by replacing dielectric training we had been outsourcing before…management liked that."
As for the employees, Don noted two main things. First, "When I ask them about the training, they say "I liked it…because it was real-life, applied to them, and they knew what it was." And second, Don notes the training is helping to retain workers—they're saying "We want to stick around because of the opportunities I'm going to get as a result of the training."
According to Don, the savings of the new computer-based LMS training program far outweighed the costs. And implementation was easy and relatively inexpensive. One quick and easy action was to buy a small number of Google Chromebooks at $148 each, creating a simple way to provide computer-based training where no computers had existed before.
"Management thinks training is cost prohibitive because nobody's really explained it to them. But when I sit them down and say it's $4.00 per employee per year, and show them what we’ve done in terms of performance with that investment, they love it."