The A-Z of Training: T is for Time To Learn

Posted by Adam Chester on 17/09/2014 at 12:00

How many of us make time to learn in our everyday lives? If training managers and L&D specialists don't make the time then how can we expect our learners to?

While we consider how to improve a learner's performance and help their development, the learner has a number of constraints on their time that may act as a barrier to learning. It seems that personal development is the easiest thing to slide down the priorities list which may mean that despite your best efforts it doesn't get completed.

Creating a culture dedicated to learning is I think the biggest challenge facing L&D managers today. While processes, tools and framework exist to help foster the correct atmosphere, sustaining a commitment to learning is a tough challenge.

A Challenge!

How much time do you think your manager would give you for learning and personal development each week? 15 minutes? 30 minutes? The best way to find out is to ask them. Go and ask your warehouse supervisors, clinic directors or team leaders how long they could spare team members for each week.

Obviously this doesn't have to mean the whole team being taken away all at once. You might ask for one or two people to come from each department. It could be an easily available online course that an individual takes during a lull in the week.

Bitesize Learning

The key thing is that your learning activities match the time available to your learners in your organisation. Having short courses or videos is a great way of increasing engagement.

Do we do any better?

A quick hands-in-the-air survey at this year's Learning Live made it clear that many learning and development professionals do not set aside time for their own development. Considering the wide range of demands on our time I don't think that this was unexpected.

Perhaps this is the case of the trainer's training always coming last?

The A-Z of Training: S is for Safety

Posted by Adam Chester on 03/09/2014 at 09:00

Health and safety is probably the number one reason for providing staff training. Delivering this type of training serves two purposes; firstly it protects your staff from harm and secondly it protects your organisation from litigation arising from accidents in the workplace.

Unfortunately despite delivering health and safety training sessions and regular refresher courses, many companies still find themselves falling foul of a lawsuit.

The primary reason for this is not ensuring that the training provided was understood sufficiently by the employee. In practical environments, one of the quickest ways to do this is an on-the-job observation where the employee is observed by the trainer and both sign to say that the trainee has demonstrated safe practices.

One of the other areas that companies leave themselves exposed to is inaccurate recording of training. Do you have a register for every session? What happens after everyone signs it? Where do you store it? Managing the evidence of training can be a full time job in some companies however it often seems to be neglected as a task that can be put off for another day.

Also don’t forget that any change in the working environment will require at least a refresher in those areas impacted by the changes. If you are replacing equipment for an identical model, training is not required but it is a good opportunity for everyone to complete a short refresher.

As a provider of a complete online training solution we make sure that we store records securely so that all of your training is recorded and easily to hand if an event occurs, helping you to demonstrate your commitment to health and safety.

Top 5 Things to Avoid For An LMS Launch

Posted by Adam Chester on 02/09/2014 at 09:00

There are lots of things to get right when introducing a new learning management system to your organisation. In this article we present the five key things to avoid when launching a new LMS.

1: Launching quietly

You have a brand new learning management system! How are you going to tell everyone? Updating the link on the intranet will hardly set anyone's world on fire. Put up some posters near the coffee machine! Send out an email to the whole company! Hire a marching band! The last one is a little extreme but I hope you are getting the idea- your new LMS deserves to be seen.

2: Your organisation's busiest season

All organisations have busy periods. If you want your launch to have an impact choose a launch date that lets your learners take notice. This might mean that you are ready to go before the launch date, but that's not a bad thing- see points 3 and 4!

3: Releasing before testing

One of the worst things to happen would be to have a fantastic uptake from learners on the launch day, only for the system to throw up error messages. Make sure that you have tested everything from both the administrator and the learner's perspective. If you are integrating with a HR system or importing data from an external source, confirm that the integration is working as expected.

4: Releasing without content

If you have excited learners, make sure they can hit the ground running. Upload your content, schedule courses so that they can register. Give them reasons for using the software rather than logging in to a blank LMS- they'll engage more and are more likely to return!

5: Keeping the old system around

If you are replacing an existing LMS, then make sure that all references to it are removed from any training documents and intranet links. Forgetting to do this can lead to confusion for learners, which will undermine your hard work.

If you are unable to migrate your learning materials, consider rewriting them in a format suitable for the new LMS. This will avoid having to manage two different platforms.


Choosing and implementing an LMS can seem like the hard part, but all of your efforts will go to waste if you don't launch it correctly. Avoid these five common pitfalls and you'll be on the right track.

Creativity in Education and Training

Posted by Adam Chester on 01/09/2014 at 10:35

I was listening to an interview with the author and educator, Sir Ken Robinson, on BBC Radio 4 this morning in which he outlined his thoughts on how education kills creativity. He argues that modern school systems push people through a process which fails to allow them to use and develop their talents.

The video of his TED presentation has been viewed over 28 million times since it was published in 2006 and is a fantastic lecture in which he presents his argument with humour and enthusiasm.

And my contention is, all kids have tremendous talents. And we squander them, pretty ruthlessly. Sir Ken Robinson, TED Conference 2006

My favorite quotation from the presentation is above- and I think that this has tremendous relevance for learning and development.

How does this relate to L&D

I believe that there is scope to encourage creativity and curiosity in an organisation's learning and development plan. Creativity offers the opportunity to solve organisational challenges at a high level, but also make improvements to the day-to-day humdrum activities that contribute to the bottom line of the organisation.

How are you encouraging creativity in your organisation? Do you have any tips to share? Leave a comment below.

New Dashboard

Posted by Adam Chester on 28/08/2014 at 11:31

If you have logged in recently you may have noticed a change in the dashboard. We have replaced the login chart, with three separate graphs for engagement, activities and feedback.

New Dashboard Graphs


The engagement graph shows the number of learners who have logged into the system over the last 30 days. Users who have not yet logged into the system are not included in this calculation.


The activities graph shows which types of training activity have been completed in the last 30 days. This includes online courses, exams, instructor led training, assignments and external training.


This graph shows the proportion of learners leaving feedback after completing an activity.

We think that these new charts give a better overview of training activity than the previous login chart.