When choosing the educational solution for your team it is important for companies to focus on business objectives you can meet, or challenges that education can empower you to overcome. Many of the challenges large therapy companies face such as disconnection from front line therapy staff, employee turnover, providing visible opportunities for growth, and maintaining current compliance training goals, can all be addressed with the right combination of education and learning management tools.
Many therapy companies are geographically spread out, and disconnection from front-line therapy staff can occur quickly. Problems that arise from this disconnect include lowered employee engagement, and increased turnover, and a feeling of alienation for these therapists. Such problems are amplified if your company provides home health services, contract therapy services, or outpatient rehab services. because of the simple geographical challenges companies face in uniting their internal brand and communications. An effective new hire and on-boarding process can help to strengthen your organization’s initial brand, and continuous training that reflects consistent attention to detail and company messaging will help maintain the long-term success of the team. A couple of questions to consider as you align your employee training programs to employee engagement are:
- How do we consistently deliver the same company message and image to our team, year after year, and for each new hire?
- How can we incorporate the brand into the fabric of the learning system, making it unique to our organization?
An increase in available online tools means companies have more options for providing consistent messaging to teams, including cloud based learning solutions, video based courses, and the development of specialized training programs. Using technology to provide impactful continuous employee training an employeer can strengthen your connection to the team, no matter how geographically disconnected they are.
Employee engagement and lack of professional development opportunities are at the center of many employee turnover and retention challenges. A disengaged employee is five times more likely to quit an organization than an engaged employee. Five times! This makes access to engaging education, which provides the information they need to successfully do their jobs, while providing opportunities for professional advancement is priceless in the healthcare industry, where the jobs are a-plenty. Many employees site the reasons why they leave as three fold:
- Lack of Advancement Opportunities
- Lack of Support / Challenge
- Lack of Communication / Leadership
So how do you address these challenges head on through education? Give them the information they need to do their jobs well from the start. Strengthen their commitment to succeed by allowing them to advance their knowledge through challenging educational opportunities. And, develop consistent company level communication.
As we explored above, employee engagement can be increased with effective on-boarding programs, and continuous company training and communication. Providing education is a great start, but without proper alignment between education and the goals of both the individual and overall business strategies and objectives, the potential results crumble. Companies can align their education to company goals by thinking terms of individual employees, and both the soft and hard skills they need to advance to the next level. Understanding what information/education employees at all levels need is the first step to creating and delivering impactful, empowering education. So as you assess your learning needs you must ensure your potential solution:
- Allows you to create your own content to meet your business needs/ objectives.
- Provides a vast array of clinical education opportunities to meet the needs of your team, no matter what their specific specialty may be.
The negative impacts of not maintaining regulatory compliance training can be costly – lost work, fines and legal actions are just a few of the potential consequences. Even if you have the education available, can you track it? Can you report on the completion of the courses? Better yet, can you mesure the success of the participant’s understanding of the course material? Answering “no” to any one of these questions can be just as costly as not providing any compliance training activities at all! Many organizations have a plethora of policies or procedures concerning regulatory compliance, but few have an effective means of tracking compliance training activities on an ongoing basis. Some companies claim to have a “magic pill” solution for tracking and measuring compliance training through Learning Management Systems (LMS). However, in many cases their LMS is clunky, outdated, and while it can provide thousands of different types of reports, still doesn’t report on the things that matter to your business. Your compliance management tool or LMS should be simple, easy to use, and display just the information that is useful to you:
- Did my team complete their required training?
- Did they understand the training?
In most cases the answers to these questions are all you really need to report on continuing competency activities. Fancy reporting that requires a degree in rocket science is just not necessary, and makes managing the solution more burdensome than useful.
Now I’m turning it over to you! What are some business challenges you’ve been able to address head on using education as the solution?
Does your current education solution allow you the flexibility to address your business challenges?