Online training used to be an option that carriers didn’t give much thought to. Why? Like many of us, when you’re comfortable doing something the way you’ve always done — in this case, providing in-person training — it can be hard to try something new.
Yet today, online training has become widely adopted in the industry. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated this shift to online self-learning, and with operations gradually returning to normal, carriers are embracing a combination of in-person and online training.
See also: Driver training: Necessary evil or opportunity?
Yet online training is not limited to using it as a nominal supplement to traditional training methods.
Working in security and risk management, you may be thinking, “If I take the plunge, what exactly can I expect from migrating training to online training?” Let’s consider these three areas for a more accurate and complete answer.
How can online training reduce your current training costs?
When trying to get an idea of the “real” cost of a training program, it is important to include both direct and indirect (soft) costs. However, determining the indirect cost can be difficult.
The cost of a classroom training session is different for fleets that conduct weekend training and those that book a half-day meeting as part of the existing weekday schedule. There are direct external costs like personnel, driver disruption, not to mention the employees who have to organize and deliver these training sessions.
So what would it cost the company if a safety officer spent a day or two setting up a session, and another half day delivering it, only to chase away absent drivers at the end of all of this ?
See also: Online training and building driver confidence
When you factor in the average overhead costs for a company to employ a security officer – around $500 per day (salary, benefits, office space, equipment, utilities, furniture, etc.) – and the time they need to plan, schedule, and deliver the training, we’ve found that a half-day meeting or in-person training can cost up to $4,000. And that’s not even including other costs associated with hosting the event, such as paying drivers to attend, equalizing union rates, catering, or booking a venue. Not to mention the opportunity costs, such as the loss of revenue that could have been generated if the drivers had been on the road. The number of drivers attending the event also impacts the total cost, so you can see how quickly the last tab of an in-person session adds up.
By comparison, a year of company-wide online training can be less than a single in-person training session. Not to mention, it offers the benefit of remote, hands-on training, and at a pace that works best for each driver.
How can you tell it works?
Security is historically tied to hardware and hardware-related solutions. Software, especially training software, takes time to plan, use, monitor and analyze results. Identifying hot issues and tracking the impact of training over time will help you establish a baseline.
But that’s only half the job. To get the full picture, there must be a clear understanding of what training can and cannot help, whether in person or online. For example, behavioral safety issues, driver dissatisfaction and fatigue cannot be addressed through training. Conversely, you can update drivers on areas they don’t know enough about or provide training on rules and regulations.
Using a centralized training system, you can capture data on what’s going on: who completes it on time, how long they spend doing it, what their scores are, what questions are answered are incorrect and a mountain of actionable information. . Taken together, the system clarifies where people excel and where they need more help, reducing the cost of time and resources spent researching, developing and updating educational content by you. -even while allowing drivers to feel safer and more valued in their jobs.
If not, how can it help you?
The phrase “time is money” holds true for any industry, but minutes saved make a monumental difference in trucking. Those responsible for safety, risk management and compliance have a refined set of expertise that could be channeled into high-value work, such as working more directly with drivers in the yard or on the road. . But time-consuming, low-value work can divert attention and energy.
Additionally, the high maintenance nature of traditional classroom training is disruptive to businesses, relegating its use to standard items such as orientation, a change in regulation, or a significant new corporate policy. As a result, courses that could contribute to business growth and engine development are not retained as time is running out.
Inadequate coverage of these topics means more time is wasted reacting to issues that could have been avoided with proper, preventative training, and even more time and money spent on additional training. On the other hand, a comprehensive online training program tailored to your company’s needs results in more informed, healthier and risk-aware staff, reducing the micromanagement of your day-to-day tasks while remaining alert to potential issues.
Trucking is an extremely competitive industry, for both drivers and carriers. If a competitor has a more substantial, efficient and cost-effective professional development program for drivers, and you rely solely on expensive classroom courses where drivers are not engaged, you risk losing contracts and potential drivers to of the competitor.
It’s exhausting to shake up the status quo and consider doing something new, but you’re not going to reach that next level by continuing to do what you’ve been doing up to that point. By integrating online training into your security program, you free up time and resources to explore new capabilities, features, and opportunities that can make a significant difference in the overall effectiveness of your company’s security and risk management program. fleet.
Mark Murrell is co-founder of CarriersEdge, an online driver training provider for the trucking industry, and co-creator of Best Fleets to Drive For, an annual rating of the best workplaces in North American industry. of trucking produced in partnership with the Truckload Carriers Association.