While tons of businesses and organizations of all kinds and stripes have embraced e-learning as the way forward for training their staff, there are still niche fields that have yet to join the revolution (except for a few pioneers). Local government is one of them.
Local government, that is public administration within a given state — prefectures, municipalities, communities and so on, is no easy task. It has to co-ordinate thousands of employees, in lots of different departments and functions, and often has to do it on a shoe-string budget.
Employee training, complex organizational hierarchies, and a shoe-string budget? That’s like a list of requirements for e-learning software, if I ever saw one!
And while innovations can often be a hard sell in local governments (due to small budgets and conservative mindsets), by this point e-learning has already been established as an invaluable business tool, and has been adopted by companies and organizations big and small.
So let’s go through what e-learning can offer to a local government:
Employee orientation is the task of introducing new hires to your working environment and giving them the basic information they need to start being productive, including your organization’s operating procedures and policies, restrictions and guidelines.
Local government needs to do a lot of it, as its job contracts are often short term (one year being the norm in some countries), and there are always new employees brought in. Automating employee orientation in this case is a no-brainer, and e-learning software, such as the eFrontPro learning management platform (LMS), is the best option for this.
It sure beats tossing the relevant information in some intranet page, or handing out instructional printouts and xeroxed copies, and expecting employees to go through them.
That’s because an LMS lets local governments organize their orientation material in accessible chunks (lessons), has support for including third party information (videos, wikipedia articles, presentations, etc), and includes tests and auto-grading, which help access employees’ training progress (from tracking if they bothered to go through the training in the first place, to detailed grading and success scores).
You also get hard proof of orientation course attendance and completion status, something which can serve as a legal proof that your organization has indeed taught its staff their legal obligations, sexual harassment laws, etc, (something extremely useful in cases of legal dispute).
New or old hires both need training, including frequent re-training as your area’s needs and your local governments structure or policies change.
You could ask some of your employees to train the rest – something which will disrupt both the trainers and the trainees’ normal workflow. Or you could invest in an e-learning solution, to help train your employees at their own pace, with no disruptions to their everyday operations.
In this regard, one of the benefits of e-learning is that it works just as well for local governments of any size, from the smallest municipality to the largest federal states.
Even better, it achieves all that with minimal purchase or subscription costs, whether it involves 10 or 10.000 employees (in fact we’ve seen adoption from multi-national organizations with hundreds of thousands of employees and branches all around the world too).
The cost and time savings compared to something like traditional classroom-based training for 100 people (much less, 10.000), are so large it’s not even funny.
Again, of course, the same benefits as with e-learning based employee orientation apply: you get quantifiable information and statistics for your employees progress and understanding of the material.
eFrontPro, for example employs a comprehensive Reports feature to help you stay on top of your employees training.
It’s good for the environment too — helping you score “green government” points and reduce your carbon footprint, as you can update all your courses without wasted paper and dead trees, re-use and expand content as you see fit, and share courses between different departments or branches.
Are there a few employees in your organization whose experience is crucial for its smooth running? Ever thought what would happen to their knowledge if they retire, quit or get fired?
It could be John from Accounting, the only one that knows certain facts about how you collect local taxes. Or it could be Jill from IT, the only person in the municipality that can fix your email server when it goes down.
An e-learning solution can help you store all this information in a formalized and easily accessible way. And it’s even better than a document management system, because you not only get a document library and a reference source (available throughout your organization), but you can also use all this information to train new employees or teach existing employees.
So that’s it. A few basic reasons why local governments should look into e-learning solutions in general and, if we may say so, eFrontPro in particular.
Whether you are a small municipal office with 50 people or a huge federal prefecture with 20.000 and multiple branches, eFrontPro has the tools to help you provide specialized training per branch, department, group of employees, skill-set and even language.
We have thousands of satisfied customers, including several multinational companies and local government organizations, we frequently trump the competition in industry reviews (both in features and ease of use comparisons).
Take the short video tour, request a demo and tells us what you think. We’ll be glad to help you bring your local government practices regarding employee training and onboarding to the 21st century.