Learning & Development

How Do You Train the Graveyard Shift?

If you keep the lights burning 24/7 for round-the-clock service or production, you know that providing adequate training for your shift workers is a formidable challenge. Your key to success? Accessibility.

Pull Them Off Work or Pay Them Overtime?

The first question is whether to train during the shift or outside shift time. If you can afford to pull people off the line or shut down an operation in order to train during the shift, that’s probably the best option for most employers. The company saves overtime, and the shift workers don’t have to alter plans (which might include sleep).

Another option is to bring in extra workers to cover for employees being trained.

A third option is having workers report early before their shifts or keeping them after and paying them overtime for training. The problem here, aside from the expense, is that it’s often inconvenient for employees. And that means you might not find them at their most receptive, which can result in failure to learn what they need to know.

One arrangement that may help is to break long training sessions into bite-sized bits, or modules. That way, you might be able to free up trainees during their shift for short periods. Even if you are training off-shift, the short module approach will at least minimize interference with personal after-hours plans.

Unlimited employee HR (and safety) training—one low cost. No setup, no software to install. Find out why the Software & Information Industry Association just voted the BLR Employee Training Center the Best Workforce Training Solution.

12-Hour Shifts Even Trickier

Of course, with 12-hour shifts, adding even an extra hour for training is difficult at best. If you train after the shift, workers will sleep through the session and be exhausted on their drive home. If you do it before the shift, they lose prime sleep time.

Some companies solve the problem by bringing employees in for training on their days off and paying them for their time. If you do this, be sure to schedule training sessions so that you don’t cut into shift workers’ sleep time.

Can Workers Schedule Their Own Training?

Why not? With today’s tech-powered training options like online training and self-directed CD, DVD, and PowerPoint® training programs, letting shift workers schedule their own training time may provide a simple, efficient, and cost-effective solution.

Although this approach may not be suitable for all types of training or all training content, it can be an answer to tough scheduling problems when other options aren’t practical or available.

Shift workers can set aside small blocks of time, either during their shift, if possible, or before or after, to get through a module or two of training material. They can even take training at home if they want.

The upside is that, by being able to choose their own training time, shift workers may be more receptive and learn more. The downside is that you have to set up a monitoring system to make sure they actually complete required training within an established period of time.

That kind of tracking functionality is built right into the BLR Employee Training Center, which automatically documents training. As trainees sign on, their identifications are automatically registered. When the program is completed, the trainee’s score is entered. So, when you want to see who has been trained on any subject, or look at the across-the-board activity of any one employee, it’s all there, instantly available to you, your boss, an inspector—even a plaintiff’s attorney.

Course certificates can be automatically generated from within the training center, and are automatically retained for record-keeping purposes.

And it couldn’t be easier—this turnkey service requires no setup, no course development time, no software installation, and no new hardware. Your employees can self-register, and training can be taken anytime (24/7), anywhere there is a PC and an Internet connection. Courses take only about 30 minutes to complete.

Unlimited Training that Won’t Bust the Budget

Best of all, in these budget-crunching times, the BLR Employee Training Center costs only a fraction of what you would pay for a learning management system (LMS). You always know exactly what training will cost, no matter how many programs you use or how many times you use them. There’s just one low annual fee—for unlimited training—calculated by the size of your workforce. Budget once and you’re done!

These are all motivational, actionable courses—for both employees and supervisors—in such key areas as sexual harassment, FMLA, diversity, communication, USERRA, recruiting, and many more. The courses are kept up to date to reflect federal and state regulatory changes, and, what’s more, BLR adds new programs continually.

No time to prepare or deliver training? With the BLR Employee Training Center, your employees can start taking essential training courses the same day you sign up. Workers (and supervisors) train at their convenience, 24/7. We track, and you save with this turnkey solution. If you didn’t think it could be this simple, take a look.

The BLR Employee Training Center also includes a selection of safety courses—you decide whether you want just the HR courses, the safety courses, or both HR and safety.

If it sounds like we’re excited about this new service, well, we are—and so is the Software & Information Industry Association, which just voted the BLR Employee Training Center the “Best Workforce Training Solution.” Find out what all the buzz is about—sign up for a no-obligation trial.
Other Recent Articles on Training
Lawyer Repellant–Apply Liberally!

Shooting Yourself in the Foot—How Employers Make Things Worse

Discipline—Don’t Let Supervisors Go It Alone

New Supervisors Too Eager to Be ‘Real Boss’?