Flexibility and diversity seem to be keynote trends in employee training and development with an increasing number of companies opting for training that employees can take alone at their own pace.
“Our intranet site provides complete descriptions of training available to employees including course curriculum, an interactive form, and the
BellSouth Online Training System (BOLTS) that actually allows employees to take available courses right at their desk,” said Patsy Tolleson, director of external affairs for BellSouth in Mississippi. “Another system, the Training, Education and Development System, lets employees obtain descriptions, find delivery locations, and register for BellSouth training classes online. In Jackson, employees have access to the same training offered to employees in any other location within BellSouth.”
BellSouth also utilizes interactive distance learning for many of the management training classes, providing a facilitator in Atlanta broadcasting to employees in all nine BellSouth states.
“Employers are looking for ways to train their employees without taking them away from the job, without travel expense, and with the least amount of interruption,” Tolleson said. “Having much of the training available online makes it easier for employees to access it at their convenience.”
Paul Maxwell, corporate communications manager for Hancock Bank, said having training materials available that employees can pull up at their desk for training at their own pace is an industry trend. In addition to having training materials available on Hancock Bank’s intranet that can be used while on the job, the bank also does “training in a bag.”
This includes training materials, evaluations, tests and followup materials that are sent to managers who conduct the training. The bank has a self-study program that allows employees to study at their own pace, as well as a corporate training site in Gulfport and satellite training facilities for group training.
“Hancock University” is the umbrella for all professional training and development programs at the bank. Instructors include external consultants, in-house experts and specialists from the area community colleges.
“We also partner with the American Institute of Banking (AIB), so some curricula help employees earn credit towards an AIB certificate,” Maxwell said.
In Hancock County, a program called TRAC (Training Consortium for Bay St. Louis, Waveland and Hancock County Government Workers) has been established to provide training to county government employees with minimum disruption to their work.
Hancock County Library Systems Director Prima Plauch