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Sunday, May 31, 2020

Maritime Logistics Professional

April 8, 2020

COVID-19: Your LMS Can Help You Now More Than Ever

© dizain/AdobeStock

© dizain/AdobeStock

It is clear that we are living in unprecedented times. Equally clear is that we will get through this pandemic, but that it is going to take some strength, stamina and especially some innovation to come through as unscathed as possible. It is the innovation part that I wish to address here with some tips that go beyond training; tips I am observing our customers innovate and implement. Tips that help us solve some of the problems created by the impacts of this pandemic. My hat is off to these customers for their can-do spirit in these difficult times, using the tools at hand to solve new problems.

With that, here are three different initiatives undertaken by our innovative customers to use their LMS to help them get through these times. If you have an LMS (or want to implement one quickly), one or more of these may help you as well.

The LMS as a Communication Tool
One of our largest customers has a fleet of more than 100 vessels and tens of thousands of employees on land and at sea. With such a fleet and with so many employees, communication is one of the most challenging issues. Getting regular and timely updates to all employees is critical in these times to share needed information, reduce fears, quell rumors and reassure everyone. And ideally, these updates come from the very top. There is nothing like hearing directly from the company president in times like these.

In order to achieve this, our customer is creating regular video podcasts where the president addresses all employees. These videos are simple, direct to the point, reassuring, and contain useful information that the employees need. Although these particular videos happen to be very well done, it is not necessary that they have a high production quality. Instead, honest, timely and authentic will win the day every time.
Each time a video is created, it is immediately placed on the LMS which in turn automatically synchronizes it to all vessels in the fleet. Statistics are automatically generated both from shore and all vessels, so the company knows when, and how much they are being watched. This helps gauge the impact of the videos.

The LMS to Create Safe Training Spaces
One obvious opportunity to safely maintain training is to move existing in-person training on-line so that it can be done safely. Rather than describe this myself, here is a note I received from a large ferry operator just a few days ago about their response to the pandemic:

“But here is the good news. The LMS has been working wonderfully. ... I’m having all my new terminal employees do all of their required training at home which aligns with the CDC guidance. Given that we have a world pandemic going on this system is providing both our students and instructors a safer environment. That is going to be the plan for all of our deck new hires as well. I’ve been able to cancel approximately 32 instructor-led trainings and utilize the LMS instead”.

The LMS to Deliver COVID-19 Related Training
I’ll close with the most obvious. We have been hearing from a number of customers that they have deployed “just in time” training about COVID-related issues. These include topics such as physical distancing, food handling, customer interactions, surface cleaning, and many more tips on limiting the spread of the disease. There are many good, free learning resources in PowerPoint or video format that can immediately be loaded into your LMS (and depending on your LMS - immediately synchronized out to your vessels). Adding a short exam to track the training and ensure the key points are learned takes only minutes in most LMSs, and helps you sleep at night knowing your employees have the knowledge they need to keep safe and healthy, and to keep those around them safe and healthy as well.

Let’s continue to share best practice to ensure that we all get through this intact and as quickly as possible. Until next time, sail safely and please stay healthy!