Do you have a policy for when users can access online training?

Hi helpful community!

When I was at mLearn Con  recently a great discussion came about surrounding this issue: if you have hourly employees, how do you ensure that they understand the mobile training has to be completed DURING working hours, and can't be done at home or during down time. 

Does anyone have a policy in place, or suggestions on how to approach this?

Thanks in advance!

9 Replies
Bob S

Dealt with this in a few places. The general wording we settled on was centered around two thoughts....

1)  The training is to be taken during normal work hours so you can get paid for it as you are entitled to.

2) That being said, the training is offered for convenience sake via a  URL that's accessible from any computer or mobile device you may have access to.

Note the order and nuance of the messaging.

Eric Nalian

We handle it similar to Bob - Our LMS is available 24/7 from any computer (or tablet/mobile device through an app) with an internet connection.  Whenever team members ask about taking courses from home we go over our policy of 'training time is considered time worked, etc, etc, blah blah blah...'

If asked, we can check the time a learner has taken a course.

Christopher Grant

I wish we had this problem! Still struggling to get people to access courses at all!

I suppose it comes down to who manages the hourly employee workload, and if it is managed quite tightly for example in a contact centre, could the training be integrated into their daily workload?

Maybe a message that pops up to say it must only be completed during work time? Our LMS has a 'Terms and Conditions' section which appears before a course is accessed. The learner has to tick to say they accept whatever the conditions are.

Nadia Laubach

Eric brings up a great point. The time it took the learner to complete a course can always be verified. In my case (I'm an hourly consultant), if I tried to do an online course at the office, it would take me twice as long due to interruptions and scheduled meetings. At my home-office I can zip through the course because I can focus. Just a thought...

S. Yu

One thing that helps is to implement a culture where staff feel they are able to take the time during their work hours to complete learning.

The organization should provide support as needed, such as resources to take the course, or having managers help with staff schedules to block out time. In my experience, hourly employees feel like they never have time to sit down and complete a course. They feel they are expected to just figure it out on their own how to do their daily tasks AND complete learning. 

I realize this is a more difficult change to implement, but I think it is more of the source of the problem. 

Linda Keith

I offer a virtual course as an outside contractor to the companies who 'send' learners. I include information in the sales copy that the course takes 4-6 hours a week and that managers need to assist employees in blocking out the time. I cannot force that behavior but it is stated as an expectation.

That said, I just bid on a federal government contract and one of the requirements is that the courses be available 24/7. They are, but I believe when people work full time and then have to put in 4-6 hours at home on top of it, that detracts from their attention and retention.

Melanie Sobie

I'm a former HR staff person and I understand Nicole's concern. In my past HR experience, we had a written policy on staff training and one of the items included in the written policy was that all required training was to be completed on work time. In the US the fair labor standards act is very specific about activities that are required paid work time and if an employee is doing online required training at home - even without permission - the employer is responsible for paying for that time. Our written policy referenced another policy about permission to work at home - for those who wanted to do the online training at home they would have to get permission in advance just like any other work activity.