Sandy Carson-Hessen, Marketing Communications Manager, Pilgrim Quality Solutions
There’s a popular saying: ‘You don’t know what you don’t know.’ No kidding. But nowhere is this truer than in the regulated workplace. When employees aren’t trained, they run the risk of adversely impacting its quality, its compliance, its reputation, even its profits.
That’s why employee training is an essential component of a comprehensive quality management system. In fact, you’re likely to find well-trained employees at the foundation of any successful organization that manufactures safe, dependable, quality products.
So how does an effective employee training management program support quality across the enterprise?
Employee training can focus on defining role-based tasks, reinforcing SOPs, or certifying on regulatory practices, and it can address continuing education and change management administration. When successful, it establishes and reinforces consistent, efficient employee behaviors that increase productivity; uphold compliance with organization, industry and regulatory requirements; and, strengthen a company’s ‘knowledge capital’ vault.
Enhances Employee Effectiveness
Targeted training assists in defining employee roles and developing employee skills. Knowledgeable employees readily contribute to the production of quality products and services by adhering to consistent, standard processes. Increases in production quality and quantity positively impact a manufacturer’s reputation, financials, and compliance.
Supports a Culture of Compliance
In the Life Sciences, numerous regulations outline the need for employee training and/or certification. Both ISO quality standards and FDA 21 CFR standards require that employees be properly educated so they can safely and effectively perform their assigned tasks, and that that training is accurately documented. When companies implement and track continuous employee training, they reduce their regulatory exposure and improving their overall culture of compliance.
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Boosts Knowledge Capital
Ongoing training for employees allows organizations to develop their ‘knowledge capital,’ the cumulative skills and information its employees possess. Successful companies invest in knowledge capital and recognize that it gives them an edge over their competitors. From benchmarking assessments, to SOPs and product instruction, external industry courses, and even company and regulatory certification/re-certification training, the vault is continuously filling up and adding value to the company.
But how do you know if you’ve done enough?
While no one can argue with these three quality benefits, they do pose an issue for many companies. How to manage all that good stuff. The truth is, it can be completely overwhelming. Without some type of formal tracking and reporting process, training managers and company executives will find it difficult to maximize those three training benefits.
Paper-based and homegrown training management systems can be outdated, time consuming and prone to error, but with an effective automated Training Management solution, executives can efficiently gain real-time insight into the plans, status and results of their training investment.
To check whether you’ve done enough, look to an automated system to pinpoint any shortfalls, especially in the area of compliance – you don’t want to get pinged in a regulatory audit. A solid system will automate the checks-and-balances process for employee training and preparedness for their requirements, helping bring to it a higher level of efficiency in assigning certification requirements, identifying training needs and reporting certification status to support compliance with industry standards.
Training management is an essential part of a comprehensive quality management system. Industries that require a highly skilled workforce can benefit from developing and maintaining an efficient training management system and ensure the creation and maintenance of superior products and systems. Employees can be better qualified for their role requirements, training costs can be reduced, and compliance can be achieved faster when efficient training processes are in place.