Third sector organisations rely on generous donations, fundraising initiatives, public awareness and most importantly a strong, dedicated workforce comprised of paid employees and volunteers. Despite their best efforts, if a workforce isn’t supported by an effective L&D strategy this can result in a poorly functioning charitable operation; which in turn can have a negative impact on those in need. More and more third-sector organisations rely on powerful e-learning technology to solve a number of L&D challenges; keep reading to find out more.
Many charity organisations will onboard several new starters every month or, in the case of larger organisations, every week. Volunteers in particular are likely to have vastly different skill sets and backgrounds, often hailing from a more diverse and varied talent pool than candidates applying for roles in the corporate sector. In order to close the skills gaps of new starters, organisations must deliver structured induction training and onboarding programmes.
To get the best out of new starters whilst ensuring their onboarding process is quick, efficient and cost effective, many third sector organisations rely on e-learning technology. With a platform such as a Learning Management System (LMS), those in charge of L&D can create and assign courses and lessons to new starters who can then complete training autonomously – speeding up the induction process as there is no need for a staff member to deliver training. With powerful reporting tools, managers and team leaders can gain immediate insight into the progress of new starters – determining whether they are adequately equipped to begin their new role.
Wellbeing and culture
Third sector organisations need to ensure all their staff members understand and adhere to their core values and culture, even across a national or international, disparate workforce. The altruistic nature of charity organisations makes it especially important for staff and volunteers to stand by a clear mission statement and connect with the cause they are helping, whilst also feeling supported as staff members.
Using e-learning technology such as a Learning Experience Platform (LXP), organisations can create a sense of community for all team members, regardless of location or department. An LXP such as Totara Engage allows team members to voice their opinions and ideas, whilst getting to know one another via online forums or discussion boards.
E-learning technology offers flexibility
With an expansive and varied workforce ranging from warehouse staff to volunteer kitchen staff or in-house accountants, third sector organisations need to adapt their L&D programmes to suit the individual needs of each team member or department. If training is delivered offline, this can be a time-consuming process, but with the help of an LMS organisations can easily tailor training to suit the needs of each employee or volunteer to ensure training is relevant and effective.
Using LMS automation tools, training can be automatically assigned to individuals based on a predefined set of criteria. With automation technology, staff members don’t simply pour over generic training material that has no relevance to their function within the organisation, but instead receive specific training designed to help them perform better.
With demanding workloads and varying shift patterns, third sector workers often prefer to complete training at their own pace at time that best suits their busy schedules. Hubken client and charity organisation YMCA Awards found that users particularly enjoyed the flexibility offered by the Hubken Moodle platform. Using a Moodle LMS means learners have the option to study at their own pace and refer to content whenever they need to.
Regulatory compliance training
Third sector organisations must adhere to a strict set of rules and regulations, and larger, more complex charities may find themselves following an ever-broader range of regulations depending on geographical location and workforce size. If these regulations aren’t followed, it can lead to costly fines – a mistake that many charity organisations simply cannot afford to make.
To ensure that all employees and volunteers are fully compliant, organisations rely on e-learning technology to deliver comprehensive compliance training. This training can be assigned by region, role, and position so that no matter the complexity of the requirements across locations, staff members are trained and notified accordingly, ensuring they don’t miss important compliance training deadlines. With assessment tools, Admins can create end of course tests to ensure staff have retained information before they receive their certification.
Reducing training costs
Offline or face-to-face training can be expensive as organisations may need to pay for venue hire, printed materials, and travel. Although implementing an e-learning platform requires an upfront cost, there are significant cost saving benefits in delivering training online. Additionally, the training process is typically faster and more streamlined, meaning less time spent on training and more time on task application – making e-learning platforms cost effective with a strong ROI.
Regardless of sector, employees prefer to work for an organisation that prioritises training and development to invest in their future employment. If a staff member feels that they are not adequately trained or well equipped to perform their duties, they are less likely to enjoy the work they are being asked to carry out. Investing in an e-learning platform and creating a robust, effective L&D programme will see higher retention rates and prevent a costly employee churn.
For a lot of third sector organisations, volunteers may be unpaid so it’s important for managers and team leaders to recognise their contribution. With an LMS, admins can easily monitor staff training progress and champion those who are excelling or indeed recognise those who appear to be struggling and offer support.
Choosing the right e-learning software for your third sector organisation
Organisations like yours are already seeing the benefits of using an e-learning platform to achieve their L&D goals. If you’re looking to solve the challenges discussed throughout this article, get in touch with one of our friendly e-learning experts to find out which of our platforms are best suited to your needs. If you’d like to find out how our clients from charity organisations are using their e-learning platforms, you can find their case studies here.
Book your free LMS demo today
Third sector organisations like yours are relying on learning management systems to deliver effective and powerful L&D programmes. Book your demo today to see what an LMS from Hubken can do for your organisation.