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Time and time again, carwash owners and operators have noted “employee management” as one of their top concerns. Along with teaching employees how to do their jobs, there’s also the need to teach about safety measures, which, as noted in last month’s cover story: "OSHA and Your Carwash," is vital to a carwash’s survival. According to Training and Risk Management Manager Heather Fredenburg of McNeil & Company, Inc., training today is more important than ever and, with today’s technology, it is also easier than ever. Along with the usual classroom-based training, business owners and managers can look at online-based training. Fredenburg explains how such training works, and the benefits involved, below.
Debra Gorgos: Please explain why employee training is so important.
Heather Fredenburg: I cannot overemphasize the importance of properly training employees in the duties associated with working at a carwash. To run a carwash properly, you must rely on your skills, training, and experience to keep not only yourself, but also your employees, and your customers safe.
Debra Gorgos: Along with the classroom-based learning center, what is another way to train employees?
Heather Fredenburg: As you invest your time into running and managing your carwash, you will find the added value of online-based training to assist in your successful business.
Gorgos: How does the employee benefit from online-based training?
Fredenburg: How many times have you said, 'if only there were more time in the day' to get everything done that you need to? We live our daily lives with a packed schedule and hope for a moment here and there to just take a breath. Also, today's technology allows for learning from almost anywhere, at any time. An online presence makes training in the carwash industry more accessible. It can also increase employee participation in training and provide access to information which will ultimately only strengthen your business. And, let’s not forget that it is never an easy task to get everyone in the same place at the same time to accomplish the task of training.
Gorgos: How does the carwash owner or manager benefit from online-based training?
Fredenburg: E-learning provides quick access to materials for the carwash owner, operator and employee. However, it should be noted that the virtual world of e-learning is not intended to replace face-to face classroom and hands-on training by any means.
Gorgos: How would a business go about using this format?
Fredenburg: E-learning has the potential to be utilized in many ways. In some businesses it is used as a way to prepare you for training before you get to your scheduled in-house training. There are other businesses which use e-learning as a follow up to the hands-on training. With today’s strict governmental standards, the virtual learning world provides an opportunity to accomplish the difficult task often faced by businesses to adhere to mandated training and required training hours set out by state and federal standards and regulations such as OSHA.
Gorgos: How does virtual world training give trainers the opportunity to interact with the employees?
Fredenburg: One positive aspect to consider is that trainers are given the ability to track not only your progress, but that of the employees. For those who are looking into this method, I suggest finding a program that allows you to track participation as well as time spent in the course to ensure a quality learning experience. Along with tracking the progress of training courses, some online learning programs offer the ability to print out certificates that can be placed in your employee training folder as documentation. These are just a few of the positive points to look for with online learning.