This isn't really a question for or about Bridge per se, just taking a bit of a pulse here. Do you, at your organization, require trainings without due date? If so, why? If not, how do you get learners to complete it at all?
Hi Rory Sacks,
I converted your question to a discussion since there isn't really a "correct" answer. I think it depends on the use-case.
For us, we always have a due date on required courses. A long time ago in a far away land (before I took over) we didn't have a system that would allow us much flexibility. I came in and we adopted Bridge shortly later. Bridge allowed us to 1) easily administer our content without IT assistance and 2) to begin collecting pretty robust analytics on what we were seeing - including on time completions. Here's where we're at now:
1. Weekly report and process for maintaining 95% compliance. I use the overdue learners report to gather this data. If they're overdue, they get nagged by the system and one of my team members and eventually by me personally. Without due dates, there would be no reason for employees to complete their training until it's time for a performance review. That would be bad for my team during an audit.
2. Weekly elective training report. We don't use the due dates for this. I use the "How compliant is my organization" report and filter down to only optional training. This basically hits our training in the learning library. We also have live training that is elective, but those enrollments are usually smaller. This has actually increased with many employees working from home due to COVID-19.
3. Weekly 1on1 data download. We just launched Perform in February so this is new. We wanted to see how this was increasing and people were adopting while working from home so it was a good time to start running the report. This one is completely unrelated to your question, but it's still part of our overall strategy.
We do currently have a collection of training courses on a newly implemented software. There really isn't a good way to force everyone to do the training because there's no consequence. Because these are not on one of our various training matrices, I'm also not so concerned with pushing them to complete them like I do with the true compliance training. If they screw up with the software, then they'll be motivated to do the training.
When we enrolled people, we did it with manually-created groups. This allowed us to change the enrollment to "Recommended" just before they came due. Learners don't really see the "Recommended" courses very prominently, but at least they're still there. I have considered keeping them as required and just removing the due dates for those courses, but it was really easy to just change the relevance for each group. We're seeing how it will play out and might adjust our strategy in the future.
I suddenly have an image of horses in a pasture with a pond in the middle. Eventually they will drink, but not until they are thirsty. (You can lead a horse to water...)
It's conceivable to me that an organization might have a culture that would allow for a course that is required, even mandatory/compliance, yet wouldn't have a due date. I think this is probably unusual, but I can think of times when I worked government when we didn't have the functionality. So then it became a matter of man power to micromanage the completion.
For most organizations, I would expect a due date to go hand and hand with the expectation as this is one the benefits e-learning offers. You can automate the system to manage the completion of the course by telling the learner they are overdue, notifying the manager, etc. So you eliminate the old school need for a trainer/facilitator intervention.
I agree with Heidi's comments and I also thought about the horse and water. This should work in any company where learning is valued within the culture. People will do it for the sake of learning. Some companies may not be that focused on education. I could see this being a problem in either a company that doesn't value education (gasp!) or if there is a workforce that isn't tethered to their computers and/or devices. I work in a highly technical manufacturing industry. Many of our employees spend a lot of time in our labs and away from their email. Fortunately, they do all have email and most have smart phones so when they are done with their lab work, they should see the reminders.
At workshops I have attended locally with individuals from other manufacturers, I could see how those who are working on some sort of manufacturing line may not even know they are getting the notifications. Short of personally contacting the overdue learner by phone or face-to-face, I'm curious how a company might handle this. This example might be completely outside of the scope of the discussion, but it is a concern with eLearning.
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