Simplifying Compliance for your Deskless Workforce

August 16, 2022 | Activate Learning | 5 min read

Many organizations around the globe had to pivot when workforces became distributed due to the pandemic. But, for some industry leaders, a decentralized workforce has aways been the norm. In fact, according to a study by Emergence Capital, it’s estimated that over 2.7 billion members of the global workforce do not sit behind a desk to do their jobs.

That startling figure represents more than 80% of employees worldwide. For industries such as transportation, retail, healthcare, construction, and hospitality, many workers are continually on the move, without regular access to computers or the latest technology developed with their desk-bound counterparts in mind.

The truth is, despite deskless workers being described as “essential” during the pandemic, many feel left behind. The Emergence study, which was conducted at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, found that 65% of deskless workers said they had not been provided with any additional technology to complete their jobs, and 91% say they want better training — including safety and compliance.

So, how do you deploy an effective compliance program for a workforce that doesn’t have access to traditional — or digital — means of training?

Let's take a look at how one transportation organization faced the challenge head on.

First Transit / First Student takes Compliance Training on the Road

First Transit, a transportation operations, maintenance, and administration company, working across 300 locations in 41 states, Canada, and Puerto Rico and First Student, the leading school transportation solutions provider in North America comprises North America’s market leaders in school and public transportation under its parent company, EQT Infrastructure.

Both First Student and First Transit (First) are market-leading businesses that benefit from substantial scale, best-in-class operating track records, a forward-looking focus on innovation, and highly experienced management teams. And, First Student and First Transit both enjoy industry-leading contract retention and customer satisfaction ratings.

Training and compliance are critical to both First Transit and First Student. But, they also present challenges with a geographically diverse employee base. Training is made even more difficult because a large portion of their workers are drivers who are continually on the move. When these leading organizations committed to transforming their compliance program, they started with two important questions:

1. How do we best leverage existing proprietary content, while ensuring regulatory requirements are met?

While there was training in place for some workers, each division had separate courses assigned inconsistently. There were no common structures in place for assignments, tracking, or accountability, and there was little rhyme nor reason as to what classes employees were assigned.

2. How do we ensure the workplace is safe, inclusive, and welcoming, and that training is accessible for all employees, regardless of location?

The organizations needed to partner with a company that understood that compliance isn’t just about protection from legal risk — it’s also about ensuring an equitable workplace with access to training for all. With Skillsoft, both goals were satisfied in one best-in-class platform.

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How to make Compliance Training more Accessible

Skillsoft’s compliance solutions combine a continuously updated library of customizable legal and safety compliance content with purpose-built technology and value-added services for total compliance coverage. And it’s all powered by Skillsoft Percipio Compliance, Skillsoft’s immersive platform designed to make learning easier, more accessible, and more effective.

Working with Skillsoft, the Talent Development team supporting both First Transit and First Student was able to customize Skillsoft’s compliance training courses to reflect regulatory requirements and organization-specific goals from a simple self-service interface, accessible on any device. In all learning formats, the team can insert documents, policies, non-instructional videos, and custom text and audio within the introduction, policy, and summary sections of any compliance training course.

Skillsoft helped the Talent Development team reevaluate assignments and learn what classes were being assigned and why. This was particularly important for the company’s drivers on the road, as they have limited time to devote to training. The Talent Development team is able to customize security levels, allowing supervisors, managers, and training administrators to access the features they need, while simplifying access for front-line workers.

The organization also recognized that reporting and accurate completion tracking was an issue. With Skillsoft Compliance, the Talent Development team had access to a complete and auditable training history for a thorough view of employee training assignments and completions, including recurrences.

Satisfying evolving regulatory requirements is mission-critical in the transportation industry. One area of concern for First Transit and First Student was dealing with wage and hour laws. For instance, California employers are subject to one of the most regulated workplaces in the United States. Not only must they comply with the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) which regulates wage and hour requirements on the federal level, but they must also comply with the usually much stricter overlay of state law and regulation.

The Talent Development team created two custom videos to support and supplement the Skillsoft existing wage and hour classes. Learning tracks were implemented that enabled employees to take a Skillsoft course, watch the two supplemental videos, and follow up with a state-specific webinar leveraging Zoom.

Another area of concern was sexual harassment prevention training, which is currently required in six states. The company increased compliance licenses to include drivers and all employees in those six states, allowing them to successfully leverage Skillsoft content to meet regulatory requirements.

As for accessibility, classes were deployed in three formats to allow for greater flexibility and empowerment to meet the needs of the operations:

  • Individual training,
  • Facilitated small group training, and
  • Zoom training.

These options allowed local management to select the best method to reach their employees and meet the requirements.

Facilitated small group training sessions enable any location to bring together employees licensed within Skillsoft Compliance to watch the course together with a facilitator. This allows for personal interaction and the ability to ask questions and verify learning outcomes. Attendees receive credit for the class in the compliance site using equivalencies.

In addition to the facilitated sessions, small groups of licensed employees can also meet via Zoom to watch instructor-led virtual courses with check-ins for attendance.

Compliance is critical whether a workforce is offsite, onsite, or perpetually on the road. It's time to ensure that digital transformation benefits every employee in your organization, through access to training and development for all.

If you're ready to unite your entire compliance learning program under one platform, connect learning with business performance, and offer equitable, effective training to your deskless workforce, reach out to request a demo today.