How One Multinational Manufacturing Company Was Able to “Gro” a Better Workplace Safety Program
Hint: It’s Not a Miracle, It’s a Mindset
Over the past 150 years, The Scotts Miracle-Gro Company has evolved from a small general store to North America’s trusted leader in lawn, garden, and hydroponic products. With that trust comes responsibility — and relentless dedication to safety, not only for their customers and consumers, but for employees across the globe.
When COVID-19 upended life as we knew it and encouraged people to stay close to home, many turned to gardening. The result? An extraordinary demand for Scotts® and Miracle-Gro® products. This presented a challenge:
How could Scotts Miracle-Gro continue to meet consumer demand, while keeping 7,600 global associates across 70 locations safe, supported, and up-to-date on compliance?
In other words, in trying times, how do you maximize profits while minimizing losses?
This is not an issue unique to Scotts Miracle-Gro. Organizations across the globe have had to quickly pivot from in-person training to web-based compliance programs seemingly overnight. And, for companies with associates across the globe, differing standards and language barriers made the challenge even greater.
Scotts Miracle-Gro has always strived to be a partner in safety to its employees, and Katy Schick, corporate EHS manager, lives this firsthand. Her unique role requires her not only to spearhead corporate policies and safety standards, but also create and implement effective training programs and initiatives for operations.
Prior to the pandemic, Scotts Miracle-Gro was primarily creating training in-house. But, due to ever-shifting regulations and evolving company policy, it was a struggle to stay relevant. The company’s in-house videos were costly in more ways than one; a year after production, many were out of date. Employee feedback was less than stellar, too; the training was too long, and not engaging.
Katy and her team needed a customizable solution that would enable standardized safety training for all 70 locations, offering associates up-to-date, engaging courses that could roll out quickly and efficiently. She reached out to Skillsoft to help.
Partnering with Skillsoft to utilize its Environmental, Health, and Safety (EHS) solution, Scotts Miracle-Gro transformed workplace safety from a tolerated mandate into an innovative, company-wide mindset. It was able to:
- Address key risk areas relevant to potential employee hazards
- Communicate corporate safety standards to employees across all locations
- Keep training relevant, up-to-date, and consistent
- Deploy training that is engaging, interactive, and available across platforms in multiple languages
Taking advantage of Skillsoft’s ease of use and flexibility, Scotts Miracle-Gro has created more customized curricula that allow for training specialization. The company taught supervisors how to implement EHS programs into their everyday jobs, enhancing a culture of safety.
And by sending a more cohesive message, the company has seen its leaders integrate policies into initiatives they are already pursuing, such as feedback sessions with associates and pre-shift meetings. Since investing in Skillsoft, Scotts Miracle-Gro has seen an increase in positive employee ratings and comments regarding the new training options in its Workday Ratings System, along with an increased sense of camaraderie.
Of course, when it comes to safety and compliance, metrics matter. Prior to adopting web-based training with Skillsoft, the data was largely anecdotal – taking up extra space in file cabinets that were not always easily accessible. Now, using a scorecard based on reports that it shares with both worksites and executives on a weekly basis, Schick’s business unit has shown the highest training percentages in the company, and the lowest incident rates. And that’s proof-positive, especially when it comes to convincing the C-Suite on ROI.
For organizations with such a diverse global employee base, it can take time to see company-wide adoption of new training programs. For instance, at Scotts Miracle-Gro, the distribution side is all automated, while manufacturing sites are slower to adopt new ways of learning. However, after this initiative’s success, the goal is to offer the same standardized training in a group-led setting throughout the company, incorporating site-specific curriculum needs and employee feedback.
HOW DID THE PROGRAM PERFORM?
With Skillsoft EHS solutions:
reduction rate in recordable incidents
injury-free year for a site previously reporting monthly injuries
EHS professionals know you can’t predict everything that will happen. When COVID-19 hit, we had the responsibility to train our people, but above all keep them safe. We realized technology could really work in our favor. It’s great to have the modern Skillsoft library at our fingertips to roll out at a moment’s notice — not spend weeks or months creating content that we need to find funding for, get approval of, etc. We take a Skillsoft course and know that it will meet requirements.
CORPORATE EHS MANAGER, SCOTTS MIRACLE-GRO
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LEARN MORE ABOUT THE SCOTTS MIRACLE-GRO COMPANY
As one of America’s most trusted companies — one deeply rooted for generations in a sense of family — Scotts Miracle-Gro embraces its responsibility to create a better life for its associates and consumers. The company recognizes its role in protecting the planet. And it sees the importance of investing in tomorrow’s leaders, especially those who live in communities too often left behind. Scotts Miracle-Gro does these things because, at its core, it believes that good can grow anywhere.