Managing a charity isn’t easy. There are numerous obstacles to overcome:
- Operating within a limited budget
- Managing a diverse workforce, many of whom will be volunteers
- Complying with lots of regulations and legislation
- Providing a high quality and consistent service
Elearning is good way to overcome these obstacles. It’s why increasing numbers of the ‘third sector’ are becoming clients. For those people who may be considering doing the same thing we asked Justine Riches, Training & Development Manager at St Ann’s Hospice in Greater Manchester for advice. They’ve been using Nimble to deliver training to their 400-person workforce for two years now and, as Justine puts it, “It’s a no-brainer for us to use Nimble”.
Justine’s advice can be distilled into 4 points and conveniently form the acronym FACE.
F is for Flexibility. “We are pleased to be able to offer training to our volunteers and give something back to them in terms of building their knowledge and skills in return for the volunteering work they do for us,” Justine says. “We makes use of in-house subject experts to create training modules that are specific and relevant to the hospice rather than buying off the shelf products.”
A is for Access. Not all their staff access computers every day, they may not even come into the office. Therefore, training needed to take account of these restrictions. Staff can log on at home, at times which are convenient to them, to complete the necessary training. Justine can easily monitor who’s done what (and when) with the Learning Management System (LMS) to ensure the organisation remains accountable.
C is for Cost Effectiveness. Face-to-face training is expensive, elearning saves you money. Plus, as Justine points out, getting their annual licence with our 15% reduction for charities “makes Nimble great value”. It’s also cost-effective in terms of time as well. Training can fit in with shift patterns and doesn’t require bringing in lots of people at the same time.
E is for Engagement. As Justine admits, there was a great deal of scepticism and apprehension linked to elearning. Staff were being taken out of their comfort zones. In their first year, one-to-one support sessions built confidence so that this year, “staff have got on and completed the training modules more quickly than last year and haven’t needed the one-to-one support. Staff have found it very intuitive.”
As course creators, Justine’s team have gained confidence too. They’ve started to upload videos and increase the number of interactions (such as the drag & drop option) so their modules are more interactive.
These factors don’t overcome obstacles instantly, but we hope they will identify how elearning can help management teams in the third sector – and beyond.
If you work for a charity and want to use elearning to develop your training and communication, get in touch!