TurningPoint makes it easy to track employee performance and turn even mandatory trainings into enjoyable learning experiences.
The list of Mary Kinnear’s responsibilities is impressive. As supervisor of Training and Compliance at NEW ENGLAND UTILITY CONSTRUCTORS, INC (NEUCO), she and the Training Team are responsible for not only developing and delivering training for approximately 400 employees, but also for keeping track of what each of them has completed and what still needs to be done.
This is particularly challenging since, as a utility construction company based in Massachusetts, all of the tasks that are performed in the field are subject to federally mandated Operator Qualification testing. From entry level construction technician training, where new hires are introduced to the basics, through the various levels of progression training, to the most seasoned foremen, to annual refresher training for all employees, the training never ends.
At the conclusion of each training track, workers then have to take exams at an off-site testing facility. The amount of tests vary, ranging from as few as 6 to as many as 18 in one testing session. The testing is a validation that they possess the knowledge, skills and abilities to safely and correctly perform the task. The pressure is high since failure to successfully complete the test has serious consequences, including potentially being unable to perform that task.
“Any time a person has to physically sit in a secure testing facility and test, it’s very nerve-wracking,” she said.
Kinnear had used TurningPoint at a previous job, but it was not in place at NEUCO when she first started. She made sure that changed right away.
“Within three weeks I had purchased TurningPoint and started integrating it into our training, because I love it,” she said. “Whenever anyone comes to class, they don’t leave without having a clicker in their hand.”
She developed review questions at the end of each session. The main goal of these formative assessments was to “get them in a test mode and practice.” She also made a point to introduce gamification to generate more excitement about even the material some employees have reviewed many times before.
“It’s a fun way for them to check their knowledge,” she said. “It’s hard for guys who work in the street all day to come and sit in class, so I try to add a little levity. It’s also a good checkpoint for the Training Team, making sure that we are doing our jobs – and that the employees walk away with the knowledge they need.”
One of the big advantages she has found to using TurningPoint is the robust reporting features that support her responsibilities related to both safety within the company and compliance with federal laws.
According to Kinnear, “We do participant registration, so then we are able to track and evaluate our new employees to see how they do, and track and evaluate people as they go through various progression trainings, promotional schools, etc. On many occasions, employees will ask for a one-on-one review of their test results. This not only benefits the employee. It provides the Training Team with areas of focus to further help the employee.”
In addition, the regular TurningPoint evaluations not only help the workers learn the material and prepare for exams, but also enjoy friendly competition with their classmates. Competition slides are used, and folks oftentimes cheer when their name appears at the top of the Participant Leader Board. Trinkets are given to the winners.
Kinnear has received a steady stream of positive feedback since introducing the response technology, with one employee asking for “more of the fun quizzing” and another saying that this was the “best training I have received in 30 years!”
Given the encouraging responses, the plans are to continue using TurningPoint in all of the classes. She recently completed a couple of the reviews using the “Billionaire” template, and is anxious to roll this out during the upcoming refresher training classes. She has also developed sessions in the “Quiz Show” and “Wheel of Fortune” formats, which combine C3Softworks and Turning Technologies response pads.
“The different gaming reviews are sure to increase employee engagement” she says. “I understand how hard it is for these guys to sit in class and learn something new, and then say, ‘Oh, by the way, now you’re going to have to go be tested.’ [TurningPoint] is fun and it gets them really well prepared.”