Non-compliance issues can be expensive problems for companies, with the average annual cost of almost $15 million each (see: 2022 Employee Training Statistics). Most of these non-compliance issues can be greatly reduced through the integration of a comprehensive staff training program. Companies that use effective training programs grow and achieve sustained success year after year; according to HR Magazine, companies that invest $1500 or more per employee annually average about 24% higher profit margins.
There are many interesting statistics regarding the benefits of the importance of a company training program. Companies the develop and implement comprehensive training programs can:
- Have 218% higher profit per employee than those with less comprehensive training
- Increase enterprise revenue by $30 for every $1 invested
- Generate a 6% higher shareholder return if the training expenditure per employee increases to $680. (American Society for Training and Development (ASTD) survey of over 2500 firms)
Simply put, adoption and implementation of a detailed training program is a fundamental component of a well-run enterprise.
The essential elements of training include:
- An introduction to general concepts
- A review of job-specific tasks and skills
- Testing to verify understanding
- Hands-on instruction
- A method to report progress and completion
The time it takes to train your staff, get them out on the floor, and get them to full productivity is of the utmost importance. Training reduces the time it takes for your staff to get to full competence and lowers the costs associated with on-the-job training. If you can have a new team member learning the basics independently before pairing them up with a senior (and productive) trainer, you’ve cut labor costs down substantially and have allowed your trainer to remain most productive.
When deployed within an enterprise operations system, effective training can minimize your exposure to compliance-related penalties. Further, research has shown that this will also increase job satisfaction and reduce employee turnover. Studies show that 70% of millennials under 30 will leave their jobs within the first year if they’re not happy, don’t see a forward career path, or don’t feel like they’re able to grow within an organization. That turnover is very expensive; running about $6,000 just to replace one $15 hourly employee.
Five categories of a robust program:
|Compliance / Regulatory||Your team should know and understand the essential local, state, and federal laws related to your business and industry.|
|Workplace Liability Prevention||You need to train your staff on workplace safety to prevent and limit incidents and that can put both the team and business’s safety at risk.|
|Job Skills||Up-skilling people within their jobs makes them more productive and makes your product outcomes more consistent.|
|Cross Skills||This is very important, especially for smaller operations. Cross-skilling allows a person in one department to be able to cover for a team member in another department. This can cover your business when unforeseen circumstances affect your team.|
|Employee Development||Teaching your employees how to become supervisors and showing them how they can move up leads to higher job satisfaction and increased productivity.|
While employee training has many benefits, it is also required for many topics. For example, the Nevada has requirements dictated by regulation in NCCR 6.072 as well as Senate Bill 122 (SB122). At the federal level, all companies are required to provide training per OSHA, as well as others.
What training is required varies based on the industry and the size of the organization as well. The Department of Labor (DOL), Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP), and your company labor attorney can provide additional guidance for specific topics and frequency of required training. Certain best practices around equal opportunity employment, sexual harassment, discrimination, diversity, equity, and inclusion should also be followed. For certain industries, you’ll need the appropriate trade licenses. Then, once you attain them, you have to keep up with re-qualification requirements and continuing education. In our industry, this would apply to positions such as pesticide applicators and food handlers, which are required to have initial certification and continuing education.
Many topics require annual retraining, which your company should be keeping up with. We’ve seen a lot of employee training and on-boarding programs where a binder is provided at time of hire and then retraining never occurs and/or recorded. In the event of an incident or audit, these non-compliance issues can become very costly in terms of fines and potential liability. For purposes of illuminating just how important a well-developed and integrated training program is to a well-run organization, here some of the topics that required by regulation for the Nevada cannabis industry. Note that this is not an exhaustive list of all training topics required.
Requirements of Nevada’s NCCR 6.072
- The proper use of security measures and controls that have been adopted by the cannabis establishment for the prevention of diversion, theft or loss of cannabis
- Procedures and instructions for responding to an emergency
- State and federal statutes and regulations related to the use of cannabis
- The different strains of cannabis
- The different methods of using cannabis and cannabis products
- Learning to recognize signs of cannabis abuse, impairment or instability in the use of cannabis by a consumer
- Clinical effects of cannabis on the human body and how THC affects the consumer
- Required warnings and literature which must be supplied to the consumer
- Methods of refusing entry or sales to prohibited persons, including, without limitation
- Understanding the role of law enforcement in confirming compliance with laws and regulations relating to cannabis
- Applicable state and local laws and regulations regarding cannabis
- Preventing unlawful consumption of cannabis, including, without limitation, information regarding laws which prohibit open or public consumption of cannabis
- Preventing the use of cannabis by persons under the age of 21 years, including, without limitation, laws which prohibit such use and the penalties for the violation of such laws
- How to prevent and address disturbances
- The responsibility of the cannabis establishment agent to put into effect strategies adopted by the cannabis establishment to prevent the diversion of cannabis
- The good laboratory practices adopted by the cannabis independent testing laboratory
- The standard operating procedures and the quality control and quality assurance programs of the cannabis independent testing laboratory
- The methods of cultivation used by the cannabis cultivation facility
- The methods of fertilization used by the cannabis cultivation facility
- Methods for recognizing the signs of insect infestation, pathogens and disease in cannabis plants, and the procedures for eradication and the safe disposal of plants so affected
- The nutritional requirements of cannabis plants at various growth stages, including, without limitation, proper mixing and dispersal of fertilizer, flushing procedures and procedures for post-harvest trimming, drying and curing
- The safe handling of equipment, including, without limitation, high-intensity discharge lamps, electrical ballasts, pumps, fans, cutting elements and other equipment for cultivation
- Understanding the difference between concentrated cannabis, topical products and cannabis products, as applicable to the operations of the cannabis production facility
- The procedures used by the cannabis production facility to create concentrated cannabis and cannabis products
- The proper procedures for handling concentrated cannabis and cannabis products, including, without limitation, the procedures used to prepare, produce, package and store such products as required by the provisions of the NCCR and chapters 678D and 678C of NRS
- Procedures for the proper transportation and storage of cannabis plants, usable cannabis, concentrated cannabis and cannabis products
- Information regarding the type of driver’s license which must be maintained for the loads expected to be transported
Topics covered by OSHA (29 CFR Part 1910) & OSHA (Nevada – SB122)
- Walking Working Surfaces (1910.30)
- Exit Routes (1910 Subpart E)
- Fire Prevention (1910.37)
- Emergency Action Plan Training (1910 Subpart E App)
- Powered Platforms, Manlifts, and Vehicle-Mounted Work Platforms (1910.66)
- Hazardous Waste (1910.120)
- HAZCOM (1910.1200)
- PPE (1910.132)
- Respiratory Protection (1910.134)
- Fall Protection (1910.66)
- Portable Fire Extinguishers (1910.157)
- Electrical Safety (1910.331 + NFPA 70E Electrical Safety in the Workplace 2021)
- Lockout/Tagout (1910.147 + NFPA 70E Electrical Safety in the Workplace 2021)
- Storage and Handling of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (1910.110)
- Pesticides, Fungicides, Rodenticides, Bactericides (40 CFR 170 – EPA WPS)
- OSHA 10 (General Industry) for employees
- OSHA 30 (General Industry) for supervisors
Training is a function that is integral to your operation, not incidental. It’s not something you do on the side. It’s not something you “get done”, throw on a dusty shelf, and think “box checked, glad that’s over!”. Compliance and skills training should be intertwined with the operations of your enterprise – just a part of how you operate.
Research has shown that online, media-based training substantially reduces costs and improves retention. Microsoft conducted a study on cost to train new employees and found that in-person on-boarding costs of $320 per employee was reduced to about $17 per employee once they implemented an online, media-based solution (see the whitepaper here). Further, Forrester Research shows that employees are 75% more likely to watch a video than to read documents or articles.
Media-based training increases retention of knowledge, according to a study done by SAVO Group. With text-based training, retention at the end of day one was 58%, day seven was 35%, and dropped to 10% by month six. In comparison, staff members trained using media had a knowledge retention rate of 65% at month 9. The difference there is substantial and you want staff to retain as much of this information as possible; as this keeps your business compliant and keeps you from getting fines. Sticking with a booklet or binder means that your employees could be losing most of what you’ve taught them by the end of their first week.
What to check when evaluating the learner experience:
- Can learners can track their progress?
- Can learners can see what courses they have and have not taken?
- Can learners can revisit the learning materials?
- Can you can verify learner comprehension?
To ensure an effective process, your learners should be able to track their progress and you should be able to verify their comprehension. Trainees should be able to easily see what their progress is, what courses have they taken, which they have not taken, where they are able to come back through their records and see what they’ve learned or what areas they’ve had trouble with.
Your training system also has to be able to report. If you can’t provide reports, your training program is essentially useless. Having records and reports of training are important. Without reports, you will still get fines for not doing training, whether it was actually done or not. A manager should be able to pull and export the report needed very quickly. The information should be useful and someone should be able to see what’s happening easily through graphs. An auditor doesn’t want to see what’s on your screen; they want the report sent to them with all of the information they want.
Ultimately, a good employee training program, integrated with your operations systems & processes, increases profits and reduces liability.
If you are looking to reduce compliance-related issues and get closer to your business goals, give us a call, Ervinas can help.