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Statewide training: from documenting compliance to career development

In Oregon, a statewide learning management system (LMS) was launched several years ago to help ensure compliance with training requirements. Grant funding is often tied to training, and accurately accounting for the expenditures and for delivery of training is essential. In addition, each of nearly 100 agencies within the state had its own procedures for registering and reporting on training. To provide a consistent workflow and well-documented metrics, the state implemented Meridian Global, an LMS from Meridian Knowledge Solutions, branding it as iLearnOregon.

Meridian Global has allowed the agencies to respond quickly and accurately to legislative requests for training data, which in the past was difficult. "We use Meridian Global most heavily for management of our mandatory training, which includes topics such as ethics and policy training," says Jill Corona, program manager for workforce development in Oregon.

Although the backend data is kept in a common database and the fields are consistent across agencies, each agency has a customized website for its own training.  Much of the training is provided in a classroom setting, but the state is now offering e-learning on time management, relationship building and other topics; about 10 percent of the 6,500 courses are available as e-learning.

Meridian Global also is being used to support individuals in developing and managing their careers. "We are capturing training on video and putting it into the LMS so that it can be accessed on demand," Corona says. "We hope to use it more in the future for developing competencies so that people can advance their careers." Corona hopes to use 360-degree assessments for competencies (which document how employees are seen by others) and then have Meridian Global deliver training content to fill in the gaps.

Employee performance is the heart of measuring organizational success, according to Theme Grenz, project manager for professional services at Meridian. "If you don't look at your human capital as the DNA for the performance of the organization, you will have trouble achieving strategic goals. Organizations need to mesh their needs with the career goals of their employees and make a commitment to support both."

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