Client interview with Matthew Haight, Manager of Training and Employee Development, Sarah A. Reed Children’s Center

 

Background

Sarah A. Reed Children’s Center is a multi-service non-profit children’s mental health organization with 320 employees. Based in Erie, Pennsylvania, and founded in 1871, they provide programs and services to children and adolescents struggling with life traumas. The Center serves all counties in Pennsylvania and the Southern Tier of New York State which includes more than 900 children and adolescents per day at their five program facilities, area school districts and community-based services.

The mission of Sarah A. Reed Children’s Center “is to promote the emotional well-being of children and families, helping them to realize their potential and experience success.”

 

Challenge

Sarah A. Reed Children's CenterPrior to Relias, training was managed, executed and reported on by hand. They did have ABRA and Great Plains online products which offered reporting functionalities, but not to the extent or ease of use they needed. Reviewing staff training records had to be done individually, to assess for compliance. With 300 employees, this proved to be very time-intensive and was only completed quarterly. Unless staff kept personal track of trainings and were conscientious to maintain their own records, they could easily slip out of compliance. Reporting consisted of using Excel files to track training hours. Each report on training data took two to three days to complete. The amount of time spent on face-to-face training left little time for training analysis, training program development, and group sessions to enhance staff skill development.

“To say [training and reporting] was an arduous task would be polite.”

Training was delivered in person, scheduled after hours or between shifts. Ease of access was a huge burden; it was difficult to efficiently and effectively reach all program sites and coordinate staff training schedules.

The Center also experienced difficulties with communication among employees and supervisors regarding training deficiencies, as supervisors did not have direct access to employees’ training records.

 

Opportunity

Sarah A. Reed Children’s Center envisioned a learning management system that could improve compliance by streamlining training, increasing ease of access (online versus only in-person), and reminding staff of upcoming courses due. This would include increasing access to training, automatically tracking training, and making reporting a breeze. They also saw a need for expanded course topic content and more opportunities to fulfill licensure requirements for licensed staff.

 

Solution and Results

Sarah A. Reed Children’s Center rolled out the Relias learning management system (LMS) organization-wide in 2011. They began to see a steady rise in compliance going from 72% in 2010 to 81% by the end of the 3rd quarter of 2011. They are now at compliance rates in the high 90s—with a 98% compliance rate for the 2nd quarter of 2016 for mandatory training course requirements.

Saving money has also been an added benefit. Matthew estimates that they have saved several thousands of dollars per year by freeing up training staff to focus on staff development.

Sarah A. Reed Children’s Center also saw the benefits and ease of reporting on training – from manual tracking taking two to three days per report down to just minutes! Time was also saved with the ability to create and save reports.

Because of this, the Center has doubled the amount of reports they run. Supervisors can create their own reports which helps improve training deficiencies, and with automatic email notifications to staff on upcoming and past due courses as well as notifications to immediate supervisors, “no one can say they didn’t know they had training due,” Matthew says.

“Reporting is a monumental time saver—and it’s more accurate.”

Now in their fifth year with Relias, the Sarah A. Reed Children’s Center plans to improve their orientation and onboarding programs and they plan to use the Relias LMS to support that.