We provide essential services for our residents and it’s important that we continue to exceed their every need – even during unprecedented times. To make that happen, we must invest in the people behind the property. Over the past few months, RPM has easily transitioned to a virtual-only classroom to support our employees during times of change.
Fortunately, we were already accustomed to remote training options. We take a blended approach to learning, offering a variety of eLearning courses, webinars, classroom and one-on-one training. Employees typically learn basic details of a new policy or process by taking self-paced eLearning courses and then apply that new knowledge with a group of their peers through roleplay, case studies, discussions, and games. Some of that group learning already took place remotely, but when we stopped holding in-person classroom events in March, our training team was able to quickly convert all remaining classroom and one-on-one training events for our new virtual classrooms.
For events which include a large amount of roleplay, we limited class sizes and incorporated break-out groups so participants could actively participate throughout the entire event. The training team also made virtual versions of flipcharts and swapped out buzzers during games with responses in the chat.
Our training managers join each event with video and encourage all participants to do the same because participants get more out of the content when they can see how their peers engage with the material.
In addition to updating the delivery of existing curriculum, our operations, marketing, and training teams have been partnering to build new resources so our employees have the tools they need to be successful in this new environment. As new policies and procedures went in place to promote social distancing, our team members had access to custom-created courses which explained the processes in detail and provided examples for conducting virtual tours and guidelines for completing work orders. The support teams also started partnering with communities who have been successful in the current environment to build eLearning courses, share best practices in Yammer (our company-wide social media platform), and to participate in panel discussions to help share their knowledge and experiences.
We have onboarded nearly 100 new employees since we switched to the virtual classroom. In the past two months, our team members have spent a total of 1600 hours in virtual training events in addition to completing about 5,000 self-paced eLearning courses. Our commitment to continuous improvement and investing in the success of our employees has helped us continue to grow and ensure our employees feel supported in these challenging times.