New employee training portal a hit with staff

Since the launch of the new myMRU employee training portal last November, the number of employees enrolling in professional development courses has increased significantly compared with participation before the portal's launch.

"We've had nearly 2,000 clicks to the portal from within myMRU, which is phenomenal in a relatively short period of time," says Karen Meadows, organizational talent and development specialist in Human Resources. "Anecdotally, we've also heard many positive comments from people who have used the new portal."

Located under the "Employee" tab in myMRU, the portal includes an employee training calendar - a central place to list all of the training opportunities offered by different providers on campus. Employees can easily register for courses within the events listings as well.

Portlets feature each of the departments currently offering professional training, including Human Resources, Information Technology Services, Workplace Health Promotion and Wellness Services. Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) will list all of its courses soon, says Deanna Renyk, manager.

"We're really excited to be able to use this portal to get our message out. We're a new department," Renyk explains, "and the portal really helps to promote a learning environment for employees." EH&S will offer training that is aimed at a campus-wide audience - like noise and hearing protection, and general workplace safety - but also courses that are highly specialized, such as the safe handling of blood-borne pathogens, for example.

"Without this portal, we'd have to try to communicate what we can offer some other way, which would be very difficult," she says. "And this way, everyone can see the whole employee training calendar and really plan ahead."

Employees can view the portal at any time, or they can opt in to be part of a Google Group that receives monthly emails about training courses. Last year 60 people were part of the group, and there are now about 600 signed up. In the past, departments had difficulty promoting their courses because there was no consistent way to do it, Meadows explains. "We had trouble filling courses, which is uneconomical for the University," she says. "Now we have waitlists for some courses. It's a terrific improvement." The overall number of courses being offered has also increased.

Development of the portal is phased. By the end of February, myMRU will be responsive to mobile devices, making it easier for employees to use the portal from a phone or tablet. Other departments wanting to offer employee training can be added to the portal when they're ready.

"The success of this portal is the result of teamwork across many departments," including all of the departments offering training as well as Marketing and Communications, she says. "Our partners in this project have been wonderful."

Feb. 1, 2017 — Melissa Rolfe