How Q-Pulse WorkRite helps News Corp streamline training programmes
Ideagen recently caught up with Group Health & Safety Manager, Michael Byrne, to explore how he uses Q-Pulse WorkRite to overcome the biggest challenges in his role and the importance of using data to drive compliance.
News UK are a leading national news agency that operate papers including The Times, The Sunday Times and The Sun, as well as national stations such as Virgin and Talk Sport. With such a diverse and dynamic risk profile, building a competent workforce who will be empowered to identify and manage risk are at the heart of everything they do, ensuring that high standards of governance match their world-class journalism.
When he took on the role 18 months ago, Michael was tasked with introducing health and safety governance and driving a cultural change. This would ensure the business fulfilled its duty of care and cultivated an environment where employees understood and owned the risks they took in fulfilling their roles.
The risks News UK employees face vary by job role and location: some work in an office environment, whereas others could find themselves outside Westminster, in a school, or even working undercover for a story. Giving staff access to training that would develop and maintain competence, and tools so staff could intuitively interact with safety was key to ensuring the business could exceed standards set out in legal texts, approved codes of practice and other H&S guidance issued by the Health and Safety Executive and other industry bodies.
“One of the challenges that we have, and one that I'm sure many organisations face, is that people don't have an awful lot of time these days.
So what I wanted to do was to streamline the training and make sure it could suit everyone across the business. So whether you're a journalist who's ready to report on the front lines, or you’re in the back office doing an admin role, you still have the same access to a high standard of training – and you can get on there and answer the questions quickly without taking too much time away from your role.”
To ensure that all employees were supported with the correct training, regardless of their role, the training solution Michael implemented needed to be highly flexible with the opportunity to add extra bespoke capabilities.
Q-Pulse WorkRite addressed these challenges and could be tailored to individual training requirements.
“It has the capabilities for everything. We’re currently using the full e-learning platform and customising each module as we go.”
Managing this tailoring process has meant working closely with the Ideagen team, and their responsiveness has been an important part of the project’s success:
"They just get it sorted straight away and say, “we’ve done that”. It's great."
In addition to this flexibility, Michael found it was easy to implement across his organisation’s different subsidiaries. He found the system was well-received with high levels of engagement and employee buy-in as a result of it being “just so easy to use”.
“One of the benefits of WorkRite is that you can get your staff to go in there, do the e-learning, take the test... and then they are competent to do their own self-assessment. You can program different actions into the assessments depending on how the user answers the questions. With automatic notifications, this helps us identify which employees we should follow up, based on the issues identified in their assessment”.
The system now provides the H&S team with useful insights that would otherwise have taken considerable time and resource to find:
“It's much easier now for us to get statistics: I can now see how many self-assessments have been done. I can see which assessors have followed up which self-assessments. That's the great thing about WorkRite for anything that is still unresolved.”
These data-driven insights can be compiled and easily presented to the organisation’s decision makers, powering change and informing future compliance KPIs.
“From a health and safety perspective, what you want to have is good governance. I can't identify risks very well if I've got to rely on anecdotes. I need data, I need to be able to present that data to the powers that be so that they can see, ‘this is where the risk is, this is the scale of the risk’. And that’s what WorkRite does so well.”
Driving forward compliance
Q-Pulse WorkRite has helped Michael ensure compliance to H&S standards and will remain an integral aspect of continuing future compliance.
“The process drives forward our compliance. The ultimate ambition will be to keep expanding our utilisation of WorkRite so we can train more people, make them more competent, make them more aware of the different risks. And ultimately, that will then form our KPIs going forwards”.