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How a Transport Company’s Accessible Interactive Training Improved Driver Performance and Wellbeing

Louise Jones

Väinö Paunu is a transportation company from Tampere, Finland. The company was looking for new ideas and tools for training their bus drivers. This need came from looking into potential learning difficulties among bus drivers that may impact on their work and wellbeing. 

Previously drivers had to browse several different paper manuals, or wait for an instructor to be available to show how a new bus model works. Now they can just tap an interactive user manual on a mobile device and open a how-to video. Read their story below.

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Image: Wikimedia Commons

Employees request a new style of accessible learning experience to meet their training needs

Juha Mustonen, the CFO of Väinö Paunu, posed a pivotal question: “How can an employee respond to the ever-changing needs of the working environment, if they have difficulties with reading or writing?” This fundamental need for improved training methods emerged from a genuine concern that any learning challenges might potentially impact on both the effectiveness of the training and the wellbeing of the bus drivers.

A journey towards innovative training

The drivers themselves had requested improvements to communication and training materials. One of the suggestions from the team members was to use short videos. They pointed out that video training would also work better for the 10% of drivers that do not speak Finnish as their native language, as well as for those who may face challenges with reading.

With support from a local workplace learning program Oppi-va, the company reviewed and tested several digital tools for supporting learning, and selected ThingLink as the ideal platform for creating and sharing visual workplace training materials. 

360-degree virtual training environments

The company sourced a 360 camera and took photos of bus interiors and recording short video manuals for using the various devices inside the cabin. These included topics such as how to adjust the seat and how to use the ticket machine.

The interactive manuals created now include both audio, video and text descriptions, as well as 360 images of the bus interiors.

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The impact of the interactive and accessible learning materials

The results of this pilot project were transformative, thanks to the seamless integration of interactive online learning and simulations. The management team discovered several benefits that are commonly achieved whenever the shift is made to this type of employee training methods.

1. Time Savings

A shift away from traditional training methods like paper manuals and in-person instructor-led training means that bus drivers now enjoy instant online access to vital information on their tablets. This allows them to learn at their own pace, anytime, and anywhere. The time savings naturally results in more cost-effective training programs which are less resource intensive.

2. Enhanced Communication

The fusion of 360-degree images and short instructional videos has transcended language barriers, making it easier for all drivers, irrespective of their native tongue, to familiarize themselves with all aspects of the work environment.

3. Professional Skill Development

The company have concluded that the interactive training has helped employees become not only faster learners but also better drivers, ensuring a safer and more efficient operation.

4. Workplace Wellbeing

Inclusivity and accessibility are at the core of these training materials, which not only boost individual morale but also contribute to an overall sense of wellbeing within the workplace.

One example of the 360 training environment created in the manual

Revolutionized employee training

The next phase involves the development of a comprehensive interactive image library, accessible to all bus drivers on their tablets.

By embracing cutting-edge interactive training methods and leveraging technology to create a more inclusive and accessible learning environment, Väinö Paunu has not only revolutionized employee training in the transportation industry but also set new benchmarks for effectiveness, efficiency, and employee engagement. This innovative approach serves as a testament to the power of embracing technology to empower learners and elevate the workplace experience, ultimately enhancing skills, wellbeing, and overall job satisfaction.

Inclusive and Accessible Training Materials

Väinö Paunu’s commitment to inclusivity and accessibility shines through in their innovative training approach. By incorporating diverse learning styles, they accommodate both new employees and seasoned staff members.

By ensuring that learning materials are easily accessible allows bus drivers to learn at their own pace. This flexibility is especially crucial for employers whether they want to provide on-the-job training, onboarding new hires or facilitating job rotations.

The full version of Väinö Paunu’s story can be found here.

What other methods of training can you create with ThingLink?

Scenario Builder is an effective and easy-to-use tool from ThingLink that allows anyone to create interactive scenario-based learning. This has been shown to be one of the best employee training methods for improving problem-solving skills, as the role-playing aspect allows learners to experience the consequences of their choices. This is proven to lead to better knowledge and skill retention when compared to employee training programs that involve classroom training. It allows trainees to run through the processes of the practical skills before the hands-on training sessions begin.

This is in particular a highly effective employee training method for jobs and environments where practical training is involved – such as driving. It is ideal where safety is paramount, and there are high-value assets such as vehicles, hardware or technical equipment to be mastered.

Scenario Based Learning can also be integrated into different types of training methods and employee learning and development, such as mentoring. By assessing the path that a learner has taken through the scenario materials, a mentor or trainer can understand what skills might need further work and practice.

Further inspirational case studies

For more inspirational case studies in the field of elearning and employee training, see these blogs below:

ThingLink YouTube channel is the place to watch our training webinars and other short learning content

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