"Lemminkäinen’s (now YIT Norge) top priority is safety. Working with Mintra and implementing Trainingportal as our competence management system (CMS) helps us increase awareness, build a safety culture and get every employee home safe and sound every day," said Thomas Holmsen, HSE and quality manager for Lemminkäinen in Norway.
Mr Holmsen and his team are responsible for almost 600 employees on more than 30 sites around Norway. Most of them are full-time employees, but a considerable number are hired from project to project, often based on skills and training rather than formal education. Some of them use a computer every day, others live without a PC onsite when working away from home.
Managing classroom courses and training for this group and making sure everyone received the required training and competency used to be a complex puzzle. The consequences of missing out on just one person could be fatal at worst.
"I was constantly worried about not being compliant with contract demands, internal rules, government regulations and laws. And I spent a lot of time making sure that we were. Gradually, I realised that something had to be done," he said.
More partner than product
Mr Holmsen's background, managing an eLearning and CMS solution for a previous employer, made him very much aware of what Lemminkäinen was looking for when inviting eight suppliers to bid for a contract that would cover their needs.
"From all providers we invited to the bidding we expected basic functionality, like an eLearning portal with an existing course catalogue, a trustworthy system for managing courses and participants and easy-to-use interface to enable employees to complete the courses, feeling empowered and good about themselves. But it is important not to forget the human factor. The mix of experience, product knowledge and personality often represents the difference between a product supplier and a trusted advisor.
"During negotiations we started calling the Mintra team The Good Girls – meant as a huge compliment. They were always prepared, they knew Trainingportal and the CMS solution like the back of their hand, they very quickly understood our needs and were able to establish a relationship that made us feel reassured.
"In addition, knowing that other third party eLearning suppliers had chosen Trainingportal as their preferred platform for delivering courses, meant that the choice really was not that hard."
"Last, but not least, we saw early on that the combination of Mintra experience and the CMS, would be a power tool in Lemminkäinen’s work when documenting and managing our own competence and knowledge. Working with Mintra, we would be able to develop the structure and principles for information maintenance, that would save us time and money when a potential customer, in a bidding process, asks us to document our employees’ formal background, practical experience, courses taken and on-the-job training. We need to know what we know. And now we do.
Constructing a safety culture with Mintra Group and Trainingportal
"Even though we had huge expectations after signing the contract, we were well aware that a lot could go wrong. Our first eLearning project with Mintra was an HSE course, mandatory for all employees, and another for our subcontractors. A large group of people, both office workers and onsite personnel, some with digital experience and some without, had to complete this basic training.
"Working with Mintra in developing the course was the first success. It was a process between two equal partners where we both brought valuable knowledge and experience to the table and collaborated to make the best HSE training possible, tailored to meet our needs and the target group’s abilities.
"In retrospect, it is safe to say that both the course itself and our employees and subcontractors completing it is the second success in this relationship. I receive a report every evening on how many of them has completed one or several courses in Trainingportal. So far, 90 percent of those for whom the HSE training is mandatory have completed it.
"The response from the participants is overall very positive. They feel that using the CMS and Trainingportal distinguishes Lemminkäinen as a company, they feel up to date and they report back that a modern eLearning system resonates positively with both potential employees and customers."
Most importantly, Mr Holmsen underlines, is knowing that everyone working on or visiting a Lemminkäinen-project, does so with a minimum of risk. He said: "This job is basically about constructing a safety culture, with knowledge, behaviour and values as building stones. HSE and risk management have to be part of our corporate DNA. Mintra as a partner, Trainingportal and the CMS contribute to this on a daily basis."
Mintra provides free ECDIS training to City University of Applied Sciences Bremen students