EMA Senior Care
EMA Senior Care provides health services and care facilities for seniors throughout the state of Maryland. More than 1,000 employees and caregivers are employed by the organization’s four communities.
Prior to using Silverchair Learning, EMA worked with another online learning provider for their employee training. Four years prior, like many senior care organizations, EMA delivered training via live inservice sessions, using some technology (like hand-held devices) to track attendance.
Having used online learning previously, EMA did not face the typical challenges of many organizations new to online learning; their employees had become comfortable with computers and they were able to deliver their training online with relative ease. The online training system they were using delivered the right content, but challenges arose in managing and tracking assignments, as well as compiling reports. Ryan Lillis, EMA’s Director of Organizational Development, also had issues with integrating the other provider’s training information with EMA’s human resources information system (HRIS). “I would run a completion report from our training provider’s system, manipulate the report in Excel, re-load it into our HRIS, and then compare the training report and the report in the HRIS to make sure the reports were consistent,” he says. “We also couldn’t track offline training in the provider’s system; those activities had to be tracked in another system. We were using multiple systems to track all of our training.”
While the courses from the other provider worked well for EMA, the organization’s needs extended beyond courses. “[Our previous training provider] was more of a content delivery system,” Ryan says. “We needed a full LMS that could deliver content as well as track all training (online and offline) and have the ability to integrate with our other systems, like our HRIS.”
Silverchair Learning Systems was recommended by an EMA colleague who had worked with the system at another organization. EMA began using Silverchair in the fall of 2011.
Success with Silverchair
Once their Silverchair Learning LMS was launched, EMA saw immediate success in the management of assignments, tracking, and overall reporting. In addition to delivering courses, the Silverchair Learning system can also track compliance, offer one-click reporting, and allow clients to track offline activities in the same system. “Since switching to Silverchair, I haven’t looked back,” Ryan says. “Silverchair Learning met my expectations of what a true LMS should look like.” For EMA, the switch to a full LMS didn’t mean that training was more complicated: “The system almost seems too simple,” Ryan laughs. “It’s nearly impossible for a student or administrator to get lost in the navigation, which is a major difference from other online education systems. Most providers offer too many opportunities to get lost or confused.”
The Silverchair system was also able to easily integrate with EMA’s other information systems, like ADP Workforce Now. When an employee’s information changes in the HRIS, those changes automatically update in the Silverchair Learning system. “The integration is great when you have multiple Human Resources Managers hiring multiple employees at once,” Ryan says. “It’s a lot easier to keep track of changes and make sure everything is up to date.”
EMA has begun to author its own content using the Authoring Tool. Ryan has received requests for custom training materials, “so I’ve told my colleagues to create the content and we’ll put it in Silverchair. The custom courses will be an enhancement to our training, for sure.” EMA plans to offer a curriculum based on their mission and values, leadership, and succession planning tracks specific to their organization. “I also like that we can edit existing courses,” Ryan says.
EMA has also appreciated the dedicated customer service; according to Ryan, “The Silverchair staff is pretty tech-savvy. They’re always easy to talk to, and Silverchair has been very receptive to technology suggestions that we’ve made.”
Ryan also feels that Silverchair’s passion for service aligns with EMA’s culture and goals. “A product is only as good as the people working on it. It’s always good to see people working in a company who believe in it, who don’t stop caring when the clock hits 5:00. Everyone I’ve spoken to [at Silverchair Learning] is passionate about this company. You’re energized to serve a purpose. You don’t see too many companies like that.”