Confidence and competence in 10-minute bites

Thatcher Company

Case Studies

Have you ever read a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) and been left scratching your head, wondering how the heck you are supposed to complete the procedure? If you’re like us, you’d ask the experienced person onsite to help. 

What if those experienced employees are approaching retirement and you need a plan for both training new employees and maintaining consistency? Thatcher Group, Inc. is a global leader in chemical manufacturing, distribution, and related services.

Thatcher asked for a solution to:

  • Transform 36 OSHA-based SOPs from their formal, legal format into easy-to-use documentation
  • Achieve operator competency

At Thatcher, workers are responsible for the proper care and handling of a variety of chemicals. Following specific processes to maintain safety are a critical part of every shift, every day. Because the goal of the learning experience was on-the-job competence, we created a multi-step learning process based on the learn-try-do-test method.

  • Learn: Learners watch short videos (less than 10-minutes) or review job aids based on the SOPs.
  • Try: Learners attempt the task with help from a peer expert. Learners stay in this phase until they are confident that they can do the task without peer assistance.
  • Do: Learners demonstrate task competence to their manager.
  • Test: Learners take a written test to verify their knowledge.

Not all learning experiences need to be flashy and extensive. This need-based program—learners take only the courses they need for their specific job—develops both competence and confidence in their ability to do their work. By involving both peers and managers in a structured way, we leverage institutional knowledge and foster consistency. Minimizing “seat time” and maximizing time on task, employees can achieve proficiency faster and become productive team members while learning instead of being pulled off the job to sit in a classroom.

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