Overcoming L&D Challenges for a Global Organization via an LMS: Interview with Susibel Perigault


Susibel Perigault, Training & Development Manager, Manzanillo International Terminal (MIT) Panama, is a specialist in maritime administration with more than 20 years of experience. At MIT Panama, a leading maritime company dealing in port services, cargo movement, transshipment operations, and container handling for import and export, she heads the Learning & Development (L&D) function, managing the training of its 1200 white and blue collared employees spread across various locations.

Chatting with us about her company’s L&D vision, Susibel passionately shares her views on Compliance Training as a critical part of L&D, and how she and her team have been leveraging UpsideLMS for overcoming MIT Panama’s training challenges and achieving its objectives year-on-year since 2014.

Her easy management expertise flows seamlessly into her personal life too as she manages her home and raises two beautiful children, attending every soccer match and parent teacher meeting. She’s warm, hard-working and dedicated to her craft – making her the perfect Learning & Development Manager, and a client we love.

Q. How important is Compliance Training for a maritime organization like MIT Panama?

Susibel: Truth be told, compliance training is more than just box-checking of some key mandatory skills. Organizations like ourselves need to make sure that their training is being, first and foremost, successfully understood and applied by the learners, before it is marked as completed within the given time frame. Non-compliance can have several consequences for organizations, which is why most global organizations with massive compliance training liabilities often depend on an LMS to make their task easier.

A dedicated compliance training module helps employees engage better with the LMS and ensures the timely delivery and completion of the compliance courses. It’s critical that the learning platform streamlines the training delivery, management and monitoring process so as to ensure that the staff on high-risk contracts with mandatory training requirements can be easily tracked and kept up-to-date with necessary compliances. It is also important for the compliance module to provide the target staff with training relevant to their division or job role automatically, and also cater to the requirement of refresher training for both, staff and their managers, when current compliance skills are due for expiry.

Speaking for ourselves, UpsideLMS' Compliance Module enables us to manage our compliance training programs dealing in various internal policies and procedures. MIT Panama’s 1200 white and blue collared employees can directly access training materials, which can be consumed individually in a self-paced mode, and receive training regularly on their compliance responsibilities so as to play an active role in creating and maintaining a productive, ethical, and respectful workplace.

Q. What role does an LMS play in improving employee engagement and reducing operational costs?

Susibel: I think sometimes compliance training can get monotonous and disengaging if it is not delivered correctly. Organizations need to put a lot of thought and creativity not just into the learning content design but also through to the delivery. It’s the latter piece that an LMS can help a great deal in.

In our case, having an LMS has enabled us to create holistic blended learning programs which are not just informative, but are engaging as well. For example, our heavy machine equipment training includes eLearning in the form of videos and documents, post which we have on-field practical training followed by assignments and assessments that gauge the learner’s understanding and expertise.

Compliance training is a critical area where the quantum of training, and hence the investments, are often large, thus making them subject to scrutiny, although training and development of employees is a necessary investment. Moving compliance training online on an LMS can cut the training costs by a considerable margin as the development cost of learning material becomes a one-time investment, while the delivery of it can be done multiple times without additional cost incurrence.

Switching to tech-enabled training reduced our training costs by slashing trainers’ fees, logistic and administrative costs and more, hence reducing the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) for MIT Panama. UpsideLMS enabled us to offer online training materials, which involved only one-time development cost. The training material could then be used over and over again by thousands of employees, without any additional cost consumption.

Q. How crucial is the User Interface (UI) & User Experience (UX) for employee learning?

Susibel: I cannot overstate the benefits of an LMS with a state-of-the-art UI & UX. After all, everyone wants their employees to engage with the compliance courses and complete them in a specified time. With a great UI and UX, an LMS gives employees a reason to log-in more regularly. An LMS that is easy-to-use minimizes the time taken by your employees to navigate and further maximizes productivity.

A good chunk of MIT Panama’s workforce is blue-collared and IT-literacy was a rising challenge. The laborers were not familiar with the standard web icons and symbols that are instantly recognizable to regular app and website users. UpsideLMS' user-friendly interface offers minimum number of screens to navigate, all system labels and signposting written unambiguously and in an easy-to-understand way, and simple workflows, making it extremely easy-to-use, which enhance the overall user experience (UX) for our IT-literate and non-literate users as well.

Q. What are your thoughts about a built-in Reporting & Analytics tool in an LMS?

Susibel: Compliance training and reporting are heavily interlinked. Organizations need their managers to have quick and easy access to learners’ data and performance, which is why an LMS must have a perfectly functional analytics and reporting feature. UpsideLMS enables us to easily train our dispersed workforce, and develop efficient and effective tailor-made employee training programs with respect to the business processes. This has ultimately led to a stronger focus on learning throughout the organization.

Q. How important is having diverse training modes & multi-lingual support for an LMS?

Susibel: Global organizations like MIT Panama have a dispersed and a diverse workforce. Earlier, we relied heavily on ILT-based training for our dispersed workforce that worked at different ports and terminals. Classroom training was not just cost-intensive bit it was also time-consuming, which led to a lag in training delivery and losses in employee productivity. UpsideLMS’ support of different training modes reduced our dependency and ensured hassle-free and on-time deliverability for our 1200+ workforce. UpsideLMS also provided a learning ecosystem by enabling it to deliver training through a range of different methods individually or as part of a Blended Learning program. For the learners, this holistic blend of Videos, Reference Materials, Assignments and Assessments on a wide range of topics was a key driver for learner engagement. Additionally, UpsideLMS’ multi-lingual support for Spanish ensures that our learners are able to use the learning platform right away in their local language, which shortens implementation time and increases user adoption.