Safety training isn’t nearly as effective if your trainees aren’t focused during it. How can you keep your employees engaged for more effective training — and for their own safety? Based on our years of experience in safety consulting, Safety International has five simple tips you can use.
We all get distracted. It’s human nature. There are a few different ways to approach this. First, don’t schedule trainings first thing in the morning or right after a big lunch. Second, have your employees turn off or mute their electronics. See someone reaching for their smartphone when you’re mid-sentence? Turn it into a brief, but humorous, teachable moment on the dangers of distraction.
Use Game Theory
Gamification is a term for applying elements of game play to education. Since few words strike dread into an employee more than “There’ll be a test later,” find ways to turn training competitive. Providing incentives for correct answers, or splitting employees into teams that will compete against one another can be surprisingly effective in getting your employees involved and making training stick. These practices can also be extended past your training meetings to incentivize safety day-to-day.
Don’t Just Sit There, Do Something!
One reason employees tune out is that the training experience is too often a passive one. Make it active. Don’t just talk about PPE or demonstrate it yourself. Have an employee model the correct procedure or use of gear. Letting employees get hands-on engages them and turns them into participants instead of mere observers.
Vary Your Medium, and Your Message
We all learn differently. Some learn best, or fastest, by the hands-on approach we mentioned above. Others are visual learners, and find videos or photos helpful in retaining information. Still others might find it easiest to skim a pamphlet or handout. Keep a few different tools at your disposal; they will help you reach more of your audience, and will also ensure that you’re varying the flow of your presentation so that your employees aren’t lulled to sleep by the dulcet tones of your voice.
Make Training Interactive
Whether an employee has been on the job for four months or for four decades, each has something to offer the others. Give your veteran employees a chance to share their experience, but don’t forget to give newcomers a chance to shine — after all, they’ve often learned newer ideas and techniques that your old-timers haven’t been exposed to because that’s not “the way we’ve always done things around here.”
Workplace safety is serious business, and can have serious consequences if it’s neglected. We are well aware that safety training, by definition, isn’t usually going to be a barrel of laughs. However, you can get your point across in a way that involves your employees and gives them a sense of ownership in their own well-being. And Safety International can help. To request a safety consultation, contact us today.