Let’s face it: workplace safety training can be a struggle for trainers and trainees alike. No one wants to take time out of their day to teach about safety, and no one wants to attend training as an employee. It can be dry, tedious and long. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Break out of the mold as the leader of your workplace training program to make it more lively and exciting. Workplace training is an essential part of the warehouse or factory floor setting, considering the fact that 5,190 workers died on the job in 2016 alone due to unsafe work practices according to OSHA. Check out these seven ways you can achieve an exciting training program:
- Choose an enthusiastic trainer. First, select someone to lead the training who is not only knowledgeable about the subject at hand but who also has an enthusiastic, engaging personality that people are drawn to, suggests BusinessWeek. Get a boring leader, and you’ll have people falling asleep. Get an excitable person who knows his stuff, and you’re more likely to get a positive response from your crew.
- Make a connection. It’s important for trainer and trainees to develop a connection right away in order to establish trust and respect. This means the trainer gets there early or on time, greets each person at the session, learns their names right off and begins the session with some ice breakers to get people comfortable and talking.
- Have conversations, not lectures. Workplace safety is a dry topic but only if you lecture at your employees. You can’t expect them to stay alert and engaged if they’re being talked at with no feedback. Instead, make the experience a conversation, with give-and-take, so that their opinions and ideas are being incorporated into the discussion.
- Use multimedia and games to get your point across. From pop quizzes to interactive video games, you can engage your audience in other ways beyond lectures, handouts and standard PowerPoint presentations. Introduce safety training for forklift operation, for instance, through state of the art simulators that allow workers to train on this equipment in a virtual situation first before attempting the real thing. This makes the entire experience fun for your employees, making it more likely they will respond to the underlying safety instructions.
- Incorporate role play. Just like in school, when you want the students to stand up, get animated and get involved in the lesson, you make them a part of the class. Assign roles, play them out, and discuss the underlying safety message you’re trying to impart.
- Use a rewards-based system for training completion. A little competition can go a long way, right? Use your employees’ competitive drive to your advantage by rewarding those who complete training sessions offered by your company. Use a leaderboard approach somewhere prominent, such as in the staff room. Workers receive badges, points or stickers whenever they go through a training session, with the last prize being an actual award, lunch, gift card or item. This will encourage more people to sign up and attend your training programs, all fueled by a little competition.
- Break off into groups. To apply the knowledge they have learned in the first half of your training session, break them all into groups for some interactive learning. Give topics for discussion, and let them brainstorm additional ways they can improve safety, for instance. Involve them in the actual safety compliance of your workplace and you’ll have a much more positive response.
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