Workplace safety training is more than a matter of regulations and compliance. Professionals in field service, construction and manufacturing cannot risk missing out on the knowledge that helps them identify and respond to unsafe working conditions.
Site supervisors, however, have long struggled with providing comprehensive training that effectively engage trainees. Here are a few signs that your current workplace safety training is lagging behind:
Inability to engage millennial workers
According to the Pew Research Center, millennials are now the largest generation in today's workplaces, with more and more employees from this age group entering the workforce each year.
"More than one-third of American workers are Millennials."
So what can you do to help these employees better understand and retain important safety topics?
Start by evaluating the ways that you're currently delivering your training. Many millennials were born and raised around technology and tend to embrace online learning opportunities.
Although millennials are often thought to have short attention spans, the actual truth is, so does everyone! Courses with video-rich content, broken up into short segments are much more easily digestible than sitting through an endless lecture or PowerPoint.
And while representations of millennials with their eyes glued to their phones has become a cliche, it can't be denied that these workers are extremely likely to have smartphones, and they expect to use them. In addition to exploring opportunities to provide younger workers with web-based training, you should also think about how mobile-friendly these platforms are. Younger workers like to use their phones to find the answers to their questions, so why shouldn't they be able to get a quick, helpful refresher on a training topic using a mobile device?
If your safety training isn't mobile or tech-friendly, you run the risk of falling behind the curve.
Outdated resources and technology
Over the years, a lot of improvements have been made when it comes to training content and how it can be delivered. But some companies are still working to embrace these developments.
If you have to refer to a binder, track down an attendance sheet, or print out stacks of handouts or packets for learners, it may be time to upgrade your training resources.
But pen and paper might not be the only thing slowing you down. For example, do you know when your training videos were last updated? Are they—GASP!—on a VHS tape?
"If actors' clothing and hairstyles are obviously from a few decades ago, it's easier for learners to become distracted. "
When trainees are busy laughing at the fashion choices of the 90s, they might not be learning much! This is a shame, because videos are a concise and easy way to cover important topics, and they're still a very effective training delivery method. By investing in newer videos, you'll ensure learners are retaining training material without distractions. Plus, content that's recently produced offers a higher production value, which makes the material more engaging and watchable.
While you're shopping for new videos, consider how you want to deliver them to trainees. Upgrading from VHS to DVDs isn't quite cutting edge anymore, given online video streaming's massive popularity.
Today, many training software products contain training videos that you can stream online for groups of learners in a classroom. If you decide that training software is the best fit for delivering videos, you'll want to look for a solution that regularly and seamlessly updates its content, so you won't have to worry about it getting out of date in a few years. Also, while this is a very basic feature, it's important to be able to pause and resume videos, so instructors can provide additional information on a topic, or field questions from learners.
Beyond including training videos, you also may want to look for a safety training software that offers other styles of learning, including interactive coursework with learning checks and online quizzes. Ultimately, there isn't one way to learn but many, and safety training supervisors who learn that lesson now will reap the reward.
Any supervisor struggling to meet the training demands of a diverse workforce should also consider a blended learning approach. Blended learning combines hands-on training exercises with online safety training software, including videos and a mobile-friendly learning experience, to deliver valuable information and reinforce best practices outside the classroom. According to the U.S. Department of Education, blended learning is more effective than sticking to a single mode of training delivery.
As your workforce evolves—and it never stops evolving—your business must continually adapt how it manages safety and trains its workers. For a look at what IndustrySafe safety management and training software can do to help you keep up with the times, request a free demo.