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Training that has an impact.

- April 28, 2014 by Ken Helfrich (View all posts by Ken)

Every month you pull out your training manual and grab the next topic. As you review the same topic that you covered in April of last year and the year before that, do you ever wonder how you can get more involvement from your employees?

It can be challenging.  At every meeting you have the folks who never speak and the ones who can go on and on, some who will day dream and others who will stay focused on what needs to be done.  If you can’t keep your employees’ attention, you can’t really trust that the safety training is impacting their behavior on the job.  How do you pull them together and get some genuine participation on the safety topic at hand?

Here are some training tactics that can generate participation and make an impact:

  • Do your trainings standing up.  This will keep your employees’ attention and can help prevent the meeting from trailing in the wrong direction and going on for too long.
  • Maintain eye contact with each member of the group making it harder for their minds to wander off.
  • Ask questions—the right questions can force participation and eliminate day dreaming.
    • Ask them how getting hurt (home or work) would impact their lives at home and at work.
    • Ask them to give you an example of something they learned from another co-worker.
    • Ask them if they have noticed any unsafe acts recently?  (You might not get a lot of feedback but the simple thought that someone could report you, can motivate employees to work safely.)
    • Ask them to give an example of how they exhibit their commitment to safety.
  • Create a motto that everyone says (yells) when the meeting is adjourned such as “Safety is a Tool for Life,” “Lets go home whole,” or “Work safe, be safe.”
  • Blend home and work safety practices together. For example, when talking about lifting, ask them where they put their groceries in their vehicle and how many they take out at a time.  This is a perfect example of over exerting yourself and improper body mechanics.
  • Share something personal that puts everyone at ease.  For example, if no one jumps in to share about an unsafe act they’ve noticed, tell them about walking down the street checking your emails on your phone and tripping on the uneven sidewalk.  Everyone will get a chuckle and may feel more willing to share something from their own experience.
  • Switch things up.  If you come at safety topics from different angles, you’ll reach someone new each time.

In order for you to get past everyone’s attention barrier, you, as a trainer, need to mix things up, keep your employees on their toes and make the topic interactive.