Throughout my career, I find Health and Safety training dull, unattractive and difficult one both for trainer and the participants. It is necessary, obligatory and important part of any company’s training programme, however, due to nature of corporate and legal content required to convey to participants, it is always a challenge for the trainer to make it attractive and enjoyable.
The desired goal of any H&S policy and procedures are eliminating workplace incidents and near-misses. Some managers may focus on regulatory compliance with the goal of preventing legal liability for the employer, but since regulations are designed to prevent worker injury, both goals are the same: to create a workplace that provides a safe, healthy environment for workers.
Given the impacts of workplace injury, sickness and long-term workforce impacts, it’s easy to recognize why health and safety training should receive more attention. I have received and conducted these training thousand times throughout my career and despite the feel or urge of change, I needed to follow company directives and standards.
Since I left Hilton and working as Freelance Strategy and Performance Consultant, I need to analyse different type of businesses, taking a good picture of the current situation and provide a detailed report for next steps which includes professional bespoke training and coaching for the employees. I have realised that I was a classic corporate trainer and decided to change my approach. Therefore, I have attended several different train the trainer, storytelling and creative presentation workshops which help me greatly to find my own style.
The most common request for health and safety and security related training clients is to make the training appealing. They know that the topic may be dry, but their employees still need to get through it and retain the content. With my over 30 years of experience in hospitality, I have listed some key stages to prepare more impactful training workshops;
Make it Relevant: Creating informative, relevant and easy to follow content with clear takeaways
Make it Engaging and Pull Them In: Involve participant and make them feel a part of delivering the training: Provide fun and engaging activities, so that participants will learn and remember even after finishing the workshop and will relate it to their day-to-day workplace.
Make it Short & Simple: Simple and short enough training with less legal, jargon and repetitive information
1. Make It Relevant: All training should be relevant to the role of the learners, but safety training especially needs to speak to them. You need to prepare it “Competency Base” which requires working on knowledge, skills and behaviours. Most safety training tasks often require going beyond the standard multiple-choice or true/false quiz and questions. For in-person training, when it is feasible, watching each learner demonstrate competence is always best.
We all make the same mistake and overload our team members with all the information we have. H&S and security training is mainly preventative information for different work-related situations. Therefore, instead of focusing on end-results and things to do when something happens such as filling the forms, calling the ambulance or other legal requirements, it needs to focus on the root cause of the problem to eliminate any accidents to happen. e.g. when we look at slips, trips and falls, employees need to be given real-life scenarios which they may have it in their workspace to understand what causes these incidents to make sure that they will be aware of small things that lead these incidents.
Remember when you were a kid and were warned not to touch the hot stove? It didn’t mean much until you burned yourself, did it? Safety training is the same – it needs to matter to the learners – ideally before they are burned. Using realistic situations that the learners face every day gives your training more impact than if you used generic situations.
2. Make It Engaging and Pull them In: People are more likely to be distracted when they feel like they are playing a passive part in learning, so it makes sense to give them incentives to learn and make them feel involved in the design process. This could be done through a fun activity, such as a quiz in which they have to solve puzzles to pass through stages of learning, or by giving users a break to interact with the content you present.
Learners like to be engaged, and interactivity is the way to engage them. You need to include interactions that require the learners to consider a situation and use their knowledge to select the best outcome. This will help participants to 60% more likely to retain the information presented comparing to traditional methods which provide on average 25%.
You need to use Storytelling techniques to convey the message in the more memorable way and related to their day-to-day work.
3. Make It Short and Simple: According to research, learners are more likely to retain your engaging content when it is presented in easily digestible bites.
One study of team excellence found that, although adults can choose to “reset” their attention span, it tends to drop significantly after around 20 minutes. That’s why it’s important to divide learning into easily digestible chunks and perfect the art of providing comprehensive training without the kind of overload which causes attention spans to wander.
Therefore, when delivering a classroom presentation, keep it lively by including an activity for every 20-30 minutes of instruction or so.
Hope you all might find this article useful and when you are tasked with a new health and safety training request, you can use these simple tips in mind to deliver more impactful and enjoyable training for your teams.
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