Workplace health and safety is not a “sexy” topic. It’s not the type of training that has your employees clamoring to attend, yet it is a necessary and important part of your company’s training catalogue. According to a 2017 report from the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, almost 3 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses were reported by private industry employers in 2016. That’s almost three cases for every 100 employees in the country. While this number is slightly down from the prior year, nearly one-third of the incidents reported were of a more serious nature and resulted in lost productivity due to employee sick time.
Given the impact of workplace injury, it’s easy to recognize why health and safety training should receive more attention. The most common request from health and safety training clients, regardless of industry, 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. In honor of National Safety Month, here are the top three tips you need to make your health and safety training more impactful.
1. Make It Relevant.
All training should be relevant to the role of the learners, but safety training especially needs to speak to them. 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.
Learners like to be engaged, and interactivity is the way to engage them. With personalized e-learning, for example, your learners are 25 percent to 60 percent more likely to retain the information presented. In a classroom or in an e-learning course, you can include interactions that require the learners to consider a situation and use their knowledge to select the best outcome. Whether they’re simple (e.g., questions, click-to-reveal activities) or sophisticated (e.g., simulations, branching scenarios and interactive video), interactions can make even the most “vanilla” training content come to life.
3. Make It Short.
Learners are more likely retain your engaging content when it is presented in easily digestible bites. According to research, bite-sized e-learning makes the transfer of knowledge 17 percent more efficient. When delivering a classroom presentation, keep it lively by including an activity for every 30 minutes of instruction or so. Develop e-learning in lessons that deliver immediate content in 30 seconds or more contextual knowledge in 15- to 30-minute modules.
When you are tasked with a new health and safety training request, keep those three tips in mind. With a little effort, you can “bring sexy back” to your health and safety training.