When you incorporate modern methods in to your safety program like the use of apps or games, your program earns credibility with your multi-generational workforce. Most millennials are on board with the use of technology at work because they use it in the personal life. Don’t discount your baby boomers as being un-techy: many are just as proficient as a Gen-X’er or Millennial. And on the flip side, don’t assume all millennials are techy! Some are preferring a low-tech approach, in addition to their throwback beards and methods of brewing coffee.
But I digress.
Here are 5 easy ideas you can implement right away to help your safety program connect with your audience:
- Audit your existing training programs to ensure they have clearly stated Learning Objectives. A good learning objective uses action words to let the learner know what they will be learning in your class, or even in a short session like a tailgate meeting. For example, a learning objective in my Gamification presentation is: Identify 3 gamification techniques you can use to improve your company’s safety training.
- Develop Learning Activities to achieve the Learning Objectives you developed in Step 1. Your goal is memorable training and skill transfer to the workplace. What better way than hands-on Learning Activities to cement training knowledge? You don’t have to get fancy, things like rescue drills, donning specialized PPE, and conducting a safety inspection can get you a lot of mileage for skills retention.
- Revisit the classic safety games like Safety Jeopardy and Safety Millionaire. Most of us are 1 to 3 degrees of separation from someone that has one or both of those PowerPoints! Dust them off and update the content for use in your next classroom-based safety training. Don’t forget treats like candy, pens, stickers, and t-shirts to incentivize winners.
- Develop a Learning Lab. The learning lab can be as easy as a table that is stocked with PPE the worker will wear on the jobsite. During a training session, they are able to try on and try out the PPE. A learning lab can be a mock-up of an expected workplace scenario as in the case of confined space entry or erecting scaffolding. Look at your training center, warehouse, or yard – are there corners or spaces that could be used for hands-on learning? Take them over!
- Gamify Goals. If you read my posts regularly, you know that I am a big fan of safety integrating into all parts of the company. When there are corporate goals set, align your safety department goals with them! Identify the overall goal for the year and break it down into incremental goals that can be measured on a weekly, monthly, or quarterly basis. Assign “levels” for the workers to “unlock” as they achieve the incremental goals. Broadcast the results in company communication that is already established like newsletters, emails, and message boards.