We hear the constant declaration that common sense is required in health and safety but based on current accident statistics, it simply demonstrates that it doesn’t exist. If common sense were a reality, then there would be no need for orientations or training, people would somehow magically know what to do. The evidence shows that even after extensive inductions, orientations, and training, people still don’t know what to do.
This is why it’s important to manage your training and not just provide training randomly.
Safety training is an important and necessary requirement for equipping people with the necessary knowledge, skill, and abilities required to assist the company in achieving their primary goals of reducing the risk of occupational injury and illness. Training is completed as a method of achieving compliance, and assist in supporting the employers due to diligence efforts. But in many cases, training is poor.
The impact of poor training:
Poor training happens all the time and it has a direct effect on employee performance and safety. But what are the true impacts?
A happy employee means a smooth running business. If your employees haven’t been properly trained, then they could eventually feel unsatisfied at work, feeling the stress from their job, and not performing as well. If there isn’t a strong encouragement of communication, this could also lead the employee to remain quiet about their dissatisfaction, and could potentially lead to someone leaving the company, making you revisit the hiring process all over again, or continuously performing substandard work.
When an employee is poorly trained, this can affect the entire business. Especially when it’s a small to medium-sized business. Everyone contributes to the success of a business and the weakest link can drag down sales and daily routines, which can, unfortunately, be attributed to poor training.
We are all busy, especially when trying to run a business. Time is very important and having to reschedule hours worth of training for an employee who wasn’t trained correctly in the first place can be a huge waste of time for everyone. Rescheduling means working with the employee’s schedule, your own schedule, and making sure they can complete the entire training requirements within a deadline while trying to fill in their current role.
Just as important as time, money can factor in when employees are paid for their time during training. If they aren’t trained properly, that means spending that extra money in order to make sure they have all of the right training and can confidently do their job.
Improve Your Training:
To avoid these pitfalls, a solid design strategy can help with improving your training. A good solid course design strategy will identify the desired results, exactly what the learner should know and be able to do once the training is completed. Part of a good design strategy will identify evaluation criteria, the criteria required for the successful completion of the course.
Begin with the end in Mind
Dr. Stephen Covey wrote a book entitled The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Habit number 2, begin with the end in mind is based on imagination–the ability to envision in your mind what you cannot at present see with your eyes. It is based on the principle that all things are created twice. There is a mental (first) creation, and a physical (second) creation. Training is no different. We need to think about desired results, what learners should be able to know, understand and do, by the end of the training. This is the blueprint to ensure we have the correct content that will render our desired training results.
Know your audience
Part of the training strategy involves identifying the different types of learners you may have in order to meet the different learning styles. There is a difference between training Generation “X” (1965-1980) and “Generation “Y” (1981-2000). Gen X generally like to see relevancy in the training. Gen Y individuals generally like to see how group work and structure can be incorporated into the training.
When we look at the adult learner and the learning style, the auditory learner likes lectures and needs an opportunity to discuss content. The visual learner likes to see the instructor demonstrate concepts, see visual aids, graphics and the use of whiteboards or flip charts. The tactile or kinesthetic learner likes the hands-on approach whenever possible and enjoys the opportunity to role-play or act out the situation.
The point here is that training and applying the best strategy takes analysis, thought, and time to get the best results. With a little bit more focus and effort your training results can improve.
Written by Jeff Thorne | Manager of Training and Consulting
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