Sometimes we safety people get stuck in our silo mentality. I’ve always been an advocate of integrating safety into as many existing business systems as possible. Make safety as seamless as possible, and ensure that it is seen as a part of everyone’s job. In the same vein, I want to encourage safety professionals to streamline themselves with the greater professional community. I’ll specifically talk about the training arena – think of yourself as a professional trainer, teacher, instructor, or facilitator. Look for resources outside of your typical safety sources.
In preparation for a conference presentation on using gamification and instructional design techniques to level up your safety training, I delved back into the world of e-learning. The industry is HUGE and safety professionals can learn a lot from crossing over into this emerging approach. Most safety training is still delivered in-person, which is great! However, safety professionals can take lessons from the e-learning industry and apply them to the classroom and have some great results.
Level Up Your Existing Tools
1. Avoid “death by PowerPoint” and make your slides more engaging. Use your slides as prompts for in-class activities, drills, and stories.
2. Revive your old Safety Jeopardy or Safety Millionaire games (we all have those, right??).
3. Give hard hat stickers new meanings, use them as badges of achievement a la Foursquare. Maybe someone can become the Mayor of the Training Room for X amount of training hours or above and beyond participation.
4. Broadcast safety training hours completed (or yet to be done) in the usual communication pathways: company newsletter, email, paycheck stuffer, bulletin board. This can foster competition, an excellent element of gamification.
5. Actually DO the fire drill, confined space rescue drill, earthquake drill, etc. Get people moving, they retain what they’ve learned better that way!
6. Revisit your training agendas – do you have stated learning objectives? Start there. The first step in adult learning is telling them what they’re going to learn. Use action words.
7. Develop learning ACTIVITIES based on the learning objectives you developed in step 6. Do this instead of developing PowerPoint slides…
8. Build a learning lab at your office or jobsite. Use those samples the vendors send you. Use dilapidated safety equipment as a learning tool! This is a great way to recycle your tools and equipment, let them live on in a learning lab for years of student knowledge.
9. Incorporate your existing incentive program as a way to encourage retention of new skills and concepts. Give out on the spot awards for personnel who are able to demonstrate they learned something in class!