A boring driver meeting or orientation class is frustrating for both the trainer and the trainees. In truth, most mind-numbing classes are the trainer’s fault, often due in large part to the trainer’s lack of preparation or lack of interest, leading to audience disengagement.
Making safety training memorable is important for two reasons: retention and morale. Motor carriers conduct safety training first and foremost because they care about their employees and want them to be safe. Crashes and injuries also jeopardize the company’s financial stability by creating costly business interruptions. In either case, it is important that the safety training be presented in a way that employees retain the information long after the class is over, and, more importantly, apply it to their jobs.
Training classes that do not engage the audience also negatively impact employee morale. There’s nothing worse than attending training, especially on your day off or right after a long day, and the trainer is ill-prepared, unenthused, and delivers a one-way monologue with the expectation of changing employee behavior. People see right through this, which not only results in a failed training event but also can create animosity toward the trainer and the company. So, how can you avoid these pitfalls and make your next instructor-led safety training event more memorable? Here are some tips to help make employee training fun, engaging, and a successful learning experience.
Marketing Your Event
Build excitement for the upcoming training by finding creative ways to market the event, such as pre-meeting brain teasers, contests, etc. Have fun with it, so the audience goes into the meeting wanting to be there.
Get Off on the Right Foot
First impressions are critical, so start your training with something interesting and interactive to captivate your audience right out of the gate. Use icebreakers, such as a game, to get the participants engaged and increase their attention span. Try to avoid early morning meetings when the audience could be sleep deprived, and, if providing food, avoid energy-zapping foods like donuts and pastries with high amounts of carbohydrates.
Make It Relatable
Use stories that the audience can relate to in order to reinforce the topic. This technique is great for soliciting audience participation. Sharing stories can trigger emotions and mental connections that enhance retention of the material in each participant’s long-term memory. If that occurs, there’s a better chance the person can recall the information later and apply it.
Incorporate Multiple Teaching Techniques
Plugging in a video and expecting the audience to learn—let alone stay awake—is a recipe for failure. Everyone learns in different ways, so vary your presentation with a mixture of techniques. Remember this format: tell, show, and do. Tell the participants what they are there to learn. Next, show or demonstrate it to them, then have them do it themselves. For instance, after watching a video like Value-Driven® Life, go outside with some hands-on activities around the truck to reinforce the topic.
Call to Action
- Create a safety training calendar for the year and post it in common areas around the terminal.
- For each training event, design a marketing piece (i.e. email, flyer, etc.) to promote the event.
- Develop an icebreaker for your next training event, one that focuses on audience engagement.
- Develop clear learning objectives for each topic, and incorporate stories and varying teaching methods to reinforce the material.
The information in this article is provided as a courtesy of Great West Casualty Company and is part of the Value-Driven® Company program. Value-Driven Company was created to help educate and inform insureds so they can make better decisions, build a culture that values safety, and manage risk more effectively. To see what additional resources Great West Casualty Company can provide for its insureds, please contact your safety representative, or click below to find an agent.
© Great West Casualty Company 2018. The material in this publication is the property of Great West Casualty Company unless otherwise noted and may not be reproduced without its written consent by any person other than a current insured of Great West Casualty Company for business purposes. Insured should attribute use as follows: “© Great West Casualty Company 2018. Used with permission by Great West Casualty Company.”
This material is intended to be a broad overview of the subject matter and is provided for informational purposes only. Great West Casualty Company does not provide legal advice to its insureds, nor does it advise insureds on employment-related issues. Therefore, the subject matter is not intended to serve as legal or employment advice for any issue(s) that may arise in the operations of its insureds. Legal advice should always be sought from the insured’s legal counsel. Great West Casualty Company shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss, action, or inaction alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the information contained herein.