Educating Employees About OSHA Standards With Interactive Training Techniques
Who says education has to be boring?
Initial training and continuing education are inevitable in any profession. Yet, the same utterances can be heard throughout all training sessions across any career industry. “I HAVE to complete boring training,” or “This course is a waste of my time.” Instead, what if employees said, “Today is going to be interesting! I get to learn about….” It is time we start educating employees about OSHA standards with interactive training techniques.
Ok, so maybe employees don’t get all that excited about learning new things. Some will and some won’t. Regardless, there is no reason why training can’t be made more fun and interesting for participants.
As an employer, or continuing education coordinator, you have the power to set the tone for the environment in your place of work. You can cultivate a learning environment that rivals your competitors and draws quality applicants to your business.
How do I make training fun while Educating Employees About OSHA Standards?
I am so glad you asked! It is really a lot more simple than people realize, though it does take a little extra time and effort. The payoff, however, is well worth the additional time involved in the process.
Most people prefer to learn collaboratively. In a group setting, employees can have discussion about the learning material. Discussion leads to a greater level of comprehension and retention of knowledge. Therefore, not only is coursework more interesting, the learning is actually enhanced. Collaborative group settings can also benefit employees, who may struggle with procrastination. Designating a time and place to complete training collectively, reduces the stress associated with procrastinating individuals that are reluctant to meet deadlines.
Collaboration provides employees with team building opportunities. Through fellowship and team building, the overall atmosphere and moral of your company can be vastly improved. That is, of course, if employees are provided with the proper support.
Incentivize the Learning Process
Research shows that people who are given incentives to perform, are more likely to be motivated. Incentives are effective when they are unique to the interests of the employees. Prior to training and coursework, advertise the incentives involved. Advertising the incentives will help to get employees pumped up about the possibility of attaining the reward. Incentives can be used for attendance, timeliness, participation in discussion, or course completion, etc.
Some Examples of Incentives:
(These ideas are subject to the job requirements and may not be applicable to all fields.)
Coupons: leave work early pass, arrive late pass, free lunch delivery, dress code exceptions
Food: candy, gift cards, catering, non-alcoholic beverages
Gift cards: for work-related supplies or personal interest
Supply items: items that employees want/need for work such as, office supplies, stationery, etc.
Items do not need to be large or expensive. A small token is sufficient to boost the level of energy in the room.
Creative Ways to Present Information
There are a variety of methods for educating employees about OSHA standards using online courses. Online trainings do not always have to be strictly online. Provide employees with a collaborative experience for certain portions of the training. Watch/listen and then break for discussion or vice versa. An instructor can even take the online material and present it in the form of a game to make it more interesting.
Some Fun Games to Try with Coursework:
Jeopardy: organize coursework information in jeopardy format and quiz employees as practice.
Scavenger Hunts: hidden information dispersed throughout training facility. Partners complete a checklist to show completion of all required reading materials.
Guessing games: employees quiz each other in partners or groups with notecards to check for understanding.
These are just a few of the generic kinds of games that are easy to use in trainings, but there are countless other ways to turn course material into hands-on activities.
Much of what people remember stems from visual images. Meaningful illustrations and photographs are essential to the learning process. Have employees create visual representations of their learning by making charts, graphs, drawings, or even comic strips. Visual representations may be digital or tactile, depending on the interests of the group.
How long has it been since you or your coworkers opened up a fresh box of crayons? Remember that smell? Or when was the last time you used scented markers? It may seem like a small thing, but the aroma of fresh art supplies might just spark a sense of creative thinking that is needed.
Depending on the type of training, you may want to supply the tools needed for demonstration. Acting out important aspects of the training will ensure that employees have the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of the concepts taught. Acting also further solidifies the learning content in the brain.
Careful consideration must be given to when and where training takes place. Employees will be more receptive to learning material when they are mentally and physically refreshed. Consequently, the learning environment should be comfortable and free from distractions. Taking frequent breaks and even providing snacks helps to keep employees engaged and avoid burnout.
Time For Reflection and Notetaking
Reflection is a crucial element of the learning process. By creating time for employees to reflect on what they have learned, employees can lock in the necessary knowledge acquired in training. Reflection is also a good time to address any misconceptions or lingering questions about the coursework. Not everyone likes to share aloud. While they should be encouraged to do so, offer alternatives such as note-taking or written reflections.
To celebrate the completion of training, showcase evidence of learning from throughout the process. Post pictures of employees participating in training. Hang posters that contain charts, graphs, or other evidence of learning content. Not only will the visuals serve as a reminder of the learning concepts, but these visuals also promote the idea of the workplace as a learning environment. Educating employees about OSHA standards with interactive training techniques can make a positive impact on the establishment of a healthy and happy learning community.