Are you a manufacturing company? If so, the likelihood that you are using a training platform designed for the average, college-educated office worker is pretty high — almost every employee training program is built using the same techniques, methods, and philosophies of training that were developed for a corporate, sit-down-at-your-desk-and-work-on-your-computer type environment.
But for workers on the production floor, this is not only impractical, but dangerous. Those suit-and-tie DVDs (and even VHS tapes!) don’t resonate with production team members.
Training in Context = Improved Retention
Put simply, manufacturing safety training is infinitely more powerful when the content represents what workers actually see and experience every day: when the scenes are set around the very machinery that employees use daily in high-risk, hazardous environments; when English isn’t the only spoken language, when education levels vary, and when there is limited access to computers.
Presenting a training curriculum that reflects the reality of the manufacturing industry creates an emotional hook—and it’s the emotional connection that moves the learning from short term memory into long-term memory. This is the outcome you want for your company.
What to Consider When Choosing a Training Curriculum
Your employees have a direct impact on safety, quality, and productivity. Are you confident that your programs are built to meet everyone’s needs?
Can you create courses in other languages? Keep in mind employees have native languages other than English. Education levels will vary as well, so remember that you will have to adapt courses. Can your training platform deliver multiple languages in one sitting? Can your course-authoring software translate for you?
Can your safety training run without internet access? Production floors/manufacturing work environments aren’t often suited to a clear WIFI signal or any sort of online access. Using a platform that can deliver, monitor, and track training even when offline can be a game-changer for your training, recordkeeping, and audit-readiness.
Is the content portrayed in familiar settings? The ability to apply new information increases exponentially when it’s presented in familiar settings. Are the machines that your employees use featured? Does the work environment on the screen echo the one they are physically in?
Can you deliver group training and individual training? In manufacturing, every minute counts. Finding time for training is a challenge. Can your platform provide training to 20 employees at one time? How about 50? Or 150? The ability to provide simultaneous group training, and document each attendee’s scores, is a boon for busy manufacturing floors. But it’s great to have flexibility for individual training too. For example, a make-up course for an employee that missed training, or refresher training for one that is struggling.
How Does Your Safety Training Program Stack Up?
If your safety training program doesn’t check off most of the best practice items listed above, it’s time to reevaluate the efficacy of the platform it’s built on and explore new, better options.