Changing Safety Training with a Changing Work Place

Safety training; what thoughts immediately come to mind? Most people start thinking, “how long will this take?”, “what do I need to learn in order to pass the test?”, “how am I going to fit this into my day?” We live in a society where we can get information by the touch of a button, our attention is short and we want to keep moving, our time is valuable and we don’t want to waste any of it!  How can job safety training keep up with the changing work place?

According to an article on, 31% of today’s workers lack formal safety training.  Furthermore, out of those that do receive formal safety training 43% say that it’s ineffective. This is scary! Without proper training, employees are more likely to not be engaged while working and more prone to making safety mistakes.  The article talks about how with the changing technology in the workplace, training methods should also be evolving.  Today’s workers prefer numerous shorter training sessions as opposed to long sessions that are done infrequently.  “On demand training” is a newer style of teaching important information in smaller sessions that are more engaging and “fun.”  The article states that, “People want training anytime, anywhere; they want it to be short; and they want to be rewarded for doing it.”

Another article on effective training methods suggests these three things in order to have successful training sessions.

  • Create Connections: Make the training personalized for the group of employees present.  Do not just use a blanket approach, tweak the examples to fit the specific job requirements of the audience.
  • Make it Active: Use a hands on approach to training as much as you can. Quiz the learners throughout the session instead of just at the end.  Keep them thinking through the whole experience.
  • Keep it Brief: Try to keep the courses to an hour maximum.  Shorter sessions will hold the learners attention much more effectively.  With the workplace becoming more mobile, shorter on the go courses will be preferred by today’s workers.

A study showed the differences in training preferences by generation.  As Baby Boomers are moving out to retirement, this information is crucial to the upcoming workforce.  Millennials (75%) and Gen Xers (72%) place a higher importance on anytime/anywhere training than Baby Boomers do (56%).  Millennials (72%) place a higher importance on short sessions than Gen Xers (69%) and Baby Boomers (54%) do.  Finally, Millennials (69%) are far more interested in rewards for training completion than Baby Boomers (46%) with Gen Xers (64%) in the middle. (

Know your audience.  Learn how to best reach them, and place importance on formal workplace training.  The results will be worth it!

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