Setting Up A Plan For Employee Training

June 29, 2000
Safety and health manager tells attendees at ASSE conference how to plan an employee training course and make it fun.

Training employees is a must for safety. But how do you train employees and give them the information they need to know while still keeping things interesting and fun?

Barry R. Weissman, CSP, manager of safety and health at EA Engineering, Science and Technology, Iselin, N.J., offered attendees of the American Society of Safety Engineers'' Conference some helpful training tips and techniques.

Weissman first suggested beginning a training class with some type of welcome exercise and ice breaker.

For example, have each participant introduce themselves and say where they are from or pair participants up and ask each to introduce the other to the whole group.

Next, give participants an agenda so they know what topics will be covered an how much time will be spent on each topic.

Weissman said it is important to keep the training session interesting and memorable. People remember up to 50 percent of what they both see and hear after 50 days with one exposure.

"Remember to keep the ''fun'' in fundamentals," said Weissman. "Pictures are a great way to make people remember things."

Most employees attend training courses because they are required to be there. But Weissman said it is also important to ensure that they want to be there. Giving them another reason why they should attend a training session could be helpful in keeping participants'' attention.

"Most of the time what participants learn in a training class to keep them safe on the job can also be used to keep them safe off the job," said Weissman. "Point these things out."

Adults have a short attention span, according to Weissman. He suggested taking short stretch breaks throughout the training class and using the "bells and whistles" on power point presentations where applicable.

As the trainer, always have a lesson plan, said Weissman. "Lesson planning should include the objectives of the training, preparation, knowledge of the subject and sequencing of the learning," noted Weissman.

He cautioned trainers keep in mind how well information is presented. "Don''t use slides on a power point of things people can''t see," said Weissman. "Likewise, avoid using 50 lines of text on an overhead slide."

To conclude a training class, summarize the information given and test the participants on their comprehension. Weissman said this can be done by using small quizzes on each topic or one test on everything.

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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