Ongoing training is a key part of any robust workplace safety program. Training is about more than optimizing productivity and minimizing downtime. It not only ensures employees are informed about recent standards, guidelines and procedures, but it also provides an opportunity to ask questions and engage with safety leadership. And training can give you an opportunity to revisit common safety shortfalls and offer refresher courses on important safety precautions. But with many events and meetings moving online to reduce the spread of COVID-19, it may be time for you to consider how to conduct safety training in a safe, socially distant environment. Here are some tips to consider before, during and after your virtual safety training.
Before Your Event
Outline your goals.
It’s important to know how to measure success for your event. For safety training, this may mean quizzing the participants to test their knowledge. Once you know how you define success, you can brainstorm ways to measure that metric.
Identify existing materials.
You don’t have to start from scratch — chances are you already have content that you can repurpose for a virtual training session. Audit existing materials to see what might also work in a virtual format.
Define the experience.
Set the length of the event and how many people will present and/or attend.
Get the word out.
If it’s required training, you may want to offer several sessions and time options. If it’s a general training event, try sending out emails, posting on your company’s intranet or hanging signs around the building with a reminder to sign up.
During Your Event
You’ve done the work upfront; the attendees are signing on and your presenter is ready to start — it’s go-time. Keep these two items in mind as you host your virtual safety training.
Use your event platform to the fullest.
Video conferencing tools offer helpful features like chat tools, polls and screen sharing that can help you reinforce the content you’re presenting to the audience, especially in training events catered to an audience of specialists. Of course, if your training event is geared toward a larger, broader audience, you might consider using tools like Facebook Live or YouTube Live to livestream your event.
Promote audience engagement.
To capture and keep audience attention, it’s important to facilitate moments in which attendees can shift from passive content consumers to active participants. As your event kicks off, consider virtual icebreakers to help attendees get to know each other. Offer Q&A sessions for hosts, presenters or special guests answer audience questions live.
After Your Event
Just because your event is over doesn’t mean your connection with attendees should end — especially for employees who will take their new knowledge back to work at your organization.
Follow up with attendees.
There are several ways to follow up after your training session. Send an email to thank them for attending and provide a link to where they can download references from the session. You may even want to follow up with a survey to gauge how helpful your training session was.
Share contact information.
When hosting participants from outside your organization or from branches you don’t work with every day, make sure you share your contact information so they can follow up with you if needed. Your training session may also be an opportunity to add people to your email list or encourage them to follow you on social media where they’ll find more helpful safety information.
Safety at every construction company begins with proper training. By hosting a successful virtual training event for your employees and partners, you will help ensure your teams can reach peak performance without sacrificing safety — even during a global pandemic.