Online training is a great vehicle for developing a variety of skills or informing employees about changes in the workplace. It also provides an opportunity for tenured employees to receive a refresher course on a wide range of topics.
By designing online safety courses that incorporate a variety of visuals, clear and concise language, and self-testing opportunities, people are more likely to remember the information being covered.
Although there are a large number of ways to deliver online safety training, the seven that we feel are the most effective are:
Creating spaces for self-directed training
Making a classroom style space
Have people do the training off-site
Do it during your company’s safety meeting
Use a mobile safety app
Before we talk about different ways to do modern safety training, we will briefly touch on four benefits of using online training over in-office training.
Benefits of Online Safety Training
Getting trained regularly is good because it allows businesses and organizations to develop their team members, and team best practices, in a formal or non-formal environment. Some of the benefits of online safety training include
1. Time Efficient
Online training is great because you don’t have to waste time and resources printing out materials, finding instructors, and figuring out where to do the training. By being online, it decreases the amount of time it takes people to do things.
2. Increased Flexibility
By doing the training online, you give your employees a greater degree of flexibility when it comes to getting trained. They’ll be able to do the training in smaller chunks of time, at home, or their favorite coffee shop, rather than be stuck at the office.
3. Maximizing Productivity
By taking advantage of online training, you aren’t pulling people away from their tasks for that day. This allows people to schedule their training around their work schedule, and on days where they have a lighter workload, their workday can be supplemented by an online course or two.
4 Easier to Administer and Manage
By being online, you will be able to track each employees’ progress and check to see who has completed the training. This can be used to give people who haven’t started the training a friendly reminder to complete the course.
Different Ways To Deliver An Online Safety Training
When it comes to doing online training, each person doesn’t have to do it alone. You could use staff meeting, or create temporary classroom settings in meeting rooms, to do online training as a group activity.
However, depending on your company, this may not be feasible, especially if you employ a mix of in-office and out of office workers. When someone completes a training depending on if it was in a group setting or at home, you should ask them to email you the completion certificate or have them log into the training to prove they are complete.
If the training was done in the office, what you can do is print out a blank certificate and write their name on it. If it’s a bland but important topic, what you can do is bring some food to the office, if you’re in an office environment.
It doesn’t have to be something big like a catered meal. A couple of boxes of donuts, fresh fruit, juice, and coffee will go a long way.
Do It During a Staff Meeting
Rather than allocate additional time for everyone to do a training, if you have a week, where the workload is relatively light, do it that week. You can briefly go over a topic during the meeting to help fill the time.
Like this, you don’t need to reschedule anything, contact additional professionals, or make sure people do the training on their own.
Create a Space for Self-Directed Learning
For most online training, your team will need a computer, tablet, or phone and an internet connection. By scheduling some time for people to do training during the workday, they’ll be able to do it. This is also a good way for people to take a break from a project and shift their attention to training.
Training is important to the overall development of your team, and it’s a less stressful time part of the day for them. Also, by being done individually, they can work at their own pace, and you don’t need to be there as they complete the training.
Creating a Classroom Environment
Depending on how your workplace is set up, it may be possible to convert a couple of spaces into makeshift classrooms for when you do a course with a group of people. Even though it’s online training, by adding a group dynamic, people will be more engaged with the content. Participants will be asking questions that others may also have, but are too shy to ask.
When creating this group space, be sure to have a projector, speakers, and a blank surface to project the image on.
Bringing in a Trainer
An additional benefit of a classroom environment is that you can bring in instructors to help teach the material if it’s information about a field you aren’t an expert in. One example could be requiring each employee to do an online CPR course.
You can also say that you communicated with a certified expert in that field, in this case, a CPR Training Instructor, and there will be an optional classroom session for people who are hands-on learners. This way, the trainer helps supplement the online course, and you’re keeping in mind how people learn so that they retain the information.
Having Them do It from Home
If your office pays people salary, or your business is more tech-oriented, why not have people watch the presentation from home. For hourly workers, you can use a portal like Hubstaff that will track how long people were working on the task, and you can count that towards their paycheck.
Doing a course from home will allow them to be more comfortable, and they can go to work the next day with any questions. Additionally, when the course is completed, you can have them screenshot the completion certificate and email it to you.
Doing it from home is also good if you employ the services of remote workers and freelancers. This is because rather than having to coordinate things like travel reimbursements and the cost of lodging and food, they can do it from wherever they work from.
Do it During a Safety Meeting
If you work for a company that has regular meetings about safety, such as trades or working in a lab, you could use one of the safety meetings to do the training. A good example of this was that on June 1st, 2015 Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) were replaced with Safety Data Sheets (SDSs)
Employers then explained that SDS contained all the same information as an MSDS, such as the composition of the substance, safe handling instructions, and how to dispose of the substance. However, the way an SDS is written, it matches the format of the UN Globally Harmonized System.
Use an Online App
With most of your employees having a smartphone or tablet with them, consider using an online application like Ving. It allows you to access training on whatever device they have that is connected to the internet without having to download any extra apps to their phones or tablets.
You can use prebuilt training or custom training content that can contain any file, video, audio, question set, and more.
Online apps are also great because you’ll be able to monitor everyone’s progress through the company’s account. You can even send reminders to people who haven’t started or completed a course.
If someone learned something 5 years ago, for example, chances are they may have forgotten something. That’s perfectly alright, we all forget things, but that’s why rather than doing a long module, you could create a shorter online refresher course.
This will reinforce points associated with best practices, and safe ones at that, and instead of making it a long course, opt for a couple of 10-15-minute modules. This way, people don’t feel “trapped” by having to do the module, and since it’s a refresher course, they’ll have a large amount of background information on the topic.
When it comes to online training, think about the people doing them. Create the courses in a way to where the content is clear and concise. This will save them time, and depending on if they work in or out of office, saving time can lead to saving money.
Before it goes live, you should think about using someone from TopWritersReview or freelancing sites like Upwork or Flexjobs or Ving, to look over your module, check for any grammatical mistakes, and give their feedback on the course your developed.
This will allow you to have an unbiased opinion on the module, and you can fine-tune aspects like the level of self-testing, color schemes, and materials before emailing everyone about this new training that they need to do.
Author’s bio. Daniela McVicker is a career coach and psychologist. She’s also a business communication coach, helping future job applicants to write business emails to help them achieve success on their career paths.