The way technology has progressed over the past 10 years is incredible. Even for someone in the millennial generation, it’s almost outrageous how different things like phones are now than they were ten years ago. The pace has started to pick up in the workplace, too. Most things are centralized through the internet and a lot of equipment is becoming touch-screen. Safety training is starting to become tech driven, also. There are new ways to create and deliver information on safety to your employees.
Being from the millennial generation gives an employee the upper hand, but let’s face it: not all of your employees are millennials, or close to it. People are starting to retire later, in fact the amount of workers still in the workforce after age 65 rose to 19% in 2017 (source). There is still a large part of the workforce that are not familiar with the newest technology. It is important to keep this in mind when choosing how to introduce new safety technology in the workplace, among other considerations.
Here are 5 tips on implementing new safety technology in the workplace.
1. Consider Your Employees
Who will be using this technology the most? When creating training in a new platform consider what the attitudes and concerns of the workers who will be depending on the training the most. Do they have hesitations towards new tech? Will they be proficient in its use?
You may need to show your employees the benefits of the new technology, as well. They may not like the new technology, but you need to show them how it will benefit them and their coworkers in the long run. Remind them that safety training benefits everyone, especially them. No one wants to be injured, injure others, or worse; that is lost time and income for them. Some injuries can impact them for the rest of their lives. Their success is the most important thing to consider. Success in their training makes them less of a liability to themselves and others.
2. Make Training Engaging And Fun
This new safety technology might be something your employees use daily, weekly, or monthly, depending on your company’s needs. Try different ways to make the training fun and memorable. One way of doing this is creating games or activities that are relevant to the technology but will keep them engaged in the training process.
Here are 3 ideas you can use:
Role playing different training problems that may come up
Pair employees so that their proficiency levels are different to allow them to help each other
Safety training Wheel of Fortune; choose important safety words or phrases they need to remember
3. Avoid the Urge to Rush
Implementing a new safety training technology may be a priority for your company right now, but rushing it will not do anyone a favor. Patience is best when it comes to safety, and depending on the attitudes and expectations of your employees, it may require a lot of patience. Set a realistic timeline for training and make sure to give room for any unexpected issues that may come up.
It is important to do a small test with someone in the office when starting with a new tool. By doing a test you can see the entire expected workflow and outcome. This will help you field any questions your employees might have. From here you will want to plan a form of communication to give your employees a great introduction to the tool. This is a good spot to explain the benefits of the tool like we talked about above. Really sell the tool so your employees will love it just as much as you do.
Usability, accessibility; these are all things that can be considered “flexibility”. Is the technology adaptable to all of your employees? Are there any obstacles for your employees while using the technology? These obstacles can be physical, like vision problems, or due to your employees attitudes towards the new technology. Consider these issues before training begins to be sure the topics are covered or any issues are addressed.
These flexibility problems should be addressed in the timeline. Don’t rush through your training without addressing all the flexibility problems.
5. Provide Continued Support
When you first introduce the new safety technology, you will probably ask “Does anyone have any questions or concerns?,” well you at least should be asking. But what you are probably used to getting is responses like, “No” or none at all. But of, course, everyone has questions inevitably. Make sure to be supportive of peoples continued needs when it comes to using the new safety technology. Their success at work depends on their safety, and their safety is dependent of the training your workers receive.
Try a variety of feedback surveys or questions. You can even do a simple survey question after every training that is required and ask your employees if they like, loved, or hated the survey. Then you know how to follow up with each of your employees depending on how the responded.
Of course, these are just some of the tips you can use in implementing a new safety technology in the workplace. Just remember the most important part is employee success. If they successfully adapt to the new tech, they will be successful in keeping a safety mindset and will be safer at work. Safety is always the main goal!
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