Super Safety Meeting Secrets, Part 2: Training Technique

To liven up that safety meeting, remember this refrain: Personalize, relate, repeat, rephrase, and for goodness sakes, be enthusiastic!

“How do I make my safety training meetings more effective and memorable?”

That’s the question our training experts get repeatedly. Yesterday, we began to answer it, using guidance provided in the BLR program, Safety Meeting Repros, and other sources. The first part of the answer dealt with meeting preparation. Now let’s get to the meeting itself.

“Think of the training session as an important meal,” say the Safety Meetings Repros authors. “Like a memorable meal, its presentation must be as appealing as its taste. A successful session will have both ‘sizzle and steak’—style and content—with lots of participation, give-and-take questions, examples, opinions, and enthusiasm from both the trainer and trainees.”

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To reach that goal:

  • Personalize the meeting. Few things are as powerful in gaining trainee attention than hearing names they know, and especially their own. “If Sam here locked and tagged out the compressor and Gina took off the tag …” will get a lot more attention and engagement than “Be sure to lock and tag out.”

  • Relate new information or skills to the trainees’ own jobs. Here’s where that walk-through of the trainees’ work area mentioned yesterday pays off. You won’t be talking about some abstract machine or procedure when you describe how to operate more safely. You’ll be talking about “When you load the XYZ-300 lathe” or “ABC350 paper shredder.”

  • “Sandy, come on down!” Why do magicians always call on someone from the audience to help with their tricks? Because the audience then transfers their emotional involvement into that person, who now becomes a surrogate, acting in their place. Use this tactic by having trainees demonstrate or role-play situations you discuss.

  • Rephrase and summarize. All trainees are individuals in how they learn. Some catch on quickly, others take longer. Some get it by hearing about it, others need to see visuals. The attention of some will be caught by humor, others by realistic scenarios. The key to successful training is to constantly repeat the key information at intervals as you move through the session, but to repackage it as you do. It also helps to lay out a map for learning. As the old adage goes, “First, tell them what you’re going to tell them; then tell them; then tell them what you told them.” To which we would add, “ask them to tell you back what you said.”

  • Be enthusiastic! Don’t be shy about using your personality in projecting your message, with eye contact, gestures, and voice modulation. “Everyone learns better,” say the Safety Meeting Repros authors, “from someone who seems to care.”

  • Bring a guest. An occasional guest speaker adds spice to the sizzle and the steak. Trade associations, equipment suppliers, and safety groups often offer speakers. But vet your expert’s credentials before handing over the laser pointer, as your organization may be held liable for any incident generated by misinformation.

  • Turn the Key with Turnkey Materials

    Finally, have all your ducks in line when it comes to carefully constructed, concise, and yet powerful meeting materials. To this end, we’d like to recommend Safety Meeting Repros, the program much of this info comes from.

    Examine Safety Meeting Repros completely at our expense. Send no money. Take no risk. Click for more info.

    It’s 50 completely turnkey safety meeting modules, each responsive to a key OSHA regulation, with trainee materials in reproducible form. Just click the outline items off as you proceed through the meeting and you won’t miss a single point of importance. Then follow-up with the fully prepared quiz (with instantly available answers) and illustrated handouts that also come with each lesson. You’ve completed a full training cycle, with little more work than running a copier, at a cost equivalent of under $6 a session.

    Pardon our enthusiasm in saying that there’s no way to appreciate how much this program can ease your training task without looking it over. You can do so at no cost (we even pay any return shipping) and no risk. Just click here and we’ll be happy to arrange a trial run, at our expense.