How Online Safety Orientations Can Benefit You
Switching to online safety orientations lowers costs and improves retention.
If your company is used to in-person safety orientations, making the jump to online training can seem daunting. While classroom sessions can be effective, online training offers a variety of benefits for employers and employees alike.
Let’s take a look at how using online safety orientations can save your business time and money, while also improving training standards and employee engagement.
Saving Time and Resources
All things considered, classroom safety orientation programs are costly. They can be difficult to schedule and take employees and management away from their daily tasks. Fewer employees doing their jobs means slower production, which costs your company money.
Effective orientations should benefit your company, not hurt its bottom line. That’s where the online model comes in. It provides key members of the leadership team better value for their time. Instead of repeating the same information over and over in classroom sessions, management can welcome each new employee and then allow the online platform to take over the bulk of the training.
It also allows employees and contractors to complete the orientation before they even step foot on the worksite. Once they arrive, they’ll be all set to dive into their work and do it safely (learn about The Case for Prequalifying Contractors and Suppliers).
Because they are streamlined and standardized, online safety orientations offer a consistency that you simply cannot match with in-person sessions. By moving your training online, you can ensure that every employee receives the same information delivered in the same way. That way, you can rest assured that nothing was missed and that there were no ineffective training sessions because the instructor was "off their game."
Online training empowers employees to choose the best time and place for their learning. Using this type of platform for an orientation eliminates the inconveniences normally associated with training sessions. Scheduling conflicts, different learning paces and styles, and absent employees are practically a non-issue with online training.
Online training also makes it easy to revisit the material at any time for a quick refresher. This helps ensure that employees have a thorough understanding of safe work procedures before getting started.
Employee Engagement and Learning Retention
We’ve all had to sit through long PowerPoint presentations at one time or another. They can be difficult to get through. But the problem isn't just that they tend to be boring; the problem is that it's quite difficult to remember and retain the content being presented. Unless we put new knowledge to use, we forget most of it within a day, so it's important to do everything we can to improve retention.
Most online courses are structured in such a way that the content is broken down into bite-size pieces with quizzes and interactive activities after each one. The Journal of Applied Psychology notes that learning this way makes the transfer of learning 17 percent more efficient, while other studies have found that it increases engagement by up to 50 percent. This method is called "microlearning," and it has been shown to be particularly effective in preventing routine task injuries.
When the topic is safety processes, there’s no room for error. Strong engagement is necessary to ensure employees really understand and retain the material.
Tracking and Reporting
From sign-in sheets to completion certificates, tracking orientation training sessions can be a huge hassle. With online platforms, on the other hand, employers can track the status of the training, making it simple to find out who has completed the modules and which stage each employee is at.
Online orientation platforms can also generate reports that can help you identify trends and determine where more training may be needed.
Making the Switch: Where Do You Start?
Not all online safety training is made equal, and you want to choose the product that best fits your business and employees. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
Conduct an Assessment
Do you need different safety orientations for different business units? Will contractors go through the same orientation as full-time employees? You need to determine what your business needs are before you can find a program that meets them.
Review Your Training Content
Is it comprehensive? Could it use an update? Maybe you need something more employee-friendly to boost engagement and comprehension? Knowing what you want to include (and omit) from the training will make selecting the appropriate online orientation program much easier.
You want to make the orientation process as painless as possible. What better way than asking current employees for their feedback? Find out what they liked and disliked about their training, and try to find an online platform that addresses their concerns.
Technology has come a long way and continues to evolve. While there’s a time and a place for face-to-face sessions, moving your safety orientations online is a great choice for anyone looking to lower costs while improving employee retention and engagement.
Written by Pete Wiggins | Principal