In our last issue we looked at the value of using games as a better option for doing required compliance training since games take advantage of established principles of adult-learning theory. Remember, the amount of information adults assimilate and retain is in direct proportion to the amount of fun they are having during the learning process.
Although there are any number of game formats you could use for this, we chose Jeopardy because of its simplicity, popularity, and the fact that almost everyone already knows the rules of that game. You could use other games that fall into that category as well (I’ve also successfully used Family Feud in the past); but for purposes of illustration we’ll stick with the Jeopardy format.
To play this game in a plant meeting, simply divide your audience into teams (the game I linked in the previous article allows up to four different teams). If you follow the four-team format, just break the meeting attendees into four sections (e.g., left front, left rear, right front, right rear). If you can configure the chairs in a way that splits those sections into natural quadrants that’s even better. Then just assign each section a team name (Team 1, Team 2, Team 3, Team 4). Or, as the template I linked in the previous article does, assign each section a team color (Green, Red, Blue, Purple).
Explain that once the game begins you will accept the first response you hear—or you can even provide each team with a different noise maker so you can distinguish sounds. Maybe the Green team gets cheap plastic whistles, the Red team gets cheap plastic kazoos, the Blue team gets cheap “blowout” party whistles, and the Purple team gets cheap clackers or maracas. Again, be creative with this.
To give an example of an Answer/Question scenario, we’ll need to reference the categories I used in the previous article (refer there to aid in understanding the following instructions). Say the Blue team picks “Haz Chem Anything” for $100. Simply click that cell on your game board to launch the “answer,” and using your best Alex Trebek voice, say:
“And the answer is … This major type of chemical hazard can have an ‘ill’ affect on you.”
A team buzzes in and says: “What is a Health Hazard.”
If a team answers correctly they are awarded a dollar amount assigned to that category’s sub-topic (the linked game in the previous article does this automatically once you click a team name). If that team gets it wrong, just say “wrong” and wait for the next response from a different team. Alternatively you can have a desk bell on hand that you hit for a correct answer and a buzzer that you sound for a wrong answer.
To really get your compliance points to stick and to give employees a better chance of success with the game, create a single-page “cheat sheet” beforehand that contains the learning point you want them to take away from this meeting, and make sure they have it in their hands about a week before that meeting. Explain to them that the next compliance training will be in the form of a contest, and ask them to review the sheet to prepare for that contest.
The first time you play the game they won’t be as prepared. But after playing it once they will begin to take your “cheat sheet” more seriously — to the point that many will memorize it out of a sheer desire to help their team win the next game!
Also, to get them even more excited about helping their team win, throw in a reward for the winning team for each compliance meeting you hold. The reward doesn’t have to be big or costly. Something as simply as small bags of assorted candy will suffice.
The combination of providing the cheat sheet and the prospect of winning a reward will raise their enthusiasm level and incentive to learn the compliance points on their own throughout the week in anticipation of the official game. Before you know it, you’ll have your employees teaching themselves the same compliance points you have been unsuccessfully trying to shove down their throats for years!
Create a different game file (complete with categories, questions and answers) for each compliance topic they are required to learn. If you have, say, 11 or 12 main topics you need to cover annually, spread these out over the course of the year and cover a single topic each month. That will also mean you’ll have 11 or 12 different Jeopardy game files that you can use year after year for your required compliance training.
In the next issue of Recordable INSIGHTS I’ll suggest some additional ways to supplement and reinforce the knowledge you’ve imparted to them through the game format. But that’s all the time we have for this edition. Until next time!
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