“And the Answer Is …” How to Make Your Compliance Training More Memorable

“And the Answer Is …” || How to Make Your Plant-Wide Compliance Training StickIn our last issue we exposed the ineffectiveness (can we say uselessness?) in the way we normally deliver our required compliance training. Whether that entails reading reams of PowerPoint slides to an audience (in say a plant-wide meeting), or letting them read those same reams of slides on their own (via online training), there is nothing about those methods that accomplishes the goal of developing their safety acumen.

One method I’ve seen used by many organizations is to include compliance training as part of its monthly plant-wide (or facility-wide) meetings. Usually conducted by a safety specialist or manager (or trainer), this method is often delivered in a lecture-style format with little or no opportunity for audience engagement. Since it’s usually just one agenda item among many to be covered during the meeting, there’s not much time for anything except reading a slide presentation to ensure you’ve hit all the required compliance-related points. Another New e-Book by safetyBUILT-IN!

As I’ve already noted, while this method might satisfy the legal requirements for compliance training (you’ve technically provided the information), it does little to accomplish the goal of developing safety awareness in your employees. If this is your current delivery method, then do yourself (and your employees!) a huge favor by trying the following suggestion.

Games People Play

Many years ago the celebrated Learning and Development Guru, Robert Pike, said “learning is directly proportional to the amount of fun you are having while learning.” The more fun you make the learning experience for your employees, the more they will remember.

One of the best ways to maximize the concept of “fun” in training is to introduce a game or a contest (or some combination of the two) that focuses on the learning points you want them to take away from that meeting. Using a game format that is well known is ideal since you don’t have to spend a lot of time explaining the rules. One such game format is Jeopardy!

And the Answer Is …

There are literally dozens of free Jeopardy-game templates that you can download, modify and use for this purpose, the majority of which are macro-driven Excel spreadsheets or PowerPoint presentations—in some cases a combination of the two.

FCTC OnlineThe one I have recommended in the past falls under the “combination” category and can be downloaded at this link. It uses an Excel spreadsheet to populate the categories, answers and questions, and a linked PowerPoint presentation to play the game.

Regardless of which one you use, it’s simply a matter of creating Jeopardy categories, and then creating questions and answers for each category — oh, and be sure to maintain a separate file for each compliance topic you’ll be training them on!

Be creative with the category names. For instance, one of your required compliance topics might be “Hazard Communication.” The sub-topics for this might include titles like:

  • “Hazardous chemical overview”
  • “How chemicals are labeled”
  • “Safe use of chemicals”
  • “Understanding (Material) Safety Data Sheets”
  • “Procedures for spills”

These become your Jeopardy category names, but you’ll need to rename them in creative ways that sound more like a Jeopardy game. For instance:

  • “Hazardous chemical overview” becomes “Haz Chem Anything”
  • “How chemicals are labeled” becomes “What’s in a Name?”
  • “Safe use of chemicals” becomes “Getting it Right”
  • “Understanding Safety Data Sheets” becomes “Gimme the 411!”
  • “Procedures for spills” becomes “Clean up in Aisle 5!”

Be sure to use the same creativity to come up with “Jeopardy style” question and answers under each category (you’ll need several Q&As for each). I’ll provide a sample of this in the next article. I’ll also provide some tips for actual game play, and more ways to make the game experience exciting and engaging for your employees. But that’s it for this edition of Recordable INSIGHTS. Until next time!

~ES

Eric Svendsen

Eric Svendsen, Ph.D., is Principal and lead change agent for safetyBUILT-IN, a safety-leadership learning and development organization. He has over 20 years experience in creating and executing outcomes-based leadership development and culture change initiatives aligned to organizational goals, and he personally led the safety-culture initiatives of a number of client organizations that resulted in “best ever safety performance” years for those companies.

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