“And the Answer Is …” How to Make Your Plant-Wide Compliance Training Stick

“And the Answer Is …” || How to Make Your Plant-Wide Compliance Training StickLast issue we exposed the utter 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 accomplish the goal of developing their safety acumen. [content_protector password=”ataaht” identifier=”ataaht”]

One venue that I’ve seen used by many organizations is to include compliance training as part of their 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 but reading a slide presentation to ensure you’ve hit all the required compliance-related points.

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 audience! – a huge favor and try 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!

10-things-sl-stylesAnd the Answer Is …

There are literally dozens (if not hundreds) of free Jeopardy-game template 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.

The 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!” fctc-online-banner

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 next time. 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 all the time we have for this edition of Recordable INSIGHTS.  Until next time!

~ES [/content_protector]


About the Author

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.