Workers' Comp Retro Program


Published on Jul 09, 2019

Effective training

Contact: Retro

Those who administer safety programs for their organization know that one of the most time-consuming duties is ensuring that all required trainings are taking place and that those who need it are in attendance. This is such an effort-intensive duty that often we can be happy if the training happens at all. But this can sometimes leave us in a situation where we have forgotten the most important aspect of training: checking effectiveness.

When establishing a training program around safety issue areas, it is important to decide how the organization will determine if the training was effective, and that it met its intended purpose. Generally speaking the purpose is to ensure those attending understand:

  1. The hazard they face.
  2. Under what circumstances they will be exposed to the hazard.
  3. How the organization is protecting them from said hazard.
  4. The rules and processes the organization expects the employee to follow.

How do we know if any of this has gotten through to our staff, and if they retained it at all at the end of the week, or even that shift? Our training protocols need to be considering how we will monitor effectiveness of training, and how the organization will respond when our monitoring shows that training did not make a lasting impact.

Ways to measure effectiveness

There are many ways in which you can measure effectiveness, and how much they tell you is strongly related to the effort necessary to collect the information. The easiest way to test knowledge retention is a quiz or testat the end of the training session. This can be done on either a group or individual level. Individual tests will obviously give you much better information but take more time to administer and review.

A second way to check retention is to do delayed interviews; this is a process where you select individuals and have a conversation with them at a set interval after the training, such as two weeks or a month following the training. In the interview you ask them questions regarding the safety program section covered, their obligations, and related hazard identification. Open questions are more beneficial here as it requires the employee to do more than stab at a list of possible answers.

A final option is the most time-intensive, but also the best at determining if employees retained knowledge you deem requisite to do their jobs safely: task observation. Job observation can be done either passively where the employee is not aware of the review, or in a more formal setting where the process and purpose is explicitly laid out. The purpose of the observation without notification is to see how employees operate when they think they aren’t being watched. Placing them in a more structured setting can alter how they act but that may not matter if you’re just trying to measure training effectiveness. So, determining what you’re trying to know is important in selecting the process you’ll use.

AWC Retro staff can help

No matter how you measure training effectiveness, you need to be measuring it. If you have questions or need assistance in strengthening this part of your program, Retro is here to help.

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