Recently we were asked the question: How do you get your senior leaders (general manager, plant manager, etc.) to invest in online safety compliance training? After all, a number of execs will say stick with the “old school” classroom lecture and video. What are dos and don’ts when selling senior leaders on technologically advanced safety equipment and systems? Keeping in mind leaders might not think technological innovations have come to safety products and learning systems. Or they will want to know the ROI.
I can’t tell you how many poorly delivered safety training sessions I have had the displeasure of attending. It used to be the same old acetates, then the same old videos, then the same old Power Points. Nowadays it is cheaper and faster to do online training that includes diagnostic responses and tracks participation. However, the end result still seems to be boring, repetitive, mindless time spent putting a check in the box of government required training which does nothing discernible to improve the safety culture or the downstream safety metrics. If I were trying to sell upper management on safety training I’d like there to be an ROI, and the above type of training delivers negative numbers here.
Rather, Caterpillar’s approach would be to determine:
· The Purpose of the training: Keep our people up to speed with basic safety requirements while engaging them in the process of delivering the training so that we all can live a better safety culture of correct.
· The Outcomes of the training:
o Course content analyzed to fit the needs/realities of the various departments and levels of the organization
o Course delivery method appropriate to fit the needs/realities of the various departments and levels of the organization
o A diagnostic that indicates comprehension of the important concepts
o A tracking mechanism that satisfies the entity requiring the training
o Appropriate hourly and salaried leadership participation and accountabilities from across the organization which reinforce the importance and reasons for this training
· The Process to achieve this training: We will bring together a Rapid Improvement Workshop to analyze, focus and execute the best kinds of safety training which deliver competence and eliminate the mind numbing boredom that is so common to safety training. We will estimate the cost and sell the solutions to upper management who are tasked with ensuring we are not only in compliance, but also delivering value for the funds invested in this training. There will be mixed mode training which will include a spectrum of appropriate approaches for the various levels and needs of our organization. This spectrum will encompass work cell hands-on training to automated online computer techniques.
It is not a matter of online computer training; it is a matter of delivering value added results for the monies invested. This includes eliminating the many downsides of what currently is in use and not working well at all. Let us not just automate boredom.