Lytx Director of Risk and Compliance Management Gary Johnson laid the foundation for his longtime career in safety on the family farm. Today, Johnson has more than 30 years of professional safety expertise to his name, having logged experience at top-notch companies such as Ryder and FedEx.
Through it all, he has seen what makes for a great training program—and what doesn’t. While types of training programs abound, according to Johnson, the most successful have one thing in common. They fully engage employees. Here’s how to involve your employees most fully in your training program to set them up for long-term success.
Focus on opportunities instead of on consequences. “A lot of times with training programs, even onboarding training, managers will stand up and tell you 22 different ways that you’ll get fired,” Johnson said. “It’s not a productive approach, and I see it at so many companies. They’re focusing on consequences instead of opportunities. If you focus instead on reward, you’ll get a better response.”
Take your training out of the office and into the vehicle. When training drivers and other employees, Johnson recommends taking an interactive, supportive approach and augmenting your training program with real-life, hands-on experiences. “Work with your drivers in the field and put them in the vehicle with the event recorder,” Johnson said. “That will help them get comfortable with the event recorder more quickly. When you put anybody in a real-life situation, it enhances the training experience and retention is so much better.”
Rely on visuals, an essential part of any quality training program. “The adult mind responds well to visuals, especially video,” Johnson said. “Video shows us the truth of a situation, and it helps us learn. We as adults take our learning to places where we can visualize ourselves in the situation. Without an interactive approach like that, you’re going to struggle with your training.”
Give your employees the opportunity to grow from the training. “A well-organized, detailed training process with clear objectives is going to be successful,” Johnson said. “That’s because employees know what they’re trying to achieve and employers are giving them the opportunity to learn from the experience. A training program that is informative, efficient, and positions your employees for long-term success will do the same for your business.”