Time for Training

04 May Time for Training

Managers ask, “What if I invest the time and money in employee training, and then they leave the company?” John Maxwell, author of over twenty books on management and leadership, responds, “What if you don’t train them, and they stay?”

When you make the time to deliver relevant training, safety training for example, the message is sent that safety is important. If you’re taking time to focus on a specific procedure or a new piece of equipment, employees appreciate the help. The key is to avoid a data dump, the kind of meeting where the presenter unloads a pile of information, and it’s a one-way delivery.

I consulted a speech coach before an important keynote presentation that I was delivering to a large group of HR and Safety professionals, because I was concerned that I might not be ready. He pointed out that I was trying to be perfect, and then asked, “When you are in the audience listening to a speaker, what do you want to get out of it?”

My answer was, “I don’t want to be bored.” His response, “Ok. Don’t be boring.”

You don’t have to be perfect, but don’t be boring. Make safety training relevant by getting employees involved. Make it a two-way exchange. Use props. I once attended a safety training session where the presenter split the room into groups and had each group create a short safety skit using a roll of toilet paper. We were all amazed at the creativity of the group, and the room was filled with laughter as the skits were performed.

Make your own safety video. Draw your own safety posters. Use photos of your employees and managers. Have employees stand up and speak in front of the group, even if it’s just for a moment. Do a mock game show. Tell true stories. We remember stories when they use concrete details and appeal to our senses and emotions.

If safety is important in your business, let employees know it by demonstrating your commitment to preventing injuries by getting them involved in safety training.


Scott Mastley, SPHR, MBA, is the Vice President of Human Resources for Resource Alliance. Scott is a consultant, not an attorney, so he shares his opinions, not legal advice, about increasing performance and limiting liability.