How do you know if your workplace safety training has hit the mark and your employees have the safety rules at their fingertips? You can know this only if you can credibly measure the effectiveness of your safety training program. Measuring training effectiveness is crucial if your training is online. Since there is no face-to-face interaction, it is important to evaluate results. There are various ways to do this.
Immediately After the Training
One option is to ask feedback from your employees, but the timing is crucial. You have the option to ask for feedback either immediately after the training or a few weeks after the training. You can ask your employees how they felt about the training when their memory is fresh. You can find out if the training was engaging and if the training methods were effective. Find out if the material was relevant to their work and whether they learned applicable skills.
This can best be done through pre- and post-test evaluations – what did they know before the training? What did they learn after the training? A written evaluation can answer these questions.
Another option is to conduct a survey to evaluate the style of presentation, the material provided, and the value derived from the training. This feedback will help improve future training sessions.
At a Later Date
When evaluating the effectiveness a few weeks after the safety training, you will have to find out if your learners are using the training in their work or whether they have forgotten. Assess if your employees are putting that training into practice and if not, the reasons. Is it because the training was not suitable to their job tasks, or were they not given proper tools to implement what they have learned? You can find answers to these questions by asking employees directly through questionnaires or informal discussions.
The type of evaluation method you choose depends on the goal of the workplace safety training; if it is the retention of information, it is better done through quizzes. However if it is a skill or task that is being taught such as the use of a forklift, then a more effective method of evaluation would be to use scenarios, demonstrations, or simulations which will indicate that learning has taken place. Evaluating behavioral changes after training is important and this can be done through direct observation.
Another option is to have a supervisor evaluate the performance of workers against a safety checklist they should follow and list down the issues they see. This will help assess how well the training has transferred to the workplace. Suppose your workers do not remember all the details of the session, you can provide them a brief refresher course with the most important points and reinforce training with periodic reminders.
Get data on key performance indicators (KPIs) before and after the training to compare your data. You can use this comparison to evaluate training effectiveness. This evaluation at a later date is crucial for measuring long-term retention and application of knowledge from online safety training.
For workplace safety training to be truly effective, continual training and evaluation are important. You have to constantly observe your employees and remind them about safe workplace practices. Supervisors and employees need to be given guidelines for reporting and correcting unsafe practices and hazards and for recognizing employees who follow safety practices. Safety drills have to be conducted regularly to make employees aware on how to act in case of an emergency.
It is important to provide additional training whenever there are changes that make the previous training obsolete. This should be done when there is a change in:
- Procedures or methods
- Systems or equipment
- Duties and tasks
Safety training is effective provided it is created in an engaging manner. A focused, concerted effort with careful planning will create an effective training program. Evaluating training effectiveness the right way will help you find out if it has had an impact on making your workplace safer.