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Risk Management

Effective Safety Training Strategies in a Remote Work Environment

Reports indicate that 7 million people in the U.S. worked remotely before COVID-19 and, post-pandemic, that is predicted to skyrocket to 36 million remote workers by 2025. It appears the remote work trend is here to stay and, in response, safety training must evolve.

April 7, 2023

It is no secret that the percentage of U.S. workers working remotely or in a hybrid setting has skyrocketed over the last few years. Of course, this has led to an array of new challenges for employers, which includes the need to train and develop their employees.  Employers looking to provide professional, technical, or safety training will have a variety of details to think over before implementing a training program for those employees in a remote work environment.

“Technology has offered considerable solutions to training anyone, anywhere,” said Matt Hesemann, Risk Services Content Manager at Safety National. “Learning management systems offer the option to easily organize, manage, and track your team’s training, offering greater flexibility and saving everyone time in the long run.”

Below are few simple considerations when organizing training for your remote workforce:

Ensure Ease of Access

First and foremost, it is of great importance to make sure staff can easily access and complete their safety training. If the employee has had to jump through hoops or waste time just to get to the training, chances are they will end up losing interest in the course or outright give up trying to complete it. The best way to guarantee ease of access is to use an online training platform that provides a simple and intuitive user experience for the learner. Some platforms are better than others, so diligence should be given when selecting systems.

Maintain Timeliness and Relevance

Training that is irrelevant and assigned at an inopportune time can limit the effectiveness of the training. Instead, work to assign training topics that present ideas, skills, and concepts that can be quickly put into practice by employees. An obvious example of untimely training would be assigning a heat stress course in the middle of winter. Similarly, assigning training during a known busy period for your company can limit engagement. Instead, get to know the cadence of your company’s business cycle and plan to assign training at a time when learners can be give training their full attention.

Find the Engagement Factor

The content options available in the online training world have exploded in recent years. Content creators are now competing to develop coursework that is both engaging and informative, leaving a trainer overwhelmed with options. To help trim down options, consider that certain content that seems to be the perfect fit today could be irrelevant tomorrow. Look for content from creators and authors that are committed to keeping their content fresh and up-to-date with the latest information.

Leverage Use of Multiple Formats

The widespread adoption of online learning platforms has introduced employers to a novel, and perhaps more efficient method, of equipping their employees with valuable knowledge and skills to perform essential job functions. Nevertheless, employers should not make the assumption that any and all training must now be managed and delivered through the chosen platform. Trainers can still take advantage of the known effectiveness of blended learning by providing a portion of a training topic in an online format and then gathering learners onsite or in a web meeting to provide more detail.

To conclude, ideas and concepts employers can consider when launching a remote training program extend far beyond the ideas covered here. Additional matters will continue to emerge as training programs and platforms evolve, providing employers more and more options for launching effective online training.