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Quick Tips for Hosting Virtual Safety Training

Tech Tips - Jan 21

Quick Tips for Hosting Virtual Safety Training

JLG Industries, Inc.
World-leading access equipment manufacturer
McConnellsburg, PA

With many events and meetings moving online because of COVID-19, it may be time for you to consider how to conduct safety training in a safe, socially distant environment. Check out these quick tips for before, during and after your virtual safety training.

Ongoing safety training is a key part of any robust workplace safety program. It ensures employees are informed about the most recent standards, guidelines and procedures, and it also gives them an opportunity to ask questions and engage with safety leadership at your facility. However, keeping employees engaged in on-site training can be a challenge, and as training and events move online, overcoming that challenge requires even more thoughtful planning. We’ve put together these quick tips for how to host a successful virtual safety training event.

Before Your Event
Before you notify employees about your virtual training session, there are several steps you can take to set yourself up for success.

1. Outline your goals. First, it’s important to answer the question “How will I know my event was successful?” For safety training, this may mean quizzing the participants to test their knowledge at the end of your session. Or you may want to separate participants into smaller groups and have them complete an activity. Once you know how you define success, you can brainstorm ways to measure that metric.

2. Identify existing materials. Starting from scratch is difficult, but chances are you already have content created that you can repurpose for a virtual training session. Are there PowerPoint decks or videos you can share just as easily virtually as in person? Maybe you have worksheets you typically print that can be provided in a PDF or a Word document for participants to download and use. Audit your existing materials to see what might be a good fit for a virtual format.

3. Define the experience. Once you know what your goals are and what existing materials you have to work with, it’s time to think specifically about the virtual event. Some questions you may want to answer are:

  • How many people will be presenting?
  • How long will your training event last?
  • Will the training sessions be live or prerecorded?
  • Is this a single day of training or is it part of a series?

4. Get the word out. This step will vary based on the type of training you’re offering. If it’s required training, you may want to offer several sessions for people to choose from. If it’s a more general training event, try sending out emails, posting on your company’s intranet or—if employees are still in the building—hanging signs with a reminder to sign up. 

During Your Event
You’ve done the work up front, the attendees are signing on and your presenter is ready to start—it’s go-time. Keep these two items in mind as you host your virtual safety training.

1. Use your event platform to the fullest. Video conferencing tools, like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, offer helpful features like chat tools, polls and screen sharing that can help you bring your content to your audience. Of course, if your training is geared toward a larger, less-specific audience, you could also consider using tools like Facebook Live or YouTube Live to livestream your event. These platforms allow for live commenting and real-time interaction with presenters. 

2. Promote audience engagement. To capture and keep your audience’s attention, it’s important to work in moments where they go from passive content consumers to active participants. As your event kicks off, consider virtual icebreakers   to help attendees get to know each other better. Offer Q&A sessions where your presenter or a special guest answers questions live on camera. You may even want to give out prizes to certain participants throughout the event.

After Your Event
Just because your event is over doesn’t mean your connection with attendees should stop—especially if the attendees are the employees who will take their new knowledge back to work at your organization.

1. Follow up with attendees. There are several ways to follow up after your training session. Send out an email to thank them for attending, and if you offered takeaway tip sheets or used PowerPoint decks to present, provide a link to where they can download them for reference. Provide links to where they can find more information about topics you covered. You may even want to follow up with a survey to gauge how helpful your training session was. 

2. Share contact information. When participants are from outside your organization or from branches you don’t work with every day, make sure you share your contact information so they can follow up with you if needed. Your training session may also be an opportunity to add people to your email list or encourage them to follow you on social media where they’ll find more helpful safety information.

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