The Future of Safety
Online safety training offers many advantages for organizations. Employees can choose their schedule, and there is no need to find an hour that works for everyone. With online learning, companies can avoid work interruptions, since there is no need to gather many employees at once. While the COVID-19 pandemic lasts, e-learning can help protect workers by reducing unnecessary interactions.
Canada has mandatory safety training requirements for companies, which vary by province or territory. However, online learning is now accepted in most jurisdictions as a way to meet these requirements. There are exceptions for some jobs, such as when equipment operators must receive practical training. However, e-learning is now accepted as a replacement for mandatory classroom training in most cases.
Online safety training would not have been possible before broadband Internet and video conferencing software. However, companies can now use e-learning to meet regulations and improve workplace safety, regardless of their number of employees.
Here are five great advanages of transitioning from in-person to online training.
1) Give Employees Control Over Their Learning
With traditional classroom training, companies must find a suitable schedule for all employees who must take the course. As the size of an organization increases, this becomes more difficult:
- Finding an hour that works for everyone is less likely, and repeating the course for several groups may be necessary.
- Classroom training is also impractical for organizations that operate across many cities or countries since the course must be repeated for each location.
On the other hand, online learning lets each employee choose when to complete a course, without following a schedule. The learning experience can be easily customized with an online classroom by allowing employees to focus on the most relevant knowledge for their job.
2) Employees Can Work Around Their Schedule
A company can find a schedule where all employees who must take a course are available; however, this does not mean the hour will be optimal for everyone. An employee who is having a busy day may be thinking about pending tasks, or a truck driver who is returning from a long trip may be too tired to concentrate.
Online safety training gives employees the freedom to pick their schedule. This way, they can choose an hour when they can focus on the course. Knowledge retention is especially important for workplace safety topics, since the concepts covered in training can help prevent accidents.
3) Employees Are More Engaged
Online learning has many features that improve engagement. For example, a training program can be gamified with levels, achievements, and scores. This is a fun way to give feedback to employees while challenging them to learn as much as possible. Employees can monitor their own performance in an online classroom, and they can repeat a section if they missed important facts. In-person learning does not have this flexibility, since repeating a section means the entire group must wait longer.
4) Caters to Learning Styles of Each Employee
Employees have different learning styles, and traditional courses may provide content in a way that doesn’t work for everyone. For example, one instructor may focus on explaining concepts verbally, while another may prefer practical learning or case studies. Focusing on a specific learning style is beneficial for those who have it, but it limits the learning experience for the rest.
Online courses can provide their content in multiple formats, adapting to different learning styles:
- Visual learners understand new information better when presented as images, diagrams, maps, or other visual media.
- Auditory learners respond better to spoken words, and they may prefer media like audiobooks and podcasts. When taking an online course, they will tend to focus on the narrator’s voice.
- Verbal learners prefer to read textual information, writing down important concepts or summarizing the content.
5) Improves Employee Learning Retention
Online training is efficient as it focuses on the knowledge and skills that are important for each employee. This makes courses more interesting since the learner can see how the content is related to daily work experiences. Combined with the fact that employees choose their schedule, online courses with relevant knowledge can improve retention.
Classroom courses are less effective when companies require training for a specific trade or job position. For example, when a company provides training for an entire department at once, the information may not have the same relevance for everyone. This will likely have a negative effect on the learning experience.
Online learning is a practical and cost-effective solution for companies, thanks to the technology now available. Many jurisdictions now approve online safety training in their occupational health and safety regulations making it a great choice for employee training.
E-learning is also a more efficient way to acquire knowledge since the course content can be customized for each trade or job position. Employees also have the option of choosing the schedule that works best for them, and courses can adapt to their preferred learning style.