At Skils’kin we prioritize our education and safety programs to create opportunities for all employees to feel comfortable, confident, and safe in their work environments. Every year Skils’kin departments are responsible for organizing and guiding monthly safety trainings that are relevant to the department activity. Ordinarily, these trainings are led by an instructor with a PowerPoint and a written test to prove competency. While these training sessions are effective and allow us to track and update our employees training it is not always the best learning environment for all of our employees. As Skils’kin considers all of the different departmental functions we ask our project managers to take ownership of their training schedule to make sure it is relevant training and teachable. Amanda Main is the Assistant Custodial Manager at the Fairchild Air Force Base who recently took her team through Ergonomics training.
In an effort to engage her team as deeply as possible Amanda Main decided to experiment with the implementation of her training. After taking in feedback from previous training sessions Amanda knew team members didn’t feel engaged through just listening, so she gave them the opportunity to do. Amanda created a role-playing situation for the training to take place in. The simulation gave participants the chance to learn by doing. Printed photos and labels transformed the training area into a van and a bathroom. Amanda asked the participants to go about tasks they would perform in their daily jobs, but the remaining team members were an audience that would “stop” the role-playing when they saw a violation of the ergonomics training. This experience engaged the whole group, allowing everyone to see and understand the training in a real-life situation. Through the excitement of the new training style, a high number of employees actively participated in the training and even went as far as to integrate more training outside of ergonomics during the simulation. From personal protective equipment to driving safety the simulated experience had the team engaged and everyone was having fun participating.
Innovation is a value at Skils’kin and applying new methods of learning allows us to accommodate everyone’s best learning style. Creating live-action situations to show competency and create engagement is a simple change that impacted our employees. We always encourage our managers to feel empowered and take ownership of what they think will make their department more effective. Through Amanda Main’s innovation, the distribution of this new training technique is underway. Employees and managers will now have more options with training to customize and teach topics in whatever method works best.