Do you trust your new-hires to get behind the wheel? Do you trust them to avoid risk and prevent accidents on the job site? Or, are you holding your breath all day waiting for something to go wrong? If you incorporate safety training into your new hire orientation, you can rest assured that newbies and veterans alike will keep themselves and others safe.
Why Should You Train For Safety From Day 1?
When you properly align your new hires on your safety practices and goals, you set yourself up for success in two major ways: reduced accidents and improved retention rates.
1. Reduced Accidents
New hire orientation is the best time to set expectations and align your employees with your organization’s practices and goals. When your new employees come in for their first day, they’re looking for cues on how to act, what to care about, and what to do. Incorporating safety training as part of new hire orientation shows them that you care about safety. In turn, they will care more about safety. They will take safety seriously, they won’t cut corners, and they will be less likely to take unnecessary risks.
2. Improve retention and attract high-quality employees
The best employees want to work for an organization that cares about them and their safety. This is true over multiple industries. For example, in the trucking world, we’ve found that the highest-quality drivers will only work for a company that invests in their safety.
If you want to compete for high-quality candidates and keep them with you, you need to invest in their safety. Show them from day one that working for you means working for an organization that cares about its employees. They won’t want to go anywhere else because they know they can’t get it better.
Tips For Effective New Hire Safety Training
The benefits of new hire safety training are clear: less accidents, better recruiting, and better retention. But how do you implement it effectively? Afterall, if your safety training isn’t high-quality or doesn’t teach the right stuff, you won’t see the results you’re looking for.
Here are some tips on how to incorporate safety training into your new hire orientation. Many of our clients implement these and see great results.
Assign Self-Directed Training Immediately After Hiring Someone
You want to begin training your employees on defensive driving and safety skills as soon as possible after hiring them. However, it can be time consuming, costly, and difficult to get everyone together for traditional safety training. The easiest and most effective way to get your employees the safety training they need is to utilize online self-directed training.
A safety training program such as The Fleet Safety Course teaches your employees essential defensive driving and on-the-job safety information. Professional, off-the-shelf safety training is cost-effective, easy to implement, and often appreciated by your employees. Plus, a program like The Fleet Safety Course comes with access to a learning management system. This makes it easy for you to organize your training materials and for your employees to access it.
Pro-trip - it’s important to pay your employees for their time spent taking this safety training. This shows them how valuable it is and they’re more likely to take it seriously. Plus, you will set a precedent for how well you treat your employees.
Follow-up on Safety Training In-Person or on a Conference Call
Once you’ve set the groundwork for your safety training with an off-the-shelf program, you need to follow-up on it. Schedule an in-person meeting or video conference call with your new hires to go over safety training in more depth.
In this meeting, you should:
- Explain why safety is so important
- Demonstrate that you care deeply about their safety and the safety of others
- Remind them that, when they’re behind the wheel, lives are in their hands
- Discuss the materials from the self-directed program in greater detail
- Educate them on safety topics that are extremely specific to your organization
When you bring everyone together in this manner, you allow for a deeper understanding of the topics covered in the self-directed training. You also show them once again that safety is an extremely important part of their job.
Preach The Relevance Along The Way
In every step of your new-hire safety training, you need to explain why they should care. And we don’t mean tell them they should care because it’s a job requirement. Adults are only going to learn something if they see a clear reason to do so.
Before introducing any step of your training process, you need to explain what your employees stand to gain. Remind them that their jobs will be easier, they will be safer, and they will be at less risk of injury because of the training.
Along that line of thinking, be transparent and extremely clear throughout your training process. Never leave your employees in the dark as to what expected of them and what’s coming next. When in doubt, over-explain. You’ll save them (and yourself) lots of confusion and headaches.
A Worthwhile Investment
No doubt, new hire safety training takes some time, money, and resources. That’s only a small part of the picture, though.
We’ve heard some potential clients ask us this simple question: “What if I train them and they leave?” We answer that with another question: “What if you don’t train them and they stay?”
There is too much at risk to skip on safety training. Not only that, but you stand to gain so much. The best off-the-shelf programs will pay for themselves twice-over in accident reduction, lower insurance premiums, and time saved on creating safety training materials.
Save yourself some many, and most importantly, save your people from accidents. Train your new hires on safety and defensive driving.