Are your safety meetings engaging, educational, and productive? Or are they a painful experience for your non-CDL drivers?
It’s hard to run an engaging safety meeting. You have information that your drivers absolutely need. That information might not always be so fun to discuss. As a result, your drivers might tune-out and barely retain anything.
Safety meetings don’t need to be boring. In fact, if they’re fun, you and your drivers will actually get more out of them. So, let’s cover the benefits of hosting engaging safety meetings and some easy strategies on how to do so.
We learn more when we are engaged.
Think of your favorite teachers from when you were in school. The best ones you had were probably dedicated, excited, and eager to teach you. You probably learned the most from them too.
The same is true with your non-CDL drivers during safety meetings. If they are engaged with the subject, they’ll come away with a better understanding.
That’s why we say there should be some entertainment in education, or for short, “edutainment.”
When you achieve “edutainment” in your safety meetings, you will:
Of course, you might be thinking that’s easier said than done. We’ll show you some easy things you can do to make your training sessions more engaging, more effective, and more fun for everyone involved.
Adults only want to learn something if they know why it will benefit them. That’s why you should start every training session by explaining the WIIFM - or, “What’s in it for me?”
If you’re teaching a lesson on following distance, don’t just start lecturing on how to maintain a safe following distance. You need to start with why your drivers should maintain a safe following distance.
Explain from the get-go that maintaining a safe following distance will:
This may not seem like a very “fun” idea, but it’s certain to get your drivers more involved and engaged with the learning process. Safety meetings will go from something they have to suffer through to something they look forward to because they know it will benefit them.
Just like adults need to know why they should learn something, they also need to be engaged with the learning process.
No one wants to watch you lecture for 20 minutes straight. They don’t want to watch a 30 minute YouTube video either.
People want you to be engaged. That’s why you need to ask questions. Ask your drivers:
Once you ask questions, you need to make sure you get a response. If no one is volunteering, call on people. Get people involved in the meeting and they will be more engaged and learn more.
A great safety meeting involves more than discussions. You need activities and exercises to keep the meeting fun and engaging.
Activities/exercises are something that involve a physical component. It requires your drivers to say or do something at a specific time or in a specific way. Here’s an example we use during our LLLC Workshops:
During the workshop, we make sure everyone has LLLC memorized - Look Ahead, Look Around, Leave Room, and Communicate. So, the presenter will walk around the room and point at someone. The first person pointed to has to quickly say “Look Ahead.” The second person has to quickly say “Look Around.” So on and so forth. The presenter will end up going so fast it’s hard for people to keep up.
It’s an easy and effective way to break the ice at the beginning of the workshop and get everyone involved.
Feel free to steal that exercise for your safety meeting. Alternatively, you could do a rapid-fire question and answer segment about your topic. Anything to get the group involved, talking, and having fun.
Nearly every person loves competition. Competitions get people excited and eager to do well. It’s also an easy way to get people involved in the learning process.
Incorporate a competition at the end of your training session such as a group Jeopardy game or a similar contest/quiz game.
The competitions don’t even need prizes. People will just play for bragging rights, and they’ll look forward to the competition at the next safety meeting.
Your drivers don’t want to watch a cheesy YouTube video. They want to watch something high-quality. With professionally-made safety videos, you can guarantee your audience will tune-in.
There’s something in for you, too. Not only does it make your training better, but it saves you time. You won’t have to worry about making training content because it’s provided for you.
Professionally-made safety videos are:
You can swap-out the homebrewed PowerPoint and grainy YouTube videos for something much higher quality.
Those are five easy and sure-fire ways to make your safety meetings fun and engaging. However, they only work so well on their own. You should incorporate all five of them for the best results.
Some of them take very little of your time. Others, like investing in professional training, take almost no time at all. The pay-off for better training and safety results will more than make-up for the time and money investment you make in improving your safety meetings.
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