Safety Training Retention: Why Reinforcement Matters for Driver Training

By Liam Hoch in Fleet Training
BlogMaking Your Driving School ADA-Compliant

You may not want to believe it, but your company safety training probably isn’t as effective as you think. Studies have found that as little as one hour after training, people retain less than half of the information presented. After six days, 75% of that information has been completely forgotten. This lack of knowledge retention is especially worrisome in driver training, where retaining critical safety information can mean the difference between a safe journey and a dangerous one.

If you’re concerned about learning retention in your driver training program, you should be. The good news is that reinforcement can improve overall learning retention and prevent drivers from becoming complacent on the road.

What is Training Reinforcement?

Reinforcement refers to a training practice that involves repeated reminders and applications of recent training. Effective reinforcement goes beyond just sending out reminders of what was covered; it involves putting drivers in situations where they must actively apply their new knowledge. By having drivers apply new skills, they are more likely to retain the information long-term because it becomes a tangible act rather than an abstract idea.

Training reinforcement should begin as soon as your “traditional” training ends. This helps drivers make connections between the concepts they just learned and their everyday activities on the job. Reinforcement techniques should be well thought-out and planned before implementing your formal training.

How Can You Reinforce Driver Training?

Looking for ways to reinforce your driver training program? Here are some simple yet effective reinforcement practices.

Printed Tools and Resources

Providing drivers with tangible resources that reinforce what they just learned boosts retention and offers a convenient reference guide. Consider offering printed materials as well as easy online access to these documents. This way, drivers can access them as needed on smartphones, tablets, and other devices. These printed resources are also ideal for incorporating microlearning modules, which enhance learning retention by up to 20%.

Schedule Frequent Safety Meetings

When safety training is only occasional, drivers may not value and respect safety protocols as much. Scheduling routine safety meetings in addition to initial training sessions reinforces the importance of safety. As drivers see the value of safety reflected in their daily work, they will be more likely to follow protocols and less likely to become complacent. These meetings also address potential safety issues and reinforce key concepts and protocols.

Use Positive Reinforcement to Reward Safe Drivers

Positive reinforcement can be very effective in helping drivers retain what they’ve learned and incentivizing them to apply it. Beyond a simple “pat on the back,” consider setting up a formal rewards system that motivates drivers to be cautious. Tangible rewards for incident-free periods encourage safe behaviors and make drivers more receptive to constructive feedback.

Implement Microlearning Components

Microlearning is an effective means of improving retention of training information. These components consist of shorter, more digestible learning experiences tailored to suit drivers’ unique learning styles. Available at any time through workplace computers and personal devices, microlearning modules are a great reference tool and training material.

Most microlearning modules are three to five minutes long, keeping drivers engaged while delivering impactful information in a memorable way. This reduces the total amount of time drivers need to spend in formal training classes, freeing up training funds without sacrificing quality or retention. Instead of sitting in lengthy seminars, drivers can access short training modules throughout their workdays or outside of work. This flexibility makes training more enjoyable and relatable, boosting engagement and retention.

Microlearning is also cost-effective; once a module is completed, it can be easily updated to reflect changes in safety protocols or regulations. This reduces the time and resources needed to create new traditional training materials.

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