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Training is Retraining

We have a philosophy around here: Training is retraining. While many workers are up to date concerning the rules, regulations, and work site requirement changes, managers cannot take the risk of having their employees not up to task on OSHA’s 2019 updates.

While on-the-floor training is necessary and needed, the retraining process is trickier. Once a concept is learned, retraining through a retention-based platform is the best practice to keeping workers happier and healthier.

Here are 5 training and retraining concepts that can help with workers at all stages in your company.


1. Training should be applicable and goal-oriented

When reviewing a concept, make sure that the objectives are clear, with an actual measurable outcome for success. Just reminding workers about a policy or safety rule will become ineffective. Training activities should focus on one objective at a time as well. Too often managers try to cover numerous topics, creating confusion over what new policy should be attached to what daily work activity. By staying focused in the training, workers will stay focused on meeting those objectives.

2. Training should be practical and self-directed

Let’s say there is a safety concern that keeps creating a problem on the floor or in the field. Instead of just talking about the issue, bring workers an opportunity for success by having them demonstrate the task, without micro-managing or step by step walk-throughs. Allowing employees to act out a scenario, they will learn critical thinking and muscle repetition skills. Self-directed learning creates a feeling of ownership for the task, causing more confidence and raising morale.

3. Training should encourage collaboration, sharing wisdom and life experiences

Employees flourish in collaborative relationships with instructors. When workers see colleagues and peers at the forefront, they will naturally be more productive. When planning a quick training session, allow workers to add to the solutions that inspire a safer workplace. By talking over them, instead of to them and with them, morale is lowered, and employees tend to feel undervalued. By asking for personal experiences, employees feel valued.

4. Training should be consistent and in short bursts

As we start off the new year, there are numerous safety goals we set out for our employees, but training cannot stop after the concepts are shown once. Training is retraining. By reviewing concepts in short bursts every few weeks, workers will feel refreshed and reminded of what works and what is safe. Creating a small infographic and posting it in the break room can be a way to remind workers about proper work techniques and policies.

Using a microlearning video segment has been proven more effective than long 30-minute to an hour video. Just watching one five-minute video segment on trips and falls or lock-out/tag-out a day can save money and more importantly – lives!

5. Training should be provided in a trust-based system of feedback

Once you’ve created a more streamlined approach to safety training, by keeping it goal-orientated, practical, collaborative, and short, you’ll want to get feedback. Ask workers through a survey what they find most helpful, least helpful, and allow them to suggest topics and methodologies. By giving them a say and a voice in the training provided, they will enjoy seeing their ideas being utilized and will be more active in making sure those points are being followed by fellow co-workers.


We know mangers have a hard job overseeing employees, whether in the field or on the floor, but by applying these safety training techniques and systems to your training, you’ll see workers optimizing all their tools and knowledge, creating a more robust and safer workforce.

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