At a recent family get-together, my aunt told me about a “special” outing she took with her staff over the summer. She heads up safety for a large university and wanted to take her staff out for ice cream, but she had an ulterior motive as well. My aunt used the outing as a training opportunity to check her team’s skills. She asked her team to identify all the safety hazards along their walk.
Evaluate Skills In the Real World
I loved the approach! Get people out of a classroom and into the real world. Unfortunately, that’s not always practical. She even described the event to me as a “special” outing. With larger teams or multiple job sites, getting people out into the real world to practice skills and provide real-time coaching for how to identify situations that need attention can be difficult.
The next best thing is video. Record real situations for your teams to watch and identify the situations they are trained on. This should not be a passive playback experience. Challenge your team to identify situations in the video, just as my aunt did on that walk. It’s kind of like making your very own “Where’s Waldo” activity using video. With technology that enables screen-by-screen interactions, your team can use the in-video discussion feature to identify precise moments in the video that they are being challenged to find. Make sure the video is set up so that only you, as the trainer or manager, can see what the rest of the team has identified.
Tools like the Video Training Suite by Viddler make this video training activity easy to set up and administer. This quick, 50 second video shows you just how quickly you can set up discussion that is only visible to managers using the Video Training Suite.
Watch Video: Setting Up VTS To Check Skills
Don’t Reserve Skill Checks For “Special” Outings
Video doesn’t need to be a passive experience where the quality of the production is the only variable for getting your trainee’s attention. Recording video is simple and easy to do from smartphones. This means that you can make engaging experiences to check your team’s skills on a frequent basis without spending a lot. These types of skill checks don’t have to be reserved for “special” outings. (Although, we recommend you keep the special outings too. Ice cream is always good!)