March 25 2018
By: Terry L. Mathis
We have told ourselves that the way to eat an elephant is a bite at a time, but we have been trying to eat the "training" elephant in oversized bites. Most safety training is a combination of too much information and/or repeated data workers have been trained on every year their entire career. Much of what we refer to as "training" is simply education; it is information without skill building.
A new approach to this issue is emerging, spurred partly by need and new technology, called microlearning. This is a method of short, focused learning modules of 4 minutes or less, often delivered via smart phone or other mobile device. A series of these modules can replace longer training or reinforce training one idea at a time. With attention spans getting shorter, the possibility to forget information gets more likely. For a new generation of workers raised with mobile devices in hand, microlearning is a potential solution to aligning their safety training with Industry 4.0. Of course, the new technology will necessitate new strategy, leadership, engagement, and culture. Simply handing a worker a gadget will not do the trick alone.
Terry Mathis, Founder and retired CEO of ProAct Safety, has served as a consultant and advisor for top organizations the world over. A respected strategist and thought leader, Terry has authored five books, numerous articles, videos and blogs, and is known for his dynamic and engaging presentations. EHS Today has named him one of the '50 People Who Most Influenced EHS' four consecutive times. Business leaders and safety professionals seek Terry's practical insight and unique ability to introduce new perspectives that lead to real change.