Training Workers Who Can’t Stand Training (Video)

Training Workers Who Can’t Stand Training (Video)

Recording of the May 28th Webinar

For those that missed the Training Workers Who Can’t Stand Training webinar event, we recorded the full version for you and uploaded it to a video sharing website called Vimeo so you can view at a time convenient to you.

About the Webinar

TalentClick’s workplace training expert Natalie Souresrafi has seen it all, from workers sleeping behind their sunglasses, to a group of miners who have made trainers leave in tears (on more than one occasion).

Join Natalie as she outlines her experiences training resistant workers and how she won them over with her charm and TalentClick’s training solutions!



To download a copy of this video, please go to Vimeo and click Download


Training Workers Who Can’t Stand Training

Hi everyone,

Welcome and thank you all for attending the Training workers who can’t stand training Webinar.

We’ll be holding a live Q&A session at the end of the presentation. You can submit questions in the Q&A pod which is open now and will remain so throughout the webinar.

A recorded version on the webinar will be available and will be emailed to you shortly after the session

A Little About Me

I’ll start off by introducing myself –

I’m Natalie, and I am a training and assessment specialist at TalentClick. My background is in occupational psychology, human resources and training and development and I have worked with a number of industrial and safety sensitive industries to design and deliver custom safety training programs.

I work for an organization called TalentClick.

At TalentClick we specialize and workstyle and behavioral assessments for industrial and safety sensitive industries, so we work with a lot of construction, oil and gas, manufacturing, mining, forestry and transportation companies.

Our aim is to help organizations lower their incident and injury rates and we are proud to say that we have been able to do that – we have helped a number of the organizations we work with, reduce their incident and injury rates by at least 20% and in some cases, even as high as 60%.


So let’s talk a little about what our objective are for today and what we are going to cover:

We’re going to start off by talking about what it is that we do at TalentClick to help organizations lower their incident rates,

I am going to talk about a recent training assignment that I went on where I was working with a number of Australian Miners and my experiences working with them on the front-line.

Then I’m going to get into talking about workers and why they generally are not the biggest fans of traditional safety training programs and what I’ve done in my experience to engage them, get their voluntary participation, and leave them with some key take-aways that they’ve been able to apply while at work and even when they’re off the job.

What We Do

One thing we know is that at least 90% incidents are caused by human factor and the other10% is divided amongst causes like lack of proper training and procedures and equipment failure.
So that human factor element is huge and that’s the bit we focus on most.

We focus on providing workers with tools to help them understand their safety risks and strengths so that they modify their behaviors on an ongoing basis so that theyre making safer decisions when they’re in the workplace.

The way we do this is we get employees to complete an online behavioral assessment which only takes about 15 minutes to complete and it really gets workers thinking about how their natural tendencies and knee-jerk reactions can make them either more likely or less likely to be involved in a safety incident. This awareness alone is the first step to learning how to make safer decisions on the job.

And of course there’s the coaching bit which comes into play as well. We provide leaders with tips, tools, and resources on how they can tailor their leadership style to be an effective leader when it comes to managing different types of employees.

Because the ultimate goal is to prevent incidents before they can even happen.

Our Values

We help workers become more self-aware. We help them understand their personalities, how they’re hard wired, and how this determines some the decisions they make, and some of the risks they take. A lot of the times, when workers are involved in frequent and repeated incidents, it’s not because they’re trying to be rebels or rule breakers – often theyre not aware of why they’re doing what they’re doing and that’s where we help – he help highlight the “why” and through this awareness workers learn to make, making safer decisions, a habit.

Deep in the Outback

So last month I was sent deep into the Australian outback to the mining town of Cobar. As you can imagine, this place was remote. It was about a 3 hour drive from any larger town, and Cobar only has a population of 3,817.

I’m sure you’ve heard about the crazy dangerous wildlife the outback had, and I was told to keep my eyes out for tarantulas, scorpions, and poisonous snakes. When I went for morning runs I had to keep my eyes down in front of me to make sure I didn’t stumble across any of these critters.

It was a really cool place to visit. It’s an old mining town that’s been around since 1870, which means that most of the current population were born into a mining family and became miners as adults.

Seeing as this is a mining town deep in the Australian out the people I met were really tough and gruff, but still super nice.
As you could imagine, there wasn’t a whole lot to do in that town. The town had this “10 before 10” rule for all miners who work there, meaning that they could have 10 beers before 10pm and still be good for work the next day since generally shifts started at 10am.

Life in the Mines

You have to give credit to a lot of these minor though, being a minor is not a simple job. Life in the mines is completely different than anything I’ve ever experienced before. It’s cramped, hot, loud.

And these guys are down there 12 hours a day, with a work rotation of a full 7 days in a row. After 7 days, they get 5 days off.

As I mentioned, these are tough and gruff people, so the mines have a strong “Harden up, buttercup” culture. Reporting safety concerns or even doing something as routine as wearing PPE can be seen as softening up to these guys.

This “Harden up” culture can be traced due to the fact that a lot of these guys are what we refer to as “Rule Resistant”. These rule resistant people often push back on workplace guidelines, may be resistant to feedback and just like doing things their way without regard for how they should be doing things.

Types of Incidents

This is a sign that greets you as you approach the mine site.

Injuries was a major issue at this particular mine and it had a lot to do with reasons like people resisting to wear the proper PPE when performing tasks. As you can see, the primary incidents this site was experiencing was eye injuries and this was because a lot of workers were failing to acknowledge the importance of wearing their protective eye glasses.

Another thing was these workers were constantly exposing themselves to unnecessary risks by taking shortcuts, violating procedures, rushing to get tasks done quickly instead of safely.

What are some training challenges

We’ve heard from a lot of workers that they are finding the traditional safety training programs are rather stale and is the same old training that they’ve been delivering for years and that it’s not actually changing behavior. A lot of these guys think about safety training and this it’s time to get ready for nap-time, or to tune out.

Generally the traditional safety programs tend to be a one-size fits all, catch-all solution, and they don’t take into account the unique learning styles and personalities that each participant has.

And of course if a participant has a boring, unengaging learning experience, they have a low chance of retaining any of the information and won’t really experience any improvement in their safety related behaviors.

Why they dislike training

They aren’t the biggest fans of training…

First thing is – unfortunately because of the nature of the shift work involved in mine work, a lot of these guys are coming off a 12 hour shift when they are asked to do – so that’s not exactly the deal learning environment or situation of them – they’re tired, cranky and just want to get home after a long day of work.

Another reason is – a lot of safety training is focused around blaming workers, looking at past incidents in the organization, and naturally this makes workers a little defensive and little resistant to the information that they will be receiving. I mean a lot of these sessions started off with safety managers saying things like: “quit messing around, come on guys, you know better, why are you getting involved in these types of incidents?” now imagine a few of those statements with a few curses and profanities in there and you’ve got a more accurate depiction of what some of these workers were experiencing.

How We Do Things Differently

One thing we like to do in our safety training programs is…

We emphasize that this isn’t like any of the traditional safety training programs they may be used to.

We open the sessions by reassuring them that this is a safe space – the session isn’t about blaming workers, punishing or reprimanding.

We make the sessions about them and with having their own personalized reports, the setting provides for just that. Through the reports they gain self-awareness and understand a little more about how , for instance , impulsive they are in their decision making, how distractible they are when performing tasks, how strongly do they perceive risks in unfamiliar situation.
We then get them to think about how these areas affect their jobs and roles and particularly get them thinking about commitments they can make for being safer going forward with this newly gained self-awareness.

The sessions have a lot of open discussions, we encourage workers to open up, talk about their experiences, share their stories and we do this by holding individual and group exercises and role playing.

The goal in having these activities is to shed light on the fact that we are all different and understanding that is important so that we can work more effectively together.

Training Activities

Here’s an example of an activity that we would do to get some discussion going – We ask the participant to provide an a example of incidents in their workplace caused by human factors and just what those human factors are.

Making them aware of the root cause of these scenarios so that they can be prevented.

Some exercises to spark discussion included:

  • What are your safety strengths? How do you use that on the job?
  • What are your safety risks and what types of situations trigger them?

One of the final exercises is having the groups work together to establish commitments for themselves and their co-workers for improving their safety related behaviors
This allows for a group understanding that everyone on the front-line is responsible for one-another’s well-being and when everyone works together to a common safety goal, everyone will get home safe to their family.

Safety Self-Awareness

Gaining Safety Self- Awareness involves first learning more about ourselves and others,
Then understanding how we can improve our areas for development so that we can improve safety related behaviors and habits and ultimately achieve a better safety record.

Icebreaker Exercise

Once we established the concept of safety self-awareness, we get them thinking with what we call the Icebreaker Perception Survey.

They are asked 20 or so questions about how they view, their co-workers, their supervisors and organization as a whole – we do this to get them thinking critically about all levels of the organization. We ask them to Rank 1 to 7 or Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree on questions such as “I learn a lot from people who see things differently than me” or “My Co-Workers behave as though safety is equally as important as getting the job done”

This is help us highlight gaps in training and areas where training efforts should further be focused.

Investment in Safety

The consensus from this session and other sessions we’ve done is that merely having these sessions held shows workers in an indirect way that the company is going above and beyond safety standards and regulations to look out for their safety. These sessions make workers feel as though their employer is concerned and invested in their safety and well-being.


So these are just some quotes from the tough guys who don’t like safety training that we were working with – it seems we’ve managed to get through to some of them with the feedback and comments we’ve received from course evaluations.

Key Takeaways

First, We all have different personalities, different safety risks areas so let’s be aware of our own and our team’s blind spots, so that we can manage them.
Second, playing the blame game, gets you no where, it only puts up barriers and closes off communication.

Third, getting workers involved and engaged when it comes to safety training is the only way to get things to stick.

And last, go above what traditional safety training provides if you want a work force that’s really committed to safety and a safer work culture.

Thank you for your time, and for attending the session, and now I would like to open the session off to our question and answer component of the webinar.