As a manager you probably are well aware of the moans and groans that come with telling your employees they need to take a CPR and first aid training class. They don’t want to give up a work day (or worse, their free time,) to take a boring, hours-long class. But the good news is that a CPR and first aid training class doesn’t have to be a bore. In fact, a good training class is not only informative, but also entertaining and enjoyable. So how do you set up a training class that your employees will appreciate?
Have the Right Space
No one likes to come to a training session and realize they are going to be crammed in like sardines for the duration of the training. It is best if you can provide everyone with their own seat and table space, so that they can sit comfortably and make notes during the training. You will also need to provide room to spread out during the hands-on portion of the training, so be sure to have plenty of free floor space for your employees to practice the skills they will be learning. Make sure the temperature of the room is comfortable and that there is ample access to restrooms.
Hire a Good Instructor
Of course, all instructors will promote themselves as good instructors, but there are many different kinds of teachers out there as well as many different kinds of students. Think of your employees. What kind of instructor would they like? Do they want someone who is strictly informational, imparting only the necessary information or would they prefer someone who tells anecdotes and uses humor as teaching tools? Do you want someone who uses a lot of video with minimal hands-on practice or would you prefer someone who gets your employees up and moving, using role-playing as a method of teaching? Will one instructor do for the amount of people you have? Figure out what you are looking for and then have a list of questions when you call potential instructors.
- Do you stick primarily to the videos and informational materials or do you use real-life stories and anecdotes to enhance the information?
- Do you feel that your classes should be both informative and enjoyable?
- How do you hold people’s attention for the duration of the training? What is the best way to re-engage them if they become restless?
- What is your training philosophy?
- What is your instructor to student ratio?
- Do you provide proof of certification?
If possible, ask if you can audit a small portion of a class they may be teaching elsewhere so you can get a sense of their style and if it will work for your employees. And of course, if you have had a successful enjoyable training in the past, hire that trainer again!
First aid and CPR training is often an all day event. It eases the sting of having to give up a day of work productivity if there are some rewards or incentives for being there. Consider:
- Allowing casual dress for the course. It’s easier to do the hands-on training in clothing that moves easily and it’s more comfortable throughout the day.
- Serving pizza or sandwiches for lunch and perhaps offering snacks and drinks during class breaks.
- providing monetary compensation for any free time they are giving up to attend training.
- Distributing keychain “safety packs” with gloves and other safety equipment for them to carry as a “thank you” for attending.
- Passing out certificates of completion and/or appreciation.
Proper first aid and CPR training can save a life, but that doesn’t mean that your employees will be happy about having to attend a training class. These guidelines and ideas should help to make their experience a positive and educational one. To learn more, visit Southwest Florida Safety Council Inc.