Increase Employee Effectiveness with Soft Skills Training

Soft skills in the workplace bring people together and generate value.

Soft skills in the workplace bring people together and generate value.

Recent years have seen the dawning realization throughout the human resources and management professions that soft skills – employees’ abilities that go beyond the technical knowledge needed to do their jobs – play an important part in setting a workplace up for success. The term “soft skills” encompasses a wide variety of different types of empathy and emotional intelligence. Companies that invest in training specifically aimed at increasing proficiency in these areas may find they have an advantage over competitors who haven’t set the same priorities.

The following are a few valuable soft skills in the workplace. These competencies make a helpful window into the world of soft skills training and the value you gain from ensuring workers’ interpersonal abilities are as advanced as their technical knowledge. Continue reading

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Recognizing and coping with workplace hazards

Recognizing hazards in the workplace and preparing to deal with them are key processes for all companies today.

Properly dealing with workplace risks is essential.

Properly dealing with workplace risks is essential.

Hazards in the workplace take many forms. Unless employees have been trained to recognize and avoid these dangers, they may inadvertently increase their risk of serious injury. Dangerous situations benefit no one, from the workers and consumers exposed to the condition to the corporate leaders facing increased liability. It’s up to today’s companies to collectively become better at identifying and neutralizing dangerous conditions.

Risk and hazard assessment starts with considering the various categories of danger in today’s workplaces. Each industry will have a different threat profile, but no company is exempt from the need to keep all on-site personnel safe. Continue reading

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Preventing violence in the workplace

Drawing of a fist. Used to illustrate story on preventing workplace violence.

Preventing workplace violence is an important priority.

From defusing everyday arguments in an office to staying safe in an active shooter situation, there are many different concepts employees must master in relation to violence prevention. Every level of conflict resolution has its own unique role to play, especially due to the risk that small issues will lead into larger, more dangerous problems if left unaddressed. The proper training and preparation can materially improve the workplace experience – and even safeguard lives. Continue reading

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The rise of video learning

Leaders have choices when it’s time to select an e-learning course for their teams. What does video content bring to the table?

What makes video content such an important part of modern training?

What makes video content such an important part of modern training?

The digital transformation that has occurred throughout the business world has given companies a lot of new options. Training programs have changed in the years since affordable high-speed internet became a requisite part of today’s workplace, and e-learning has presented a flexible and accessible new way for organizations to impart new skills.

Moving to digital training isn’t an entirely straightforward process, however. Training leaders have to decide what kind of course to purchase. Should the chosen platform have mobile features? What about interactive features? Video content is one of the important elements that some e-learning offerings possess. Online video has its own unique set of advantages, one worth considering when establishing a corporate training curriculum.

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Preventing workplace back injuries

Back injuries can be debilitating for employees and costly for companies – so what are the best ways to counter and prevent them?

Back injury safety is relevant in a wide variety of industries.

Back injury safety is relevant in a wide variety of industries.

A back injury in the workplace can be a life-altering event for a worker. No company wants to see its employees suffer these kinds of serious problems, especially if it’s clear that they could have been prevented with a little more preparation or knowledge. Training offers employees the know-how to prevent back injuries with safe work practices. At MasteryTCN, we find courses on back safety among our most popular offerings.

Prominence of back injuries across all industries

When back injuries strike, they can take workers away from their duties, leading to a loss of productivity at the businesses that employ them. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ 2015 data, the most recent available, over the course of 2015 there were 191,450 nonfatal employee back injuries serious enough to make workers miss time at their jobs. That is a significant fraction of the 1,153,490 such injuries logged in total.

The median number of days missed for a back injury in 2015 came in at seven, but there were a significant number of cases where workers were out for far longer. A total of 50,910 back injuries caused professionals to miss 31 or more days of work. Between lost productivity and potential worker’s compensation, it’s clear how such a serious problem could hurt a company – and that’s to say nothing of the intense physical pain these ailments can cause the people who suffer them.

OSHA’s take on back health

What does the Occupational Safety and Health Association have to say about keeping back injuries out of the workplace? OSHA prefaces its rules on preventing these problems by warning industry leaders to take them seriously. Because back problems typically cannot kill people the way workplace falls or fires can, they can go overlooked. However, between one-off injuries and issues that accumulate over the course of years, these disorders can cause long-term pain and make their sufferers unable to work for long periods of time.

The main elimination and prevention steps invoked by OSHA involve changing practices and tasks to ensure risk factors don’t exist. This is the preferred method of back issue mitigation: If companies can change their workplaces and ensure heavy or repetitive lifting motions aren’t necessary, they can seriously reduce the chances of their workers hurting themselves. This kind of preparation has to do with planners and supervisors rather than the employees performing manual work.

Back injuries can cause a lot of pain over a long time.Back injuries can cause a lot of pain over a long time.

Training and preparation ideas

When it comes to training and preparation to reduce the risk of a back injury, OSHA specifies a few areas to focus on: Companies can prepare their workers by teaching them how to recognize and avoid danger, as well as what to do when they encounter these situations.

In some cases, when it’s impossible for employees to avoid heavy lifting in a daily workload, they can rotate employees between activities that use certain back muscles and other tasks. Furthermore, when a supervisor can have two people perform a single back-intensive task together, it can reduce the risk of either one of them suffering an injury working on the job alone.

On the subject of protective equipment such as support belts, it’s up to companies to make their own policies. As OSHA clarified in a letter to employers, the agency neither endorses nor forbids the use of back belts, and underlined the point that it cannot officially endorse the items as effective methods of injury prevention. By personal preference, some employees may be interested in using this kind of equipment.

Courses available

“Good practices when working with heavy objects are relevant in many different industries.”

Employers have a range of training methods that will help inform employees of the best safety protocols for their particular responsibilities. For example, some courses are solely focused on lifting. Good practices when working with heavy objects that have to be lifted and carried are relevant in many different industries, whenever a workplace can’t be redesigned to remove this activity.

Other courses can focus on exercise protocols that will keep bodies strong and prepare employees to avoid potential problems, or expand beyond the back to include neck safety and protection. Still more offerings focus on specific procedures to be followed in the construction industry. On a job site, there may be many heavy loads to carry, and no way to cut this responsibility out of day-to-day operations.

Leaders can inspect the variety of courses available and decide on the ones that best protect their workers from danger. The risk of long-term harm that comes with back injuries is too great to ignore, and these educational materials are highly relevant to workplaces that are prone to the related risks.

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