When the stakes are high and failure is not an option, it's imperative that training be done right the first time, every time. Successfully trained employees are able to mitigate risk effectively, and their knowledge can often mean the difference between a minor incident and a full-blown emergency. Developing a high-consequence training strategy and program that gives employees the right level of preparedness to excel in challenging situations requires diligent planning and execution.
Organizations that operate in high-consequence environments:
- Express significant business concern with managing, mitigating or eliminating risk
- Have process or technical complexities that resist simplification
- Focus on safety and regulatory/compliance standards as required by operating environments
- Highly value industry/domain expertise
Organizational risk can apply to any type of job field where the result of the task at hand has a measurable effect, direct or indirect, on an organization's continued ability to survive and prosper in its market. Employees need to be trained to manage and mitigate potential risks so they can succeed in overcoming the challenges that arise in a high-stakes environment.
All training functions should be updated as needed to ensure strategic programs are informing employees of the latest compliance standards and regulations, cybersecurity updates and threats. Since information and products change so often, designing a program that maintains control and consistently provides the most updated material is the fundamental requirement for an effective training program.
To design an effective high-consequence training program, organizations need to:
- Ensure content is accurate and relevant
- Find a balance between effective and efficient training
- Consider a design that’s transferable and applicable
- Understand the multigenerational workforce
In addition, organizations must closely manage or eliminate unwanted variability. Unwanted variance can result in disaster when consistency and predictability are required for success. This focus on "controlling" risk and variability is why strong processes and procedures are so important and strictly adhered to. In most high-consequence environments, there are regulations and compliance standards that are vital to the organization's success.
RPS defines high-consequence training as the implementation of processes, tools and programs that instruct individuals and organizations on how to prevent or minimize disruption and manage risk. These best practices lead to increased competency, sharper decision-making skills, improved safety and increased protection of the bottom line.
Whether it's a utility company preparing for a major weather-related event, an oil and gas company readying workers for offshore survival, a healthcare organization training emergency room staff in group emotional intelligence or a financial institution ensuring regulatory compliance — high-consequence training delivers the best outcomes when it is immersive, realistic and repetitive. Practice makes perfect.
In the end, effective high-consequence training helps organizations create a concrete process for how to handle events that they can anticipate, as well as events they have yet to experience.