Improving Employee Productivity With More Informed Management: Dan Ariely’s “The Upside of Irrationality”

Daniel Ariely Upside of Irrationality Image

Dan Ariely has one PhD in cognitive psychology and another in business administration. He’s the James. B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University. He’s also got appointments at the Fuqua School for Business, the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, the Department of Economics, and the School of Medicine. In short, if you’re interested in improving the performance at your work place, he’s a good guy to listen to.

And that’s why we’re interested in Ariely and other writers like him (such as Daniel Kahneman). We’re a training company, but we’re the first to admit that training isn’t the solution for every issue at the workforce, and that you can get workers to improve their performance in ways other than providing training. Ariely’s insights into how people think and how those thoughts affect their choices and behaviors can be applied directly to workforce performance improvement.

If that sounds intriguing to you, we’ve got a little summary for you below, and then we encourage you to buy the book and check out Dan Ariely’s website.

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Free MSHA/Surface Miner Training Manager’s Course & Self-Quiz

MSHA Part 46 Surface Mining Training Manager Self Quiz Image

We originally created this self-quiz for safety managers at surface mines for MSHA’s 35th birthday.

That happened a while ago, but you can still use this self-quiz to help review the training requirements of MSHA’s Part 46 for surface mines.

Even better, you can “play” and complete this quiz right here from our blog, or  you can download a free copy for yourself. Be sure to read the fuller explanation below if you choose to download a copy.

If you’re looking for help with MSHA training, check out the following online MSHA training options and tools we’ve got for you:

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Update from OSHA Spokesperson on Publication of Upcoming Confined Spaces in Construction Standard (1926.1200)

[Note: This is an old article written in 2013. If you’re looking for current information about the brand-new (2015) confined spaces in construction rule, click here].

Earlier this year, OSHA released its Unified Agenda, which listed a new Confined Spaces in Construction regulation as something to look for in 2013. The Unified Agenda listed July as the planned date of publication (it’s July now), but the new regulation isn’t out yet. We followed up with the OSHA contact listed on the Unified Agenda to get an update, and an OSHA Spokesperson was kind enough to get back to us with answers. (We’d like to thank the OSHA personnel who worked to get us a reply for their time, effort, and information—getting a regulation finalized can’t be easy.)

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HazCom 2012, GHS, and the Labeling Systems: GHS, DOT, NFPA, and HMIS

One question people keep asking is how the new GHS-compliant shipping labels required by OSHA’s new Hazard Communication 2012 regulation will affect the use of other labeling systems, including the labeling system required by the Department of Transportation (DOT) and the commonly known National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and Hazardous Materials Identification System (HMIS) labels.

The question is even more interesting and timelier because OSHA recently published a Brief that announced they plan to make a small change to the new HazCom regulation involving DOT labels.

So without further ado, let’s get down to business and explain what’s what.

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10 OSHA-Based Word Games: Great For Fun Safety Meeting Activities

10-osha-safety-word-games-imageIn this article, we’ve collected ten free safety word games for you and have even created a way for you to download copies of all ten games in one click.

The word games are based on the standards that show up again and again on OSHA’s Top Ten Violations list. So, it’s worth knowing these terms. Plus, the games are fun to play.

Each of the games is based on terms that OSHA defines in each of those standards. So they’re a good way to get more familiar with OSHA’s definitions. (By the way, this is one of 2 sets of safety-based word games we offer–the other set of safety training word games includes terms and concepts from our online safety courses, so you may want to check that one out too).

Remember that to play any of the games, you’ve got to click one of the ten links below. Also, remember that if you want to download free copies of the games, you’ll download a zipped folder in a format called SCORM that you can then import into a SCORM-compliant LMS and then play the games from the LMS (you can’t download and then play the games without using an LMS).

If you’re going to go with the download option, read more about how that works below and then scroll to the bottom of the article to click the download button.
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Visit Convergence at ASSE Professional Development Conference and Expo 2013

We’ve taken our show on the road, and are currently exhibiting at ASSE Safety 2013, in lively Las Vegas, Nevada. If you are in the area, or already attending, come by and see us.

The conference is taking place through June 26th, at the Las Vegas Convention Center. We’re showing off some of our new health and safety training content, and giving demos of our Convergence LMS and Convergence Mobile training platforms.

The Convergence Training booth is #730, so if you are attending the show, stop by and say hello! Just for doing so, you can enter to win free custom contractor orientation training or a Kindle fire.

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Human Information Processing System: Sensory Memory to Working Memory

From Sensory Memory to Working Memory Image

In a recent blog post titled “The Human Information Processing System: How People Learn (or Don’t),” we went over five key steps in which people learn and later apply information. In this post, we’ll look at the transition from Step 1, “We experience information through our senses and sensory memory,” to Step 2, “Some of that information is processed by our working memory.”

As we learned earlier, in Step 1 sensory information (sights, sounds, etc.) is perceived by our sense organs (eyes, ears, etc.) and is briefly processed by our sensory memory. The information stays in our sensory information for a very short time—in many cases, only a fraction of a second, though in some cases, it may last for a few seconds.

Some of that information goes on to be processed by our working memory; this is when we become aware of the information. The rest of that information is essentially lost. This is why people sometimes say that the working memory is a “bottleneck” within the learning process. And it’s why if you’re trying to help employees learn, you want to try to draw their attention to the right stuff to get past that bottleneck.

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Free HazCom 2012/GHS Labels and Pictograms Word Game

Here’s a free Hazard Communication word game for you to play.

You can play it here, directly from our blog, any time you want. Or you can download your own free copy, import it into your SCORM-compliant LMS, and play it from there anytime you want (read more about that option below if you’re interested).

Hope you enjoy this and have fun. Let us know if you have any questions.

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How People Learn and Why They Forget

How People Learn Why They Forget Image

In a recent blog post titled “Why People Don’t Remember Their Training: Five Steps of Learning and Applying Information,” we introduced a few basic ideas about how people think and learn (that process, by the way, is known as cognition).

In that post, we briefly mentioned a five-step process of learning, and noted that when people forget what they learned in training, it’s often because the training was designed without keeping these five steps in mind.

In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at each of those five steps.

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Mandatory Safety Training and a Bit of Humor

Mandatory Training and Humor Image

In this article, we’ll take a look at safety training and humor. And we’ll do it by talking about flying to Hawaii. Not bad, huh?

In an earlier part of my life, I flew to Hawaii a lot.

I had a friend who was the Artistic Director for the Honolulu Theater for Youth in Honolulu, and because he had to travel to stage plays, I often was “saddled” with dog- and house-sitting responsibilities. Rough life, huh? Living in Hawaii was great, and I even got to surf the famous Pipeline surf break on the legendary North Shore. Never got to surf Waimea Bay on a big day, though.

On one flight from Oahu to San Francisco, several hours after the plane took off, the captain announced that there was a mechanical problem and we were returning to Honolulu. When I heard that, I was a little alarmed, and so I did four things:

  • First, I looked at the map to figure out how far from land we were. We were basically in the middle of the ocean.
  • Next, I grabbed the safety information card in my seat pocket and read it: where are the emergency exits, how do the doors open, and just exactly how does that seat cushion double as a flotation device?
  • Then, I tucked my little bag of peanuts into my shirt pocket. I figured if the plane crashed, I’d eat them on the way down before we went into the drink, giving me a little energy to use while I was wading thousands of miles from land.
  • And finally, I took a nap, on the assumption that if I was going to be paddling in the middle of the Pacific Ocean for hours, I might as well rest up first.

My point is that before I pulled the safety information card out, I didn’t know the critical safety information I would need if the plane went down. Why’s that? Because I didn’t listen to the safety information talk or watch the safety video before the flight took off. I blew it off, maybe reading a book or staring vacantly out the window. Odds are you’ve done it too; we all have. Right?

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