Build a Training Strategy

The right training strategy helps you deliver operator and technician instruction where and when your team needs it, to help reduce your downtime, improve efficiency and minimize product damage and accidents.

Getting Started

Create a Training Strategy

Your Guide to a Strategy for Training Today’s Operators

Training managers in supply chain organizations are having a busy year. Turnover, which has been a labor concern in recent years, is compounded by increasing numbers of retirements as boomers leave the workforce. New faces, new expectations, new skill sets.

Which puts training managers up against a sticky issue: new employees need training, but not all managers have time to build out their training plans to manage the need.

Training plans ultimately need a strategy that answers these immediate questions:

  • We’re losing a lot of knowledge with retirees leaving – will my new hires be able to fill the gap?
  • Will we experience increases in injuries or product damage with an essentially “new” operator workforce?
  • Turnover is rising too – what do we do about that?

Self-assessment

Who are you training?

Who are you training?

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Self-assessment is the place to start your strategy creation. Here are questions to help you begin:

  • Do you have hourly workers – how many shifts? Which areas will they work in?
  • Any seasonal needs?

These questions determine how often you provide training, the outcomes you want to achieve with each set of learners, and how much lead time you will have to train workers as you onboard them (especially seasonal).

Who is delivering the training?

Who is delivering the training?

  • For which shifts? For which learners?
  • Do you have dedicated training professionals?

OSHA regulatory training to certify operators specifies that “All operator training and evaluation shall be conducted by persons who have the knowledge, training and experience to train powered industrial truck operators and evaluate their competence.”

What type of driver training program do you offer your forklift drivers?

What type of driver training program do you offer your forklift drivers?

  • Are all your drivers licensed?

  • Why or why not?

  • For which shifts? For which learners?

  • Do you have dedicated training professionals?

Driver training can reduce the incidence of product damage and injury at your site. Training also increases driver confidence in completing their daily work. According to the National Safety Council, operator error accounts for 70 percent of lift truck accidents. With more effective forklift operator training, accident rates may be reduced by 25-30 percent, keeping throughput high and downtime low.

Do drivers perform daily inspections on the equipment?

Do drivers perform daily inspections on the equipment?

  • Where is that information kept?

Data tracking is key to analyzing what is working and where the gaps are in the training. It also identifies early indications of new or emerging issues, as well as opportunities to celebrate progress and achievement.

What is your budget?

What is your budget?

Resourcing the training function is an important but often overlooked step in resource planning. The value of training in a supply chain organization should take into account the consequences or outcomes when training is not provided, or provided in a non-compliant way, as you build business case for resourcing your training plan. 

What is the process for providing content consistently to every learner?

What is the process for providing content consistently to every learner?

Human delivery of information will naturally result in some variance of delivery. Problems arise when delivery over time can be shown to have significant differences in messaging, incomplete delivery of materials, and more. Packaged training, such as digital modules, webinars, and on-demand micro learning, are just some of the ways to keep content consistent.

Do You Use Virtual Training?

Do You Use Virtual Training? (Simulators, Virtual Learning)

Training simulators are not just for pilots. Forklift operators now use them to practice new skills or learn how to operate a new truck. Hyster Forklift Simulator™ uses an Oculus VR headset and a motion platform to provide a realistic and immersive and realistic physical experience, taking the virtual training experience to the next best thing to actually being on the truck.

Know the Regulations

OSHA (US Occupational Safety and Health Administration)

OSHA (US Occupational Safety and Health Administration)

Full OSHA certification requires Formal Instruction, Practical Training, and Operator Evaluation. This 3-step process requires formal instruction, practical training, and operator evaluation.

The OSHA Forklift Certification process (1910.178) requires all operators of industrial lift trucks be trained and certified by the employer in the use of their equipment at their specific job site before being allowed to operate it as part of their job.

Get Help, Meet the Standard

Get Help, Meet the Standard

Your local Hyster® dealer can help you meet this standard, while providing complete and professional operator training instruction at your specific job site, using your equipment, with the award-winning Best In Class® operator training program. Unlike third party training organizations that know very little about lift trucks, Hyster® has been committed to developing and delivering professional lift truck operator training for almost 40 years.

Hyster Best In Class®

Hyster Best In Class®

Hyster Best In Class®, available in both English and Spanish-language versions, is a comprehensive program that covers all five lift truck product classes and includes all the tools needed to provide customized training to your operators.

American National Standards Institute

ANSI B56.1-2020

This safety standard is specific to development standards for low lift and high lift trucks and covers the safety requirements relating to elements of design and operation.

Hire the Right People

How many warehouse employees do you currently have?

  • What are some of your bigger labor challenges?

How many new warehouse employees do you have to bring on each year?

  • How has that number changed over the years? Why?
  • Have wages been a factor? What are some of the changes you have seen?

On average, what do you estimate is your cost to recruit and train a new employee?

Establish a Safety Culture

According to a survey

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According to a survey 80 percent of companies do not monitor utilization by specific truck and driver. However, employers that do invest time to track and train lift truck operators on safe procedures and utilize durable, ergonomic equipment can save time and money in the long run.

What is your company philosophy/policy on safety in the organization?

What is your company philosophy/policy on safety in the organization?

Start creating a culture of safety with an employee-based Safety Board. Post signs. Identify issues in your site and address them.

How do you sustain a culture of safety?

How do you sustain a culture of safety?

Partner with organizations which value safety and reinforce your safety culture. Get feedback from partners and from employees on what is working and what can be improved.

Have you posted notices on safety?

Have you posted notices on safety?

A word about safety signs – they work. Use them. They are visual reminders. And train your employees beyond safety issues; employees with professional development opportunities can provide more back to the company and feel more fulfilled.

How many recordable OSHA incidents have you reported?

How many recordable OSHA incidents have you reported?

Don’t overlook the role that ergonomics play in creating a safe work environment. A comfortable, less-fatigued lift truck operator possesses greater situational awareness and can be more productive.

Since operators spend the vast majority of their time sitting, standing and twisting, ergonomics are key for enhancing comfort and productivity. View a video about the importance of operator-centric ergonomic features and the latest advancements presented in Hyster® reach trucks.

Make Maintenance a Priority

Related to Safety

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Safety is not just related to operator behavior. When something as common as an oil leak causes someone to slip, both downtime and lost productivity occur.

Do you have a Periodic Maintenance program in place?

Do you have a Periodic Maintenance program in place?

When you adopt and follow periodic maintenance (PM) programs, your lift trucks receive timely, thorough inspections. PM’s help keep your equipment operating at peak efficiency.

How do you track equipment damage costs?

How do you track equipment damage costs?

  • In total?
  • By truck?
  • Do you assign to the drivers? 

Take advantage of tracking technology to manage your assets and maintenance programs. Remote data monitoring equipment makes critical maintenance data accessible from any location at any time, down to the truck and driver involved. Alerts may include fault codes, scheduled PM notifications or hazardous driving behaviors, such as excessive speed or impacts. Having access to this kind of data allows organizations to isolate and work on remediating problem areas, as well as reinforcing ideal behaviors to help increase safety.