Situational awareness for employees has relevance across many of our training topics. Safety training brings your attention to emergency exits and fire extinguishers. Active shooter training teaches you to be aware of your surroundings and pay attention to the behaviors of the people around you. All of this can flow into your personal life to help keep you safe and aware.
This topic relates to our whole-person approach to employee training. Think of your learners as whole person, not just an employee with work responsibilities. The training you provide may help them communicate more clearly with their family, drive carpool more safely, or manage stress more effectively. Situational awareness applies to all of these.
What is Situational Awareness?
Situational awareness is being fully aware of your surroundings. Pay attention to the environment, the people, the sounds, smells, and the energy. It’s about being present.
Examples of Situational Awareness Training
You know the saying “don’t take your work home with you”? Well, I realize I do that but not in the typical way. I bring what I’ve learned at work and apply it to everyday situations. Working for a company that provides training, I think about these things in odd places.
Fire Extinguishers: I notice the fire extinguishers everywhere I go. In the airport parking shuttle bus, the ej4 offices, or behind the bar in a restaurant (images below). There was one on the pillar in the Target parking garage. My nephew got his first apartment, and I gave him one for his little kitchen. My coworker noticed one in her vacation cabin and thought of me! I started a small fire in the microwave at work reheating a sandwich for lunch. (It had a hidden foil wrapper underneath the paper!) As my coworkers were tending to the microwave, my brain was reminding me of my training and I knew exactly where the fire extinguisher was in the event we needed it. Thankfully we didn’t. But before working here, I never would’ve noticed the location of the closest fire extinguisher at work or anywhere else.
Active Shooter Training: The last time I was in a movie theater, I sat in the last row, the last seat against the wall. While I was watching the previews, our active shooter training came into my mind and I realized I was trapped. It was a weird feeling and I felt sad that this is part of our new reality. I went through our courses on active shooter training in my mind and I knew I could not evacuate if something happened. So, my plan was to hide between the wall and my seat as best as I could if a threat occurred. Also, as I scanned the room for emergency exits, I noticed the fire extinguishers!
Nonverbal Communication: Every video call is a lesson in nonverbal communication. It’s very easy to forget you are on camera. I am sure my face gives away any feelings of boredom or confusion. What does it mean on video calls when someone turns off the camera midway through a meeting? It’s obvious they are “checking out” or greatly disagree with the direction of the conversation.
Emergency Exits: I think about this training when I go into a restaurant, store or entertainment venue. I read a lot of spy thrillers. It is very common for the hero to sit with their back to the wall in the back of a restaurant with a view of all the doors and think through multiple exit plans. While I am not a spy, I do try to think through my situational awareness. And yes, sometimes the closest exit is the one behind you.
Empathy as a Leader: This course covers a variety of topics that also require situational awareness. Things like active listening, nonverbal communication, and honest communication. As a manager you need to pay attention to your team members and read the signs if they are struggling, disengaged, distracted or reaching the stage of burnout.
Training on Situational Awareness
Our off-the-shelf library of training videos includes all these topics and more. When you subscribe to our Business Skills library, you have access to these titles along with Thinkzoom, our LMS, for free. Our clients typically launch with a set of courses they assign to learners to address certain pain points. Throughout their contracts they curate additional training topics to both react to new problems and be proactive to avoid future problems.
Additional training topics that address situational awareness might include:
- Confined Spaces
- Communicating with the C-Suite
- DISC Personalities
- Cross-Cultural Considerations
- Elements of a Whole-Person Approach to Employee Training
- Improve Employee Social Awareness Through Workplace Empathy
- Safety Training Tips for Home and Work