Tug Wilson, our head of human factors, devised the training specifically for our audience, taking modules and different elements from all of the human factors courses available in our training academy and bringing them together to make a tailored learning schedule.
I spoke to two members of our mission systems team to find out how they had got on with the training. Courtney Thornton is a junior project manager. She completed a degree in sociology and has a long-standing interest in all things psychology, so had a rough understanding of what the training might entail. Ali Cree, who works with our mission systems team as a configuration manager, had no previous experience with psychology or human factors.
What were your perceptions of what the term ‘human factors’ (HF) meant before you undertook the training?
Courtney: As I completed a sociology degree, I am highly interested in the way people think and act. My perceptions about human factors (HF) were exactly that – I thought it was about how humans act and react to certain situations and how things can be perceived.
Ali: I had no perception of what human factors meant before the training. Once I found out that some of my colleagues were attending I spoke to them and learn a little more about what it all entailed. They advised that it would be worth my time finding out about the benefits of human factors, so I decided to put my name forward for the training.
What is your understanding of what ‘human factors’ is now?
Courtney: My understanding of HF now is that it covers not just the interactions between humans but also between humans and other elements like the environment – it is part of a system. I now know that learning about HF is important for both individuals and businesses in all sectors because it helps to keep people safe and also makes businesses more effective.
Ali: After attending the course I understand that human factors is about how people interact and react, with and to the environment around them.
What was the most interesting or surprising thing you learned on the training?
Courtney: The most surprising and interesting thing for me was when I came out of that course every lunch time – and particularly at the end of the course – I realised I think about human factors all the time. Every day I notice these things that happen around the workplace. It was very interesting to actually apply physiological principles into the processes and every day business at Inzpire.
Ali: The most interesting thing about the course from my perspective was learning about how I act in a team environment and the ways this can be perceived.
What part of the training will help you out most in the workplace?
Courtney: I work for Inzpire as a junior project manager. Although I already pride myself in being able to notice personal interactions throughout my team, completing this training has helped me apply human factors methods specifically. It is important to know all of the people within a team and how to react to them as individuals.
Also, after we completed the tasks that were set during the training, Tug Wilson – Inzpire’s head of human factors – gave us some feedback based on his observations. These observations have given me a boost in confidence in being able to be a leader.
Ali: After I attended the session I felt more confident in voicing my opinions to other staff members who are older and have been with the company for many years. I now feel more confident in myself and how I interact with other people.
Was there anything you learned in the training that will help you away from the workplace in your day-to-day life?
Courtney: Most of the information delivered by Tug on this course can be applied to everyday life away from the work place.
The skills he taught us around decision making were the main transferable skill for me. I am quite good at helping others make decisions but I am not so decisive for myself. Tug’s training helped me learn that if I have lots of little things to do, to apply the ‘crocodile closest to the canoe’ analogy’ – to shoot down (i.e complete) the one closest to me, or the easiest one first. This will definitely help me because I can sometimes find it quite difficult to keep calm when I have lots and lots of little things to do! Tug’s training highlighted that decision making is a key human factor and explained about efficient ways to deal with making decisions.
Ali: I learnt how I currently interact with other people and how I can be more confident in those interactions, which I will take away from the training into my day-to-day life.
If you would like to find out more about how our human factors training could help you and your team – regardless of where you work – you can email us on email@example.com