Training and Assessing Communication and Teamwork Skills

Communication and Teamwork: A Primer

Effective communication and teamwork are essential for safe operations across all high-risk industries. As humans are an inherently social species, and a species with complex verbal and non-verbal communication abilities that develop from infancy through to adulthood, the non-technical skills domain of communication and teamwork has sometimes suffered from being largely ignored in formal training interventions.1 Instead, the skills in this domain are often seen as being brought to the work environment and are often the focus of modern assessment techniques in employee selection across many high-risk industries.

High-risk work environments have very specific demands with respect to communication and teamwork. Given the nature of operations in these industries, they can be truly unforgiving of failures in communication and of ineffective teamwork. In recent years, the continued influence of poor communication and teamwork in catastrophic events in high-risk industries has highlighted that skills in this domain do need to be the focus of formal training programs, and the lack of attention given to communication skills in ab initio training needs to be addressed and rectified.

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