An unsafe workplace leads to lower productivity and higher insurance costs, as well as tragedy and loss. No one wants to work for that company, and no one wants to be that company.
Although safety measures may be in place, many organizations simply “check off the boxes” rather than genuinely promote best practices. Interestingly, company culture seems to pay a big role in the success or failure of safety programs. A 2016 Gallup meta-analysis study, which examined 1.8 million employees in 230 organizations, showed businesses with employee engagement scores in the top quartile had 70 percent fewer safety incidents compared to those in the bottom-quartile. (Gallup, 2016)
So, how can your organization improve employee commitment and safety standards? Certain areas of engagement appear to have the strongest links to safety. Use these three tips as a starting point.
Emphasize Your Mission (And Include Safety as a Top Priority)
In his book The Culture Code, Daniel Coyle references a study by Inc. Magazine in which executives at 600 companies were asked to estimate the percentage of their workforce who could name the company’s top three values. The executives guessed 64 percent. The correct answer was 2 percent. Although leaders may assume that everyone sees things the way they do, this is not necessarily true. Coyle recommends that leaders drastically overcommunication priorities. He advises: paint them on walls, add them to emails, include them in speeches, drop them into conversation, and then repeat them over and over until they became part of the oxygen. If you want your workers to take safety seriously, they must KNOW it is a top priority.
Expect High-Quality Work
When employees are committed to excellence in their work performance, this attitude carries through to other areas including safety. Hold employees accountable, ask them to go the extra mile and demand attention to detail. This may sound overzealous, but workers who are proud of their products and their organization will be more dedicated to the mission.
Make Feedback and Open Communication a Requirement
Management is responsible for establishing and implementing safety standards. However, employees are “closest to the action.” Their front-line perspective is crucial for a safety program to be effective. Make it clear to all workers that leadership is depending on them to watch for and report hazards. Establish proper reporting procedures, then, clarify and review them frequently. Similarly, insist that managers take every report seriously and follow through with proper investigation protocols. This company-wide strategy not only provides greater vigilance, it also allows everyone within an organization to feel invested, valued and as though they are building a better and safer business together.
Are You Looking for More Management Tips?
Aventure Staffing publishes a weekly blog on a variety of topics ranging from How to Write a Thorough Accident Report to The Importance of Conducting Workplace Safety Audits. And if you are looking for more engaged employees, we can help with that too. Aventure Staffing is the Midwest leader in job placement. Learn more about working with us today!