“How do I get my employees fired up about our safety program?”
It can be a real challenge, especially with the pressures, demands and distractions you all face in your day-to-day jobs. But the most comprehensive safety initiatives in the world won’t accomplish much unless employees embrace and execute them every day.
If you really want employees to get onboard with workplace safety, take a multi-faceted approach to motivating them:
- Build the right culture. Safety posters with catchy slogans aren’t likely to make employees work safer; making safety an integral part of your culture will. A safety culture is more than a collection of procedures and regulations; it’s an organizational atmosphere that makes safety one of your company’s central values. It starts with your leaders, and it filters down into every aspect of HR and daily operations.
- Get buy-in. Make sure all employees understand what is required of them to make your program a success. Establish a system of cascading goals and accountability to ensure participation at all levels. When everyone clearly knows what’s required of them, they’re better equipped to work together toward common safety goals.
- Train and develop. Learning about how to work safely should be neither a privilege nor a punishment. Make time for safety training and development, so employees can learn how to properly apply and practice what they learn. And when infractions occur, never scold or berate. Keep conversations upbeat and treat mistakes as learning experiences. By responding positively, you foster commitment to continued improvement.
- Encourage ownership. Your staff will naturally be more motivated if they play an active role in safety initiatives. Ask workers for input in creating safety systems and accounting for the results. Remind them of the vital role they play in ensuring their safety, as well as the safety of their coworkers.
- Ask for – and use – feedback. Create multiple feedback channels for employees to submit safety ideas and report potentially unsafe practices/conditions. When you receive feedback, act on the good suggestions as well as the potential problems. Employees who realize you take their ideas and concerns seriously are more driven to participate in and comply with your program.
- Recognize success – responsibly. Celebrating your team’s success in working toward safety goals is a great motivator – as is expressing your personal thanks to individuals, face-to-face, for their safety efforts. But while you may be tempted to incentivize employees with low accident rates, proceed with caution. You may unintentionally discourage employees from reporting unsafe conditions.
Motivating employees to work safely starts with you.
As the employer, workplace safety starts with you. Use the tips in this post to educate everyone within your organization and build the right culture. By increasing engagement at all levels, you’ll reduce injuries and claims, improve morale and increase productivity. That’s good for everyone!
Looking for additional ways to enhance workplace safety in your Middle TN organization?
Read this earlier post, which includes several tips to create a safer workplace. Then contact our Cool Springs staffing agency. We provide safe, reliable and productive workers who hit the ground running.