It’s no secret: an engaged workplace is a safe workplace. Gallup research found that companies with a high level of employee participation saw significantly fewer accidents. Specifically, those in the top 25% of engagement saw up to 70% fewer accidents than organizations in the bottom 25%.
No company wants to find themselves facing an injury in the workplace, so what does it take to increase employee engagement and mitigate your risk of an incident?
In simple terms: it starts with creating a safety culture.
Here are 4 strategies to develop an engaging culture that makes safety a top priority:
Gain Leadership Buy-In
Company culture connects the shop floor with the top floor, so it’s no surprise that leadership will play an integral role in developing a safety culture. Leaders know that small changes over time can make a major impact, and with their influence, they can help to set a strong example for others to follow.
Hold Daily Safety Meetings
Making safety part of the company culture requires workplace safety to be a top priority, not just an afterthought. Many companies have made it a common practice to hold monthly safety meetings, but this does little to spur engagement and increase awareness on a daily basis.
Instead, shifting to a daily meeting (even if it’s just five minutes) can provide valuable opportunities to improve awareness and gain feedback from employees.
One thing to consider is that the people who have been with your organization for a long time may feel like frequent safety meetings are repetitive and ultimately don’t apply to them. To avoid your messages falling on deaf ears, it’s important to consider the overall goals of the meeting and make your messages relevant to everyone. This might include talking about recent issues or observations, asking for suggestions, or sharing news or stats in the industry.
It’s not just the act of holding daily safety meetings, but ultimately what each person is able to take away from them.
Set Challenging Yet Achievable Goals
Employees want to know they’re working toward something, and need to see their progress along the way. Setting goals can help to put safety into perspective, but it’s equally important to make those goals visible and keep them top of mind.
When leaders set and manage goals, everyone has something to prove. Meeting such objectives requires the participation of each employee. And once those goals are achieved, then everyone can share in the sense of accomplishment.
Recognize and Motivate Employees
Part of tracking and managing goals is to give credit where credit is due. When employees are recognized for their contributions, they’re more motivated to continue putting forth effort because they know others are watching. They feel like their work is worth something and can take pride in their results.
In addition, it also sends a message to others that hard work will be recognized. It can create a competitive atmosphere of sorts that can push everyone to do their best.
It’s not enough to put your safety program into words, but rather back up those words with action and commitment that gets every employee involved.