Wednesday, October 23, 2019

How to Motivate Employees to Adopt Safety-Consciousness in the Workplace

Ensuring a workplace’s safety is also essential for productivity. However, any measure you put in place is useless without your employees’ support.

Fortunately, there are several ways to encourage their cooperation.

1. Establish safety goals
You first need to set the company’s safety goals before setting any programs into action. There’s also a need to include appropriate messages that will motivate your employees and obtain their feedback. In turn, your EHS officer can convert those sentiments to a company motto or slogan.

Remember, your company’s vision will serve as a blueprint for its safety plans. Also, once you’ve set up the long-term strategies, you can use it to come up with the short-term tactics.
Furthermore, everyone must agree on a particular process. This will make it easier to implement a system that provides employees with duties and responsibilities for their behavior.    

2. Adopt a uniform safety standard
A commitment to adopt and follow more than one safetystandard is not a good idea. It can confuse your employees, especially if they have to report to several people whose procedures and checklist are not compatible with each other.

Implementing only one safety standard is the better choice. To ensure that the compliance rate is high, consider setting up a safety checklist that requires little bureaucracy. This will help employees better understand what is expected of them, and they will behave accordingly.

Companies should also include first aid kits in their healthand safety standards. Such kits are mandated by law. It should have enough supplies to immediately provide aid to injured or sick employees. Also, all personnel should know about it and someone should be in charge of the kit. 

3. Encourage learning and development of a safety culture
Providing employees with one-time information and paying lip service about the importance of safety isn’t enough. Your EHS officer could come up with plans on how to encourage employees to learn about workplacesafety. Successful companies can promote safety culture via:
       Training programs – provide employees with the opportunity to apply and practice what they learned about workplace safety and how to use it in their decision-making
       Real-time coaching – Treat every incident as an occasion to learn. The resulting feedback will help employees improved their safety awareness.

Companies that practiced safety learning culture encouraged employees to adhere to their:
       commitment
       responsibility
       accountability

Positively motivating employees to embrace safety awareness is better than forcing them to comply.

4. Listen and respect your employees’ input
Imposing rules even if it’s for their good can be met with resistance. Fortunately, you can inspire them by asking for their input about the safety initiatives. You can encourage them by:
       Asking for their opinion regarding the safety program and mode of accountability
       Looking for ways to convince them to bring up any safety concerns

Remember, employees, do care about their health and personal safety. You only need to reassure them and, they will not fail you.

5. Recognize their contribution
You have to be careful with incentive programs. Rewarding a worker with the least safety violations may send the wrong message. Instead, you should provide the incentive when they carry out a safety procedure.

How should you reward them?
You could thank them ‘face-to-face’. Such small gestures have a more positive effect than you can imagine. You can have their manager or EHS officer give recognition for their effort. Aside from the attention, you could add a:
       Letter of thanks or commendation
       Bonus
       Gift

Such a tactic is an effective way to use incentives as a motivation tool.

6. Keep them updated and listen for feedbacks
Your EHS officer should conduct a review with all the department heads to see if the safety rules are correctly implemented. Also, consider taking the opportunity to announce new regulations and information concerning workplace safety. Furthermore, you’ll likely receive some feedback regarding which procedures are most effective. 

These kinds of meetings can demonstrate the effectiveness of your safety program. When people see workplace injuries falling, they will eagerly join your initiative. 

7. Don’t find faults when a safety issue arises
Taking the blame and the prospects of punishment can discourage employees from reporting safety issues in the company. You should instead, foster an atmosphere where people are rewarded for bringing safety issues to the company’s attention.

Also, consider reviewing safety issues each week and seek a suitable resolution.

8. Make it fun!
Health and safety in the workplace is a serious concern. However, you can lighten things up by using creativity to encourage people to join the program. Introducing some game elements will bring some excitement to a serious topic.

Frequent safety programs that don’t work
  1. Disciplinary actions require constant observation. It doesn’t work and could encourage hostility among the employees.
  2. Incentives focused on the number of accidents may backfire. It may discourage employees from reporting safety issues for fearing of losing their incentives.
  3. Slogans and posters are only useful if you’re taking safety in the workplace seriously. Otherwise, all that you’re doing is paying lip service and people won’t take it seriously.
Conclusion
The success of your safety program will depend on the receptiveness of your employees. So by motivating and empowering your employees, they will readily assume ownership of the company’s safety program. However, you should also avoid adopting programs that will discourage them from reporting the actual safety issues.

Author Bio:

Simon Bliss is the Managing Director of Principal People, a recruitment consultancy specializing in Health, Safety, and Environment. The company is successful in providing clients with candidates who are fit a variety of positions, including senior and leadership roles. He’s also the COO of the Juhler Group of Companies which operates in 40 locations across Europe and Asia.


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