If you want your employees to lead a safe, healthy and productive workplace – your safety plan cannot be old and tired! Remember, employees act more on “how they feel” and less on “what they know”. How do your employees feel about safety? Is safety important to the CEO and executive leadership team? If management does not abide by the safety rules, then safety will become less important to those under their leadership, potentially fracturing the entire safety culture. How can your safety program be kept fresh and energetic?
- Communication is key. How well do your front line managers and supervisors communicate with your employees?
- Accountability is a fundamental to program success. Do you measure your employees and management team on their safety effectiveness? If not, why?
- Inclusion, actively involving employees’ ideas, knowledge, perspectives, approaches and styles to maximize safety program success. How do you feel when you are not included in key decisions that directly impact your work?
- Personal interest is vital. Employees may not be concerned with insurance premiums, but they do appreciate when an employer shows personal attention to their care and well-being.
- Employee recognition is important, be it formal or informal acknowledgement of a person’s or team’s behavior. Studies have shown increased productivity, increased employee satisfaction and lower absenteeism when a recognition plan is implemented.
Effective safety programs must start from the top down in an organization. Senior company leaders must continuously and visibly endorse and support the overall importance of the safety program to the organization. Having leaders present and visible, front row, for safety training is a great place to start!
As laws, legislation and best practices change – your safety program must change as well. Think of it as living and breathing – keep it fresh, alive and energized!