Over 90% of safety managers report that their employees are not engaged during safety training, they just show up for the doughnuts. The problem is that workplace safety is far too often considered unexciting and, in some cases, unimportant. An engaged workforce is key, and nowhere is this truer than with safety. Employees who don’t care about workplace safety end up hurting not only themselves, but company profits as well. This attitude is harmful, so how can you turn it around? Here are five ways …
1. Remind people why workplace safety is absolutely vital
Before you can even begin to engage employees in workplace safety, you may have to convince some of them that it is worthwhile. Fact: Workplace safety is a necessary element of business; without it, people get injured and, in some cases, people die.
2. Treat workplace safety like you would treat any other area of business
Fact: Safe businesses are more profitable than unsafe ones. Once you truly understand this, your attitude towards workplace safety will change. Do you give your employees bonuses for reaching their sales targets? Why not reward them when they work safely as well? Are innovative employees given heaps of praise? Perhaps you should praise employees who work safely in a similar fashion. Do you spend money on making your workplace look nicer? Wouldn’t it be smart to also spend money on making it safer?
3. Invest in workplace safety inspections
Safety inspections are a great way for both you and your employees to work with somebody whose expertise revolves around workplace safety. If you make sure that your safety inspections and audits are carried out by the best possible people, then both you and your employees will achieve the best possible outcomes in workplace safety.
4. Invest in workplace safety training (and bring the doughnuts)
Training is a great way for businesses to motivate their employees. It makes them feel that you are investing in them, and that’s exactly what you are doing! The business legend, Richard Branson put it this way, “train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”
In business, costs can be tight, and no spending should be taken lightly. Every business owner has the desire to follow the law; going the extra mile for safety training is the difference between being a mediocre company or being an exceptionally successful one. This is because safety training is always a sensible investment; a business can never be too safe.
5. Be passionate about workplace safety yourself!
It’s one thing to tell employees that workplace safety is important; however, if you don’t truly believe what you’re saying then your words are simply hollow. Lead by example and take actions above and beyond what you expect of your employees. This is especially important for new employees as they look to more experienced staff for advice. What will they see? When they see you, are you setting the best possible example of safety.
Show employees that safety comes before speed, that a job done safely is better than a job done quickly, and they will respond by echoing that attitude throughout the company