Every company claims that the safety of its employees is a top priority for their organization. While this is probably more true for some than others, it is something that gets talked about at every company. If safety as a value is such an integral part of every company, why is it so difficult to get employees on board and take it more seriously?
A better question would be, what is your company currently doing to encourage your employees to practice safety?
At Mid-Land Enterprises safety is our number one Core Value. We do many things motivate our staff to uphold this core value in all of their daily actives. But no company culture is the same and what works for us may not work as well for another organization. That's why we have put together these 6 tips for encouraging your team for safety.
1. Create a Culture Around Safety
Safety shouldn’t be a secret. It should be a well known central value of your organization’s culture. This could be as simple as placing reminders where they will easily be seen by employees (break rooms, bathrooms, workspaces, etc.) and regularly keeping it a part of the dialogue between your organization and your employees.
Also, by including it in the hiring process, you will ensure that from the moment someone joins your team they understand that safety is a top priority of your company. Hire candidates that are safety focused and make it a key part of your onboarding process with new employees to understand the safety procedures of your company. Doing these simple things helps you to create a culture around safety from the ground up.
2. Set an Example of Safety in Leadership
As do all the values of your company, safety starts with the company leaders. If you establish the value of safety within a new hire and they see their superior disregard it, the importance of safety will quickly diminish in that employee's mind. In turn, if leaders set a positive example, the employees under them will understand that safety is a value that is taken seriously by your organization and they will be more likely to take it seriously themselves.
3. Establish Ownership of Safety Among Employees
If you want your employees to be committed to safety, give them a voice in the procedures that they follow. They are the ones that are being protected by the safety procedures after all. Give them an outlet - a way to provide feedback on how procedures could be modified and improved.
Giving your employees a voice in what the safety measures of your organization entail, you establish a sense of ownership. This certainly encourages staff members to properly abide by the procedures. Rather than feeling as though they are being told to follow a set of rules, they uphold the standards that they have set for themselves.
4. The Importance of Training for Safety
Safety training is inherently boring for most. Many of the important safety measures are self-explanatory for most, so going over them in detail almost always results in a lack of enthusiasm. Instead of tediously going over the details of your safety programs, try using drills and other hands-on activities to engage your employees when going over safety procedures. Not only does this make safety more engaging, but it assures you that in the event of a real emergency, your employees both know and are practiced in how to handle the situation.
5. Conduct Routine Safety Check-ins
Routine check-ins and reevaluation your safety programs are critical to maintaining a culture that is committed to safety. In order for safety to truly be a value of your company, it needs to continue to be looked at and modified to meet the standards of your organization. As your company grows, what worked in the past may no longer be suitable for current circumstances.
Failing to reevaluate your procedures will result in poor safety practices and potential risk to your employees. This, of course, is counterproductive to your entire safety initiative. Set a standard for when your company takes a second look at its policies and procedures.
6. Make Safety Enjoyable
Making safety more enjoyable for your employees will offer a way for them to regularly engage with its practices. Try implementing some type of activity or game that involves knowing or recognizing your company’s safety practices. Doing this makes safety even more of an objective for your employees. They will begin to look at following the guidelines less as an extra step that is potentially impeding their productivity, and more of a challenge to be outstanding and gain recognition.
All in all, safety doesn’t have to be a boring obstacle for employees to follow. It can just as easily be used to engage them and encourage them in a way that is enjoyable. By stepping up the way that your organization monitors and promotes safety, you help yourself in many ways. So, start today. Take a look at your current safety policies, and find a way to improve the way that you approach integrating it into your employee’s daily activities.
Stay safe out there friends!
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