Few weeks ago, we discussed the importance of having safety procedures in the workplace. Some safety professionals shared their experiences, and we identified a clear insight: safety procedures need to be periodically reviewed because they are forgotten, actually there are many employees who are not aware of the procedures that are in place at their workplace.
But why does this situation happen? What is behind the lack of safety awareness in employees? What can safety leaders and professionals do to face this challenge?
There can be many causes that lead employees to be unaware of safety procedures at their workplace. One of them is the lack of employee engagement.
Employee engagement means that employees have a genuine commitment with their work activities and their company. When employees are truly engaged, they perform their work positively, and they feel aligned to their personal and to the company values.
Employee engagement can benefit both companies and employees in many ways. For instance, improving employee satisfaction, levels of productivity, worker loyalty, sales, profits, and much more. Additionally, employee engagement can be beneficial when it comes to safety, health and well-being at the workplace.
A study done by Gallup in 2016 showed that companies within the top quartile of employee engagement had 70% fewer safety incidents compared with companies that ranked in the bottom quarter.
Another study conducted by Queens School of Business and Gallup found that disengaged employees have 37% higher absenteeism, 49% more accidents and 60% more mistakes.
How to improve workplace safety by employee engagement
As we previously mentioned, getting your employees engaged can be beneficial for improving safety in the workplace. Employee engagement reduces accidents as well as allows employees to be more aware of what happens in their surroundings. Therefore, employees are more likely to take steps to report potential risks and protect their co-workers. Also, they can develop leadership capabilities when it comes to identifying problems and generating solutions for safety related risks.
Here we share some key considerations in order to help you improve and maintain your employees engaged and achieve the safety excellence your organization deserves:
- Create trust and credibility. Safety leaders who are more approachable to their employees demonstrate them that they really care about their safety and well-being. Then, employees believe in what you are doing and in what the company is doing as well.
- Communication. Being approachable also will allow employees to voice their opinions, ideas and concerns without repercussions. Remember that maintaining a dialogue with your employees is important for solving conflicts.
- Get your employees involved. Connect with your employees by organizing safety meetings in order to reinforce safety culture. During those meetings, motivate them and demonstrate to them that their contributions are valuable for improving the safety program and achieving the company’s goals.
- Incentivize feedback loops for continuous improvement. Providing employees the opportunity to offer feedback is another way to connect with them. Listen and be open to their needs, concerns and ideas.
- Recognize employees. When employees are valued for their performance, they are motivated to maintain or improve their results at work. Also, it can be highly effective at reinforcing safe behaviors by your employees.
Having safety procedures with engaged workers is essential in every industry. Also, we believe that having the right resources, tools and equipment add value and support safety operations as well as professionals in the field.
Kwema builds safer workplaces by providing safety wearables to employees who are exposed to potential risks and hazards at their job everyday. Our safety devices activate an emergency protocol alerting safety supervisors or 911, and are designed to avoid adoption hurdles and training costs.
How do you engage employees in safety?
How can you improve safety performance at work?
How do you inspire safety?
employee engagement and workplace safety
employee engagement impact on safety performance
employee engagement improves participation in safety