What does it mean to engage employees in safety? An “engaged employee” is fully involved in and enthusiastic about their work, increasing their likelihood of having the organization’s best interests in mind. They receive satisfaction from their work, feel pride in being associated with their employer, believe in what they do, and know their employer values what they bring to the table.
Studies show a correlation between safety performance and employee engagement. Gallup reports that engaged businesses experience 62% fewer safety incidents than businesses with low or no employee engagement.
How to engage employees? Encouraging open communication, employee involvement, and participation are the best tools. Employers also need to respect the insights their employees might have to offer. Help employees obtain a sense of pride and purpose by asking how they would improve their work processes and job tasks. Employers might be surprised how often employees have a better way to complete job tasks but don’t think their ideas would be valued.
Additional ways to engage employees include:
- Encouraging their participation during safety meetings
- Having employees sample PPE, tools, etc. before making a change
- Discussing proposed workplace changes with affected employees before implementation
- Have a Hazard Hunt Day and award a prize to the one who identifies the most hazards
Employee engagement can be a powerful tool to improve safety performance, increase task efficiencies, and other workplace systems. It will also help improve the business’ bottom line.
Rick Means, Director of Safety and Education, is available to help members draw up safety plans and suggest topics for safety meetings. Contact Rick at 360-943-9198, Ext. 118 or [email protected].