Companies committed to supporting safety in their workplaces understand the critical role their culture plays in reinforcing safe working habits for their workers. Because a strong safety culture guides workers through the influence of their peers, supervisors, and management to consider whether they are working safely, following protocols, and avoiding unnecessary risks. This creates opportunities for organizations to increase efficiency, raise morale, and boost productivity.
Creating a strong culture of safety requires more than just understanding the purpose culture serves. Leadership needs to put in the time and effort with their teams and employees to build and shape the company’s culture. The only way to reap the rewards from a culture of safety is by making sure it has the structure in place to work.
1. Focus on More Than Injuries
Injuries are an important metric when trying to gauge the effectiveness of a company’s safety culture. But focusing on lagging indicators like injuries alone limits the full scope and impact culture has on workplace safety. Leaders that are interested in the data should focus on both leading and lagging indicators to fully understand the available safety data and use it to create actionable safety improvements in the workplace.
2. Connect with Workers
Face-to-face time is invaluable to take communication with workers beyond a surface level. Which is why it’s important to talk and connect with workers individually.
Communicating one-on-one with employees helps leaders understand challenges and goals from each employee’s perspective. This allows leaders to approach safety pain points more holistically and address issues with changes that employees will appreciate because they can see their influence reflected in the solution.
This dialogue is also a two-way street. Leaders that share their commitment to safety directly with workers puts a human face on the company’s safety messaging. This brings both sides closer together in an effort to boost safety.
3. Pay Attention to Workers’ Actions
Safety is built up by small actions each employee decides to make. Giving employees due recognition for respecting and performing safe working habits provides extra incentive for workers to be more mindful about the actions they take. Take the time to acknowledge the safety wins.
But not every action is positive. People can make mistakes or become distracted and forget part of a process. It’s equally important to acknowledge these moments as well. These moments shouldn’t be used as invitations to personally tear down or scrutinize workers. Instead use these points to guide employees and refine processes so there are less near misses in the future.
4. Introduce Incentives
Workers are more motivated when they have a clear incentive for reaching a goal or target, yet focusing on material incentives alone can backfire on employers. Leaders should look beyond cash or party motivators and instead consider internal opportunities or goalsetting objectives as rewards. Introducing an internal safety leadership structure and showing how those with a focus and talent for safety can have an alternate career opportunity in safety leadership provides both a strong incentive and more lasting impression on the workplace than a one-time cash payout. It also provides the company with a valuable resource to better understand employee sentiment around safety.
5. Consult with Safety Professionals
Every company has its specialty. And working with a team that intimately understands their area of expertise is more likely to produce positive results. So partnering with a team of outside safety experts like the team at Optimum Safety Management makes sense if the end goal is creating a strong safety culture.
Optimum’s P3 Safety Culture Analysis™ provides insights based on tested safety metrics that are understandable and approachable in one easy-to-read graph. The team at Optimum then uses this data to work with representatives from the company build out a holistic action plan to strengthen the company’s safety culture and close safety gaps.
Boosting safety culture is all about considering, communicating, and connecting with workers. This helps employers center their safety goals in the workplace around the human factors that matter most—worker’s lives and well-being. And working with a team of dedicated safety professionals helps employers reach these goals with confidence at every step of the process.
Optimum Safety Management provides the information and services to help companies develop safety leaders and improve overall safety performance. For more information on how Optimum Safety Management can assist with your businesses’ safety needs, contact an expert today, or reach out via phone at 630-759-9908.