Over the last few years, employers have become increasingly focused on employee engagement to foster a safer workplace environment. The two go hand in hand since engaged workers are more likely to be emotionally committed and enthusiastic about their work and, as a result, want to invest in the organization’s safety goals.
A 2016 Gallup survey of over 1.8 million workers found that businesses in the top quartile for employee engagement had 70% fewer workplace incidents than those in the bottom quartile. With solid and persuasive statistics like that, the case for supporting employee engagement to enhance workplace safety is clear.
So, how exactly do you encourage employee buy-in when it comes to creating a safer workplace? In this blog, we’ll highlight 5 proven employee engagement strategies that managers and leaders can incorporate into their culture and operations to achieve safety goals.
5 Ways to Promote Strong Employee Engagement
1. Give Your Workers a Voice
This simple step is one of the most effective ways to promote employee engagement. After all, your employees (especially those who work on the frontlines) are usually the most knowledgeable about the common risks present in their work environment, as well as the ways to control or prevent them. Hearing their feedback, ideas, and opinions allows you to develop a well-rounded, effective safety strategy that employees will want to follow. It is especially important to include frontline workers in conversations about health and safety strategies from the start, as this can significantly affect future buy-in and engagement in a positive way.
While safety meetings are a great avenue to gather this feedback, you might also want to consider investing in Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) mobility software. This ensures you’re able to connect with all corners of your organization quickly and reliably.
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2. Trust Your People to do the Right (and Safe) Thing
Executive leaders that trust their workforce to make safe choices when confronted with risk will leave their employees feeling empowered in their duties. Otherwise, daily functions can become stalled if employees feel like they must wait for instruction before moving forward with tasks that contain some element of risk. By establishing clear, simple guidelines, you can build greater safety ownership within your workforce and show who needs to know which issues. Mobile EHS apps offer users the ability to access and view these guidelines and instructions wherever they might be, which can be helpful when it comes to addressing safety or risk concerns as soon as possible.
3. Act on the Safety Feedback You Receive
After your employees give feedback, it’s vital that you not only take it in but make changes based on it. If you don’t use the feedback you get, employees might begin to wonder why they should even give it in the first place. And if leaders don’t know about the problems their employees are facing, they can’t make the changes or provide the resources needed to promote a safer work environment.
Creating transparency about these changes is just as important and lets employees know their concerns aren’t being tossed aside. Once again, EHS software and mobile apps allow employees to easily track this progress based on key indicators and metrics.
4. Provide Workers with the Right Data to Make Safe Decisions
Safer work comes, in part, from ensuring that workers have reliable access to the information they need to plan and carry out their tasks. Digital tools like EHS mobile apps will provide your employees with real-time information about certain risks so they can adjust their work plans accordingly. Employees can also digitally complete checklists and forms to gain authorization from supervisors, even if they aren’t on-site, ensuring that everyone has all the information they need.
5. Creating a Psychologically Safe Workplace
Workers need to feel like they can be vulnerable with their peers and managers. This means being able to speak openly about mistakes or failures without fear of unjust repercussions. Make sure your organization sets the tone that it’s not just ok, but welcome to admit failures so that you can figure out where improvements can be made. One way you can help to support this work is to utilize the leading indicator metrics in your EHS software to show what helps to proactively manage safety rather than focusing too heavily on lagging indicators.
Learn More About Improving Employee Engagement
While there’s no silver bullet to immediately improve employee engagement, taking even just one of these steps can go a long way toward pushing your organization in the right direction. Technology is a great resource in helping promote these changes and keep employees safe.