Traffic was light this morning on the way in to the office. Perhaps a lot of people took the day off in preparation for the Thanksgiving holiday, or had already left for out-of-town family gatherings. The guy that cut me off in traffic did not take the day off, however, as he was in a heavy-duty work truck – most likely thinking about tomorrow’s festivities or wishing he were on the outbound side of the interstate. As he abruptly merged into my lane in front of me (which put is in very close proximity) I couldn’t help but notice the rather large printed words across the rear of his vehicle: SAFETY FIRST. Below that – How’s My Driving? Hmmm. My second thought (no need to relate my first thought here!) was to consider this in the context of safety incentive programs and the engagement of program participants.
A well planned and executed safety incentive program will incorporate a variety of methods aimed at encouraging and maintaining employee engagement (active participation). Successfully executed, these programs foster a strengthened safety culture – which serves to keep safety top-of-mind for management and employees. The more proactive everyone becomes about following safe practices and being vocal about potential safety issues, the more ingrained the “culture of safety” becomes in everyone’s daily work habits.
Make sure all goals and measurements are clearly defined and consistently communicated via readily accessible venues – company intranet, break room bulletin boards, payroll stub inserts, emails, and the incentive program online platform (to name a few). Easy access to program information – via the program website – should provide participants with details about program KPI’s, points awarded, program rewards and more. Clear and consistent communication is vital to developing a safety culture.
Had I not been able to avoid the truck this morning, we would be discussing the “accident.” According to Merriam-Webster, accident can be defined as “an unfortunate event resulting especially from carelessness or ignorance.” Thinking about this and how it relates to planning, communication and execution of safety incentive programs, employees can potentially be categorized as such.
- Ignorant – Not a derogatory term, but simply meaning uninformed or untrained. Those who are ignorant don’t know better because they haven’t been made aware of safe practices.
- Careless – Those that know better, having been informed and/or trained but disregard or ignore that information and training and fail to alter their behavior – committing acts that can lead to accidents.
Effective safety incentive programs are the result of planning, training, communication and execution. It takes more than just printing slogans on posters or vehicles. Contact us to find out more about safety incentive programs and creating a culture of safety in your workplace.