Mar 25, 2020
Safety training sessions and conducting toolbox talks are a great first step in developing a thriving safety culture. What are some of the other ways to get in front of problems using safety leadership?
To have a successful and thriving safety culture, every employee at all levels must do their part. So what can we learn from successful organizations in regards to employee enrollment and participation in a safety program? Employee engagement is the foundation of a successful safety culture. Leadership is not hierarchical and must come at all levels of an organization. To do so, develop and implement a thorough communication strategy focused on employee enrollment. This approach should be clear, consistent and performance-based.
Here some useful tips for any organization to develop a successful communication plan for their safety culture:
First, set clear standards for compliance. This message should reach all employees of the organization and utilize different modes of visual communication to reinforce topics from the toolbox talks. Use digital signage in high-trafficked to display brief, concise, messages with a call-to-action for each employee.
Second, unify all employees through enrollment in your safety program. Calling all allies! Use a safety newsletter to promote your safety culture. Demonstrate that safety is the top organizational priority.
Third, make sure your safety culture is transparent and inclusive. Enrollment can be achieved by encouraging your employees to take pictures of safety hazards and report them immediately. Then you can display before/after pictures to demonstrate progress towards your safety goals. Whatever your organization does to recognize employees, make it loud! Do you have "safety superstars" within your organization? Recognize their performances and incentivize other employees to follow in their example with prizes, bonuses, and company recognition. If you follow these steps, your organization is on its way to a thriving safety culture.
Conducting toolbox talks and training sessions is a great first step, but no safety program can be successful without employees doing their part. Yet, many organizations share the same challenge when it comes to hazard recognition and safe behavior: encouraging employee participation.
Organizations that create a successful safety culture do so by building a communication strategy focused on employee engagement. They develop a consistent, performance-focused approach and use all the communication tools available to foster participation among their workforce.
Here are some suggestions for constructing a successful safety communication strategy that boosts employee engagement:
Communicate compliance standards and critical hazard recognition skills. Make sure your message reaches all employees, regardless of shift, location or role. Visual communication, such as digital signage, is one tool that can reinforce topics covered in toolbox talks and training sessions. Place your signage in high-traffic areas and keep your messages brief, clear and easy to understand. Conclude the message with a call to action directed at employees.
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