Safety culture – the attitudes, values and systems surrounding well-being, health and protection in your workplace.
The benefits of providing a safety culture may be obvious to you, but what about your employees?
Even if they are aware, safety culture is often seen as an advantage solely to company profits and industry compliance. But this is only one side of the coin…
Yes, it’s true that better safety at work helps increase morale, reduces staff turnover and minimises potential for expensive fines and injury settlements, all of which improve your business’s bottom line, but it’s also significant for staff and their careers.
A positive and safe working environment maximises the potential and ability of each individual in your business.
You can facilitate an optimum working environment and experience, that is sustainable within your business, by engaging your team in the benefits of a safety culture.
Here are 5 key ways to ensure a safety culture is adopted and embraced by your employees.
1. Appeal to self-interests
Facilitate team discovery of the benefits that directly affect them. A safer work environment equates to better working hours and conditions, higher efficiency, lower risk of injury and increased protection. As safe workers are productive workers, it ultimately provides opportunities for career advancement.
2. Engage employees from the outset
Pursue employee views on the safety culture, ask for ideas on how to enhance it and seek suggestions as to how to improve systems. Incentivise employee involvement by recognising ideas, facilitating discussions and being inclusive and supportive. Listen to staff needs and wants, and if compatible with the business, do your best to implement their feedback.
3. Provide an internal support structure
Be open to discussion, using team meetings as sounding boards and opportunities to spread key messages. Incorporate safety as the first point of order in daily processes, and use appropriate language and training. If you start to make safety a priority, so will your employees.
4. Lead by example
Ensure senior executives in your organisation demonstrate that they are committed to the culture of safety by being involved in its implementation on a daily basis. To achieve consistency and harmony, it is important that they are on the same page and understand your vision.
5. Provide an external support structure
Using outside expertise helps employees understand the importance you place upon safety. It provides mentorship and coaching that, while aligned with the needs and aims of the business, is more impartial and relevant to staff. External knowledge and experience also ensures that you and your employees stay up-to-date with industry requirements and legislation.
Safety culture will have a great influence on all aspects of your business. Ensure long-term success by being proactive with your knowledge and training, and that of your staff. This will enable you to embrace and implement safety processes that will benefit your stakeholders.