It Is Time To Evaluate Your Culture of Safety In The Workplace
Over the last few months, it is likely that recruitment, rewards, and retention have come up in your internal planning discussions or even at your family and friend gatherings. “We can’t find anyone to work.”
As we continue to dive deeper into the Great Resignation, exploring what it truly means, and its potential impacts, a culture of safety may be a significant piece of the pie.
We recently supported a client with their annual culture survey administration to determine what’s going well and what needs improvement. When assessing the results, several themes emerged that were in line with current trends (competitive pay, benefits, profit sharing). But the most prominent point was centered on safety: the state of current equipment, quality air ventilation, and the need for updated equipment to get the job done more efficiently.
Company culture is the binding fabric of it all: who are we, and how do we get things done? This starts at the top and permeates throughout. From the initial recruiting touchpoints to employee transition out of the company, culture influences it all.
Consider the following questions related to your company culture and how that directly impacts a successful safety program:
1. How are you promoting a culture of safety?
- See something, say something.
2. How are you building a culture of trust?
- If I share something, will I be ignored, or worse, reprimanded?
3. How are you currently implementing an efficient, effective safety program?
- Consider what is working well and what may need to be adjusted.
4. Are you rewarding those who stay engaged in maintaining a safe culture?
- Consider how this may be incorporated into your performance review process if safety is truly a priority for your company.
5. How are you investing in your company?
- Hiring someone with a safety mindset will save you money in the long term.
6. How are you giving employees an opportunity to share feedback, concerns, and recommendations?
- Utilize your people to gain knowledge. This gives them an opportunity to contribute, which in turn leads to increased engagement.
7. Are you providing employees the proper channels to report concerns? How are these compiled and assessed?
- Accurate and detailed reporting is essential. Ensure that compliance and integrity align.
8. How are you communicating this back to employees regularly?
- Keep in mind that transparency is crucial, especially if you are not incorporating feedback received.
It is worth it: employee safety is essential!
Staying with the company and remaining engaged in the work may quickly fall to the wayside if individuals feel that their well-being is being pushed to the limits. A concern for their safety on the job often leads to a “this isn’t worth it” attitude, especially if this is a legitimate concern and is combined with low pay. Competitive wages may not be the initial, primary concern, but may push people over the edge if they feel their safety could be compromised: Why would I put myself at risk? For what?
You may read this and immediately see dollar signs. But take a moment and consider the core concern; this is not an unreasonable ask. The foundation for a successful safety program requires intentional investments into your company. This includes the physical equipment and technology, as well as the people who are designing and implementing the proper safety protocols, training, and development.
Embedding safety throughout your company culture impacts all areas of the employee lifecycle. From recruiting to onboarding, talent management to transition, you have the opportunity to reinforce a safety culture as part of your company culture. Not sure how to get started? Contact us today!
Written by: Carolyn Elliott, MSW, SHRM-SCP, Human Resources Advisor, HRPro