I received a phone call from our President last week and the words, “you need to change the company culture to be more aware of the importance of safety” came flooding in like lava.  Quickly jumping online and searching the words "change company culture", then "company culture changes", and then "how to change the culture of a company."  It went on, and on, and on until I thought my head would explode. I leaned back in my chair from exhaustion and said “think, think, think!”  Then it hit me - when I want my children to change their behaviors I recognize and reward them. If I simply ask them to clean their room, it’s a guarantee that their beds will remain unmade, laundry is on the floor, and there are most definitely candy wrappers that just missed the trash can.  When they are reminded they only get an allowance and a huge star on their chore board next to their name if the task gets done, it’s done in minutes flat, no complaining.  Amazing how that happens.

Using Safety Incentives to Strengthen Company Culture

Workplace_Safety_IncentivesOften times, managers and supervisors who preach and demand that their employees follow safety guidelines because “they said so” find themselves dealing with injuries, near misses, and unsafe working conditions.  Diligent managers that maintain a safety culture, one in which employees share beliefs, practices and attitudes about adhering to safety regulations find they are dealing with fewer safety violations. In strong safety cultures, everyone sees safety as their duty and responsibility and are more likely to identify safety risks and report any activity that does not adhere to the safety regulations. Using safety incentives to cement this framework only strengthens that culture.

I have defined what a safety culture is, but how do you
get one of those strong, safety culture things?

As noted in the second and fourth levels of Maslow’s Hierarchy[1] of needs, employees need to feel safe in their working environment, second only to the basic need of food and water, and then they need to feel a sense of achievement and confidence. When it comes to designing, implementing, and maintaining a strong safety culture, you have to work backward. You provide employees a reason to maintain a culture of safety by rewarding and recognizing them for performing the safety standards, which in turn creates a safe working environment, fewer accidents and less missed work time.  Everybody wins! 

[1] Maslow, A. H. (1943). A Theory of Human Motivation, Psychological Review 50, 370-96

Creating an OSHA Compliate Safety Incentive Program: A Checklist At C.A. Short Company, we are your partner for increased employee engagement resulting in increased performance outcomes to grow your bottom line. Our process and research-based platform help you engage your team in order to increase your bottom line, motivate your staff to the benefit of the entire organization, and reward your people for the positive changes they make. To request a Complimentary Consultation, please click here. 

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