A railroad wheel maker in Ohio is fined $610,034. A California explosives manufacturer is charged $292,235. A Missouri plumbing contractor faces $714,000 in OSHA® penalties. These are not hypothetical scenarios, they’re what actually happened within the month of June alone. To be more accurate, these fines were issued within less than two weeks of each other. Sadly, there were many more that didn’t make this article.
Regardless of your occupation or even industry, OSHA® fines can cripple your entire company. We hear it time and time again. Companies who have the best of intentions go under because of on-the-job accidents that are totally preventable.
The question then becomes, how do we prevent accidents, fines, and – most importantly -- loss of life from occurring? The answer lies in employee engagement.
Let’s take a closer look at the numbers.
Lack of Employee Engagement in the Workplace
When it comes to reducing and eliminating fines, protecting your employees and the public, and increasing your profitability, there’s no better place to start than creating a Culture of Engagement at your company. Unfortunately, many companies lack this crucial element, and – sooner or later – their business will likely pay the price.
According to Gallup’s annual State of the American Workplace report, only 33% of the U.S. workforce is engaged at work. This is a frightening statistic when you think about the consequences of a disengaged workforce!
Creating a Safer Environment
Increasing safety in the workplace should be a chief concern of every company, and the best way to tackle this is by creating a Culture of Engagement.
Companies with high levels of employee engagement have 70% fewer safety incidents than similar companies with low levels of engagement. Additionally, they also experience 40% fewer quality incidents and 41% lower absenteeism. This amounts to a lot less fines!
In addition to reducing workplace risks and fines, employee engagement has also been found to drastically increase profits. Companies with high levels of engagement experience 17% higher productivity and 21% higher profitability.
That’s right, employee engagement really adds up!
How Do I Get Started?
By now, it should be pretty clear that engaging your employees should be a top concern. But, where do you start? Here are seven great tips that can help!
- Involve your whole team — one way to actively involve your employees is through a concept known as gamification, which applies game design elements and principles to more traditional workplace tasks.
- Let their voices be heard — allow staff members to voice their opinions, concerns and ideas without fear of reprimand.
- Ensure good lines of communication — be approachable and keep your door open at all times.
- Offer positive feedback — mistakes don’t always need to be punished. Stay positive and remember that implementation is a process.
- Respect employees and their ideas — not every idea is good or constructive, but showing that you’re willing to consider them is a great way to instill confidence.
- Recognize hard work — when an employee goes above and beyond what is asked of them, make sure they are recognized for the effort.
- Set clear guidelines — employees must know what they’re striving for, and displaying/discussing safety parameters helps provide that clarity.
To read even more tips, check out our article “Employee Engagement is the Key to Improving Workplace Safety.” While there, be sure to subscribe to our blog for the most up-to-date content in the world of employee engagement and recognition.
Just remember, engaging employees is an ongoing process. Like everything worth doing, creating a meaningful Culture of Engagement takes time, energy, and a lot of hard work, but the good news is you don’t have to do it alone. C. A. Short Company has been in the employee engagement and recognition business for nearly a century. Over that time, we have created winning strategies proven to make companies safer and more prosperous places! If you’d like to join us on our mission to engage as many employees as possible, feel free to reach out.
We’d love to hear from you.
C.A. Short Company partners with companies to manage, drive and facilitate increased employee engagement to increase financial performance, productivity, quality, and core performance outcomes. Our process and research-based platform enables executives and managers to engage their teams to increase the bottom line, motivate staff, and incentivize positive behavior. To Request a Complimentary Consultation, click here.