Research shows engaged workforces are not only better at preventing workplace accidents, but also boost productivity, generate higher profits, demonstrate increased loyalty, and take fewer sick days.
Why is this? It’s very simple: engaged workforces are happy ones, and happy workforces work harder, smarter and safer. In fact, research shows businesses may experience up to 70% fewer employee safety-related incidents, as workers pay closer attention to their surroundings and follow safety procedures more closely.
By contrast, workers who disengage from their organisations for one reason or another are proven to be prone to taking shortcuts, disregarding safety procedures, and failing to report hazards, near misses and minor injuries.
Improving employee engagement
So, how do you encourage your employees to engage with the importance of their own safety?
The first thing to do is to be open and honest about what you want to achieve and why. Encourage a no-blame culture by asking your employees to openly share ideas for improvements, as well as solutions to remove or minimise barriers to engagement. Respect all the feedback you receive and, if you can’t accommodate a suggestion, explain why that is.
Provide access to regular safety and well-being training for all staff, and make sure your directors and senior managers lead from the front. Any inconsistencies or exemptions will undermine the credibility of what you’re trying to achieve.
Different things appeal to different people so you may need to employ several strategies to engage all of your staff, depending on their individual personality or level in your organisation. It can help to identify those natural leaders who your employees instinctively turn to for advice and support, as they can help you win hearts and minds. You may also want to consider offering financial or other rewards for safety-related achievements, or for volunteering as employee safety representative.
Finally, it’s important to be patient. There’s no quick route to employee engagement: your efforts will take time to embed before you see widespread results.
The importance of good safety provision
Engaging your employees with the importance of keeping themselves and others safe is only one part of the equation. As an employer, you also have a duty to provide them with the best safety workwear and equipment, as well as put in place the proper procedures to keep them safe.
Be aware, though, not all safety workwear or PPE is created equal. Make sure you invest in high quality safety footwear and other protective clothing that is fit for purpose and your working environment. Such items may cost you a little bit more upfront, but comfortable and long-lasting PPE and safety footwear will save you money in the long-run. It’s also more likely to be worn, and is less likely to lose its efficacy due to damage or wear and tear. On top of this, your employees will appreciate your investment and repay you with higher engagement.
At iSB Group, we are experts in keeping people safe, providing protective clothing and PPE of all kinds. Our product offering ranges from safety boots and shoes, to eye protection, thermal clothing, and a variety of general and specialist handling gloves. Browse our safety workwear ranges. Our team are available to talk you through options if you have any questions. Give us a call on 0121 749 4433 or you can email us.