One of the biggest problems that a lot of entrepreneurs see with the workplace safety culture is the fact that they often see it as something that’s necessarily opposed to the productivity-driven culture. Inexperienced entrepreneurs often see safety and productivity as polar opposites, sometimes completely omitting the fact that they’re, in fact, two sides of the same coin. An injured employee will be unable to work for quite a bit and if it’s an invaluable member of the team, you’ll find yourself at quite the loss. Second, this may have an impact on the morale of your team and even drive some people away completely.
So, how do you get to improve safety in the workplace without endangering your precious productivity in any way? First of all, you start establishing a workplace safety culture. This way, all the most important safety measures become imprinted into the mindset of your staff and stop being something that you have to obsess over or spend resources on. Still, how does one develop a workplace safety culture? Well, here are five simple tips to help you get there in no time.
Lead by an example
The first thing you need to understand the concept of safety in the workplace is the fact that no one really feels like they really need it. After all, when it comes to their own vulnerability people are often known to be quite subjective to the level of being delusional. This is why it is the role of you as a leader and your HR department to spearhead this change in mindset. First of all, you need to explain to everyone just what is on the line. Otherwise, they might see this briefing as a complete waste of time. So, set an example and make sure that you abide by it.
Put it in writing
Other than just talking about it, what you also need to do is put all of this in writing. For starters, you need to outline your company’s philosophy towards workplace health and safety. Second, you need to clearly state the chain of command in this scenario, seeing as how, while workplace safety is everyone’s responsibility, there’s a reason why you have safety officers in place. Then, you need a detailed rundown of topics such as training, environmental protocols, a list of hazardous materials and risky behaviors, etc.
Promote it as a part of a lifestyle
Third, what you need to do is take a look at this matter from different perspectives. You see, a lot of illnesses come from one’s irregular lifestyle, which is not necessarily that you, as an employer, can affect. Sure, you can do all that you can to keep the office allergen-free, set the temperature right and more but if your employees are not eating and sleeping right, as well as getting enough physical exercise, there’s really not much you can do. Of course, you can make an effort like get a group discount for some
taekwondo beginner lessons. This way, you can at least incentivize them to be more physically active.
Help them take ownership
One of the most important things about the safety culture in the workplace lies in allowing your employees to understand that collective safety is their own responsibility, as well as yours. One of the ways to do this is to start enforcing the near-miss system. This way, you incentivize your employees to report a potentially dangerous situation in order to make the office more secure. Naturally, you need to recompense this kind of behavior with things like bonuses, extra days off and similar rewards.
Focus on stress
Perhaps the least important aspect of your company’s workplace safety is one of stress. This is especially due to the fact that it affects the safety of your employees in more than one way. First, it makes them less focused on the task at hand and less satisfied in your employ. Both of these things may result in a high error percentage and high absenteeism. Moreover, stress is something that you can actively affect by leading an efficient anti-bullying and anti-mobbing campaign, by giving your staff a tad more lenient deadlines and by
laying off office troublemakers.
The very last thing you need to understand is the fact that the concept of safety alone is an umbrella term. This means that, before you start actively working towards improving your safety culture, what you need to do is understand what hazards you’re facing and where they’re coming from. Then, once you fully understand the threat that you’re facing, you can spring into action and create a company culture that’s safety-oriented. This way, you can have safety and productivity at the same time; it’s like having your cake and eating it too.