Every employer has obligations to run a safe workplace. You have a long list of rules from state regulators as well as from OSHA. Beyond your emergency response plans, accident logs, and regular reporting, you have another obligation for creating a safer workplace: employee engagement.
No reasonable person wants to get hurt at work. No manager wants to see any of their team members in an accident. But complacency can lead to mistakes and shortcuts and eventually to accidents.
Engaged employees are safe employees. Here’s why.
What the Data Says on Employee Engagement
The premise that employee engagement supports employee safety makes sense on paper, but there’s plenty of data to support it, too. One Gallup study from 2016 found that among 82,000 business units, those among the top 25% in terms of engagement saw 70% fewer incidents compared to groups in the bottom 25%.
Another study from Gallup found that disengaged workers have 49% more accidents and 37% higher rates of absenteeism.
Gallup’s data is clear. If you want a safety culture, you need more than a review of your safety procedures. You need engaged employees committed to best practices.
How to Promote Employee Engagement for Safety
First, it’s important to remember that employee engagement and employee happiness aren’t the same concept. Happy employees can be disengaged and vice versa. Rather, worker engagement refers to the emotional commitment your team members have to your organization and organizational goals. They’re not just there to collect a paycheck. They care about succeeding.
How do you promote worker engagement? As it turns out, it starts with you. Engaged employees follow management’s lead.
It would be best if you were committed to the company’s goals and not only communicate it but demonstrate it. With that baseline, you can then help employees find and amplify their own voices, which helps encourage engagement.
Other ways to facilitate employee engagement, particularly in safety include:
- Involving employees in health and safety reporting and planning
- Providing stellar equipment and modeling its use
- Rewarding and recognizing proper safety behaviors
- Providing support and leadership in employee development programs
Stay Engaged, Stay Safe
Employee engagement is the key to promoting a strong safety culture. If your employees are disengaged, they’re more likely to make mistakes that can cost them their health and wellbeing. So, before you go revamping safety regulations and writing out citations, ask yourself this: is your team unsafe, or are they disengaged?
Build a Safer Workforce
Sometimes finding engaged employees is about finding the right fit for your organization. Get in touch to learn how Energi Personnel places committed job seekers with businesses like yours.