Engaged employees are 5x less likely to have a safety incident and 7x less likely to have a lost-time incident. How engaged are your employees?
“Research conducted over the past decade shows that engaged employees are safer, more productive, make better use of corporate assets, are more likely to stay (retention) and are more supportive of organizational changes. They also have lower rates of absence and they work harder to deliver strategic objectives”[i]. If we take a second and look at employee engagement and its relationship with organizational outcomes, studies prove that there is, in fact, a correlation. A Gallup study by Harter, Schmidt, Kilham and Agrawal, identified that companies with higher engaged employees were on average 12 per cent more profitable and 18 per cent more productive. The employees were 25 per cent more likely to stay at the company, and almost 50 per cent less likely to suffer workplace incidents or injuries. A lack of effective worker participation in safety directly and irrefutably causes undesirable outcomes. Improving worker participation will not only provide more accurate and timely data and create a more efficient safety process, but will also ensure your organization is continuously building a world-class health and safety program that is set up for success.
The Role of Technology in Worker Participation
How many action items does your organization have? How many of those have been accepted? How many people have read and acknowledged the company health and safety policy? How many people attended the last safety meeting? Without using technology in the workplace, it’s near impossible to have these numbers in the palm of your hand. However, if your employees are equipped with the necessary tools they use in their everyday lives (cell phones, tablets, iPads), the likelihood of their engagement will certainly be higher. As an employer, you know that you need to base your organizational decision making on facts, not guesses or assumptions. This requires good data from across the enterprise that is easily derived through the use of technology. Allowing workers to immediately identify hazards on the field, and instantly assign a corrective action to have it rectified is efficiency at its best. By eliminating the lag time between the front line and the boardroom, communication throughout the department becomes seamless – due to the use of technology.
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Enabling Worker Participation
By motivating and inspiring workers that have the ability to drive and succeed, is essentially facilitating their growth. To educate and arm those that are reaching for excellence recognizes their efforts and paves their path to success. Ask yourself what might be discouraging your workers from participating in workplace safety. Is management’s reluctance to adopting new technology the answer? A recent survey by EHS Daily Advisor identified that to be a major barrier to worker participation. Or, is it management’s inability to motivate, inspire and educate employees? The survey also uncovered “lack of management support” to be another major barrier.
Safety is about more than just avoiding incidents. It’s about communication. It’s about leadership. It’s about worker participation. So, I ask again, how engaged are your employees?