Safety is the only department where, when performance drops, it's common practice to bring in an outside speaker to sling platitudes for an hour in hopes that performance will improve afterward. When production lags or when revenues fall or when hiring slows down, companies don’t pay consultants to talk about those issues with front-line staff for an hour. But safety does.
More often than not, a facility’s safety is not the first thing that comes to mind when considering what an organization must have in order to achieve and maintain consistent production. Digging a little deeper, however, reveals that safety actually emerges from the same conditions that make for efficient production. Five practices in particular can have a huge impact on safety.
There's a fundamental shift that occurs the moment a front-facing employee becomes their crew's supervisor—and the quicker the new manager understands that shift, the quicker they will get the buy-in of their team. Odds are good that new supervisor was previously the rock star employee of the team. Likely they were a top performer with some pretty decent experience and even better results. Their employer saw this talent and, wanting other employees to be more like the rock star, promoted that individual to supervisor so they could help the others.
Many safety managers tend to focus heavily on getting safety equipment, training, and protocols in place. Although health and safety control measures are necessary components of a safe workplace, their effectiveness may be diminished if employees don’t follow them. After all, PPE that isn’t worn, training that isn’t learned, and protocols that aren’t followed help no one and yield weak results. One very effective way to improve the worker participation needed to create a safer environment is to prioritize listening to employees.
Office gyms and meditation breaks are nice, but employee well-being is much more complex than physical fitness and mindfulness. To better understand trends in the average worker’s day-to-day experiences of well-being and their workplace, Great Place to Work partnered with researchers at Johns Hopkins University in a study that surveyed over 14,000 people from 37 countries and revealed the five key workplace elements that promote a climate of positive employee well-being.