The Tie Between Safety and Employee Engagement – Part 2

Chris Powell on safety risk and culture

In part one of our interview with Chris Powell, CEO of Talmetrix, we talked about why safety is a basic need for companies. In this post, we examine key ways to increase safety and engagement.

How to Increase Safety & Engagement 

Job fit. Improving safety and engagement through a more positive workplace culture often starts with offering jobs or roles that best fit the individual’s experience, skill level, and their interests.

As basic as it sounds, job fit continues to be one of the primary drivers influencing employee engagement and the overall employee experience, says Powell. “When employees feel like they belong (fit) within an organization and are empowered to perform and/or execute their role, they take more of active role in supporting and contributing to the workplace in terms of safety, productivity, and the overall culture.”

Relationship with supervisor/manager. Second to the job itself is the relationship a worker has with their immediate manager. Don’t underestimate the influence of that manager on an employee’s ability and capacity to thrive in their role.

Important components for any successful manager-worker relationship include respect, communication (clear and transparent), and the ability to manage emotions. It’s also important for a manager’s actions to align with company and personal values and ethics.

“If these two drivers are in place, and employees feel like they are being paid fairly, a company has the fundamentals to enhance the level of employee engagement they have,” says Powell. When systems and processes are in place that are also putting the employee first, this is enhanced even more.

Employee training and development. “Companies that spend time and resources on employee learning, development, and career growth see even greater levels of engagement, as the employee’s feel like they are being invested in beyond the basics,” adds Powell.

safety, risk and culture
Company values. Be sure to bring the vision and values of the company to life so that they can be embraced by workers. When workers understand and embrace company values, they’re more likely to be thoughtful, have attention to detail, and use discretionary thinking that supports a safe work environment.

These components are often talked about for professional salaried workforces, but are critical elements for any position including lower-wage, high turnover, lesser-skilled positions, as those are often higher-risk.  Not having job fit, training and a solid relationship with their supervisor can impact safety and the implications of an accident if one happens.

iReportSource is a complete Safety Management Software that can help you save time, reduce risk, and improve employee safety.


Recovering After a Workplace Accident

Recovering from a catastrophic accident or event in the workplace can have an impact on employee engagement and the company culture. “The good news is that there are ways to regain and repair the culture,” says Powell. Communicating with employees in an authentic, transparent, and consistent manner is one of the first ways you can start to recover and rebuild trust with employees.

Companies that are proactive during a crisis tend to find they are able to come away with greater engagement and move forward stronger vs. allow an accident to be detrimental.  Employees will feel protected and this will help reduce or avoid an “us vs. them” mentality.

Employees can recognize when the process is transparent, and leaders are consistent with their communication. This, in turn, can help to establish (or re-establish) trust with the employee base.

Last, the foundation of your high-performing culture—your company values—should be referred to during any crisis or post-crisis situation. “Reaffirming the company’s vision and values and then demonstrating them in action is what sets apart great companies from the rest who chose a different approach,” says Powell.

Create a Safe Workplace with iReportSource

Empower your employees to build and contribute to a safer workplace using iReportSource. As the ONLY integrated digital workspace to manage worker’s compensation and safety to lower cost and improve outcomes, we use technology to prevent accidents and make compliance easy. Move from a fault-finding to fact-finding collaborative, safe, and healthy workplace.

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