Workplace safety culture is about having a shared understanding that safety is a top priority. It goes beyond meeting the bare minimum by ensuring that each employee embodies the safety mindset. This, however, is easier said than done. Many organizations struggle with the task of creating a safety culture within their own organization. Given this, we’ll look at top tips managers can do to encourage their employees to embrace a safety culture.
Integrate, Not Separate
Too many managers think of safety culture as an afterthought, after having already crafted the standard operating procedure of the organization. The best way to embrace safety culture in the workplace is to ensure that health and safety are integrated into the overall work processes from the very beginning. This ensures that safety awareness is part of an employee’s daily routine. Integrating this awareness into the workflow avoids it from being a chore that employees have to accomplish on top of their daily tasks.
Focus On Attitudes Not Regulations
Safety culture is about focusing on attitudes rather than regulations. While integrating safety culture regulations is important, much of embracing safety culture relies on employee attitudes and mindsets. Behavioral change is harder to achieve than just enforcing regulations, but it’s a more sustainable way of going about it. Changing attitudes can be done in many ways, such as dedicated training sessions and workshops, but in order for it to be successful, managers need to have a good grasp over the current office culture. Be immersed in how your team members think and what they currently value. This way behavioral changes are made more effective.
Make Use Of Positive Reinforcement
Positive reinforcement is an effective method that a manager can use to enforce employee behavior. It is a useful psychological tool that helps employers stress the importance of a certain behavior through incentives and words of encouragement. Business Blogs Hub recommends using positive reinforcement in safety culture by rewarding those who are contributing to a safer workplace. The site explains how this is the best way to get across how important safety is without “getting nasty”.
Psychological tools like these encourage employees to continue safe practices, as they know they will be rewarded for them in the future. In Maryville University’s overview of how psychology affects workplaces they found that there is a correlation between business objectives and employee behavior. Indeed, focusing on shaping employee attitudes can greatly influence organizational goals. Managers who understand the importance of this link will be better equipped to develop a workforce’s safety culture.
Involve And Engage Team Members
Another important tip in embracing workplace safety is involving employees in proactively working towards creating a safer environment for all. EHJ Journal recommends assigning every team member a specific safety responsibility that becomes a part of their performance evaluation at the end of the year. This works better than requiring a team member to attend a safety meeting occasionally.
Aside from this, it’s also important to get feedback from employees regarding how they regard your organization’s safety culture. Through getting feedback from them on how to go about embracing the culture, you also involve them in the decision-making process, making them more invested in making sure the office embraces safety.