Strong Workplace Safety Culture Leads to More Recruitment Wins

By Steve Donovan on Jun 24, 2022
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creating a strong workplace safety culture

If you think you’re doing all you can to keep your employees safe at work, you might want to double-check. Research shows employers are not meeting employee expectations when it comes to workplace safety. In the United States’ tight labor market, that disparity may very well impact your organization’s ability to attract and retain top talent.  

RELATED: Reduce Employee Injury and Illness with Comprehensive Risk Assessments >>

Workplace Safety Statistics

According to a new study

  • Most working Americans (89%) said workplace safety is more important than ever before. 
  • Almost all employees (97%) said feeling safe is an important factor in deciding where to work. 
However, the same study showed:
  • Only half of the employees (54%) surveyed believe their safety is extremely important to their employers. 

The delta between what employees want and what they experience highlights a problematic disconnect that could make or break your workforce in the age of the Great Resignation, when millions of people are quitting or switching jobs.  

Small businesses looking to gain every advantage in the post-pandemic economy should work to strengthen their safety cultures and motivate corresponding behaviors on the job. The first step is to go beyond compliance and demonstrate a genuine commitment to employee safety. People who feel protected and valued at work respect their employers more. That leads to companywide trust, which is integral to a strong safety culture.  

Positive Safety Culture

Best Practices for Showing Employees Their Safety is a Priority

Following these best practices will make small businesses more successful at maintaining trustworthy work environments where employee safety is a clear priority:  

  1. Leading by Example 

    A strong safety culture relies on a top-down approach, where leaders at all levels of an organization support safety goals with both their words and their actions. When supervisors and managers fully engage in training and consistently model safety-first behaviors, they lend credibility to safety efforts. Employees tend to get on board when they can observe leaders’ commitment.

    RELATED: Safe Workplaces Keep Workerforces and Bottom Lines Healthy >>
  2. Providing Adequate Resources

    Prioritize safety initiatives, like training and the purchase of any necessary equipment. Provide PPE, repairs, technology or any other resources employees need to safely perform their duties, and leverage training opportunities and communications tools to regularly improve workers’ understanding of safety policies and procedures. Address any known hazards immediately and appropriately.
  3. Empowering Employees

    Establish and promote a clear reporting process that allows workers, managers and senior leaders to share safety concerns without fear of reproach. Without open lines of communication, employees won’t feel comfortable raising safety concerns or asking procedural questions. Also, ensure employees feel prepared and empowered to address smaller safety issues autonomously.
  4. Soliciting Employee Input

    Employees are more likely to adopt safety-first behaviors if their employers incorporate their feedback into workplace safety policies, training and procedures. Worker responses to surveys should also inform safety initiatives, identify knowledge gaps and gauge employees’ support of organizational safety programs. 

When safety becomes a built-in mindset at work and a practice everyone incorporates into day-to-day activities, employees and employers both benefit. Employees feel safe, so they perform at higher levels, and employers see improved productivity, recruitment efforts and reputations.  

Small business leaders who take a top-down approach, encourage open dialogue and equip employees with the tools they need to safely perform their jobs will enjoy a strong, sustainable safety culture as well as competitive advantages that translate to greater success. 

RELATED: 5 Ways to Keep Slips, Trips and Falls from Tripping Up Your Workplace >>

For top-notch health and safety expertise, turn to Axcet's team of experts.

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Written by Steve Donovan

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