How Can Health And Safety Technology Be A Positive Influence On Your Business?
7 June 2022 - Evotix
For Health and Safety Managers, decreasing the number of safety incidents in the workplace while keeping employees healthy and safe is a constant concern. One major barrier to improving this often lies in the fact that many employees see EHS regulations as a ‘tick-box’ exercise: admin tasks they must do that get in the way of doing their ‘real’ jobs. As a result, employees don’t feel engaged with health and safety measures.
Research from Gallup has found that when comparing employee engagement levels, businesses in the top quartile of engagement had 64% fewer safety incidents than those businesses in the bottom quartile. Furthermore, Gallup’s research also found that only 15% of employees worldwide (and 35% of employees in the United States) fell within the ‘engaged’ category.
This presents an opportunity for EHS managers to significantly improve workplace health and safety. So, how can good safety management and safety technology improve engagement in safety and the business overall?
Employee engagement is key
Employee engagement is vital, but it goes so much further than the headline safety stats: engaged employees are at the heart of wider operational effectiveness. Gallup found that in addition to a better safety record, higher employee engagement was also correlated strongly with higher levels of productivity, customer loyalty and profitability
For example, companies in the top quartile of employee engagement experienced 18% more productivity; 10% more customer engagement; and 23% more profitability compared to those in the bottom quartile. Interesting, higher engagement also contributed to a 81% reduction in absenteeism
Employees with a high level of engagement are more committed and productive and will know best where the improvement opportunities lie. Whether these are safety or operational improvements, if you engage with your employees, they will share their valuable insights.
So, if better employee engagement is so important, how can it be achieved?
How safety can improve engagement
According to Gallup’s research, key drivers of employee engagement include factors such as purpose, ongoing conversations and a caring team. The good news is that safety is a great way to start this process. Having a fully integrated approach to health and safety can demonstrate a care and commitment to employees that encourages them to be more engaged and proactive, building a more robust culture within the workplace.
Workers must understand why health and safety is important to their everyday job. Delivering engaging, simple and relatable content on a regular basis to demonstrate the importance of safety helps them understand the purpose of their responsibilities and highlights the personal value they gain from building a safer workplace.
Make safety a part of regular conversation within your organization – whether this is as part of a daily team meeting, toolbox talks, webinars, or leadership tours. Employees should feel encouraged to have open dialogue with management about any safety issues they have identified.
A caring team
Every employee wants to feel valued in their workplace, and prioritizing health and safety is a great way to demonstrate this. Show that action is taken as soon as incidents do occur or a hazard is reported – whether that’s through improved safety protocols or a simplified reporting process. In addition, take on feedback from the team – after all, employees are the ones on the ground and know what needs improving.
Give employees a helping hand
It’s clearly important to engage employees in health and safety, but how can an organization do this effectively? EHS software is a great way to help drive and track employee engagement in a simple, intuitive way to help make management’s lives easier.
For example, if safety activities and events can be recorded and tracked through an easy-to-use app, accessible from a mobile device, this significantly simplifies reporting for the employee and makes follow up much more efficient at the same time. After all, no one enjoys being buried in paperwork, and it can often be a laborious task at the end of the day. By simplifying the reporting process, employees become more engaged with this aspect of their role.
The data derived from this also forms a valuable part of the improved workplace culture. By giving employees access to the insights gleaned, this empowers them to drive safety improvements within the business and helps inform ongoing safety conversations.
It’s never too late, empower your people today
How we create engaged employees is a challenge many businesses have, across industries, and irrespective of company size. The figures from Gallup are a reminder of that challenge. Let’s remember, only 15% of employees worldwide – and 35% within the US – fell under the ‘engaged’ category. It’s vital not to dismiss these numbers and think proactively about what more you can do to improve those.
Thankfully, it’s not too late.
As we’ve seen, employee engagement is crucial within a business, and can lead to significant uptick in productivity and profitability. Empowering your workforce and trusting them to act on safety helps engage your workers across all aspects of their role. And technology – such as EHS software – can support that journey and help kick-start and streamline that process within your organization.
If you’d like to get started on your employee engagement journey today, get in touch with Evotix. We’d be delighted to help.
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