Many companies today struggle to remain profitable and productive, and employee engagement may have something to do with it. A Gallup poll has found that employee engagement in the U.S. saw its first annual decline in a decade — dropping from 36 percent engaged employees in 2020 to 34 percent in 2021. The drop continued into 2022, as 32 percent of full- and part-time employees working for organizations are now engaged, while 18 percent are actively disengaged.
While this is problematic for the economy as a whole, it’s particularly difficult to build a workplace safety program with disengaged employees. Experts recommend that companies utilize the service of on-site safety training professionals to get the rules and procedures to “stick” better than they would with written or video materials.
The Benefits of Onsite Training
Companies are choosing onsite safety training for employees so workers can learn more actively about the steps they need to take to keep the workplace secure. Physical demonstrations and live discussions will often lead to better engagement than more passive methods of training as well as workers helping each other to stick to safe work practices.
“Optimizing safety culture requires active employee engagement for safety,” wrote Joshua H. Williams in an article for the journal Professional Safety. “Employees must provide each other corrective feedback when risky behavior is identified, especially since shortcuts are often perceived to be faster and easier, and because supervisors are not always present. This corrective feedback also sets the norm that safe behavior is expected. In some organizations, safety shortcuts become the norm (‘Forget what the trainer said. This is how we really do things around here.’) To counter this, specific safety efforts should target safety culture improvement and hourly employees should be heavily involved in these efforts.”
How to Improve Employee Engagement in Safety
There are a number of ways companies can boost employee engagement in safety programs. These include:
Making it fun. Some companies have contests with cash rewards for employees to design workplace safety posters. Others use “gamified” technology solutions to teach wellness in which employees compete against one another in a video game-style format.
Make it immersive. By hiring a professional workplace safety company, you can rely on trainers who have years of practice in making safety training interesting.
Make it rewarding. Some companies set safety benchmarks and offer tangible benefits when the organization hits a benchmark. This might involve donating money to a charity, or springing for a meal for workers when safety targets are achieved.
Combine it with a wellness initiative. It helps to communicate to workers that safety programs are there to protect them, and these initiatives can be combined with an overall wellness program that stresses proper posture, the avoidance of repetitive motion injuries, minimizing chemical exposure, fitness, nutrition, smoking cessation and other elements of a workplace wellness initiative.
In California, Unishield Offers Customized Safety Training
Southern California-based Unishield teaches businesses and their employees techniques for building a safe work environment. We offer first aid supplies, first aid kits and refills, OSHA-compliant personal protective equipment, and on-site safety training throughout Greater Los Angeles, San Diego County, Orange County, Ventura County, and San Bernardino County.
In addition to our full line of medical equipment and first aid kit supplies, we also offer on-site training sessions that can be customized for your business’ unique needs. For more information or to get a quote, call 800-480-5855 or visit our website.