Building Workplace Safety Through Rewards and Recognition
Workplace safety is always a top priority for organizations large and small. The goal is to reduce workplace injuries, illnesses, and especially fatalities. Creating a positive attitude around safety practices and reporting through rewards and recognition programs go a long way toward improving an organization’s overall safety practices. But the question remains, how exactly should a company go about developing a successful workplace safety program? Creating a workplace safety program is a long-term commitment for your company. Here are a few tips that can help!
Establish a program that celebrates safe practices in the workplace
Establishing a constructive program is key to developing a successful safety program. The program can recognize employees in various ways including material items, monetary values, or even an event to recognize employees who are committed to safe practices.
In order to create and develop a successful safety rewards program, you’ll need a structured program that defines safety goals, provides regular feedback and reinforcement of these goals, clear and engaging communication, training and a means to track and evaluate progress and performance. Additionally, you’ll need to clearly outline the rewards and recognition incentives that go with specific behaviors or outcomes. Feedback is crucial, as you want your employees to reach these goals and by providing constructive feedback allows you to help them along the way and continually correct and improve upon any behaviors for the better.
Setting goals for a safety rewards program is a major component of creating a safe work culture. You can start by using safety goals that are SMART--Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely. To make sure that goals are properly aligned with company policies, make sure that they are compliance-based and focus on behaviors over outcomes, incremental to encourage long-term and short-term goals, create appropriate goal levels for each employee and their specific job functions, and align your goals so that they complement one another and do not conflict.
Communication is key
As we mentioned earlier, communication is key in engaging employees in any program. Naturally, adoption can be slow, but you can help encourage engagement by increasing positive communication around the program. Make sure that the new program is highly visible to employees. Introduce the program to employees via internal communications like newsletters, emails, sms texts, meetings, etc. You can also share success stories from employees who have already reaped the benefits of safe practices. Encourage employees to give feedback and ideas about the program. You never know where a good idea is going to come from! Don’t hesitate to be creative in your communication methods as each industry and, even, employee group will be different in some way.
Recognize and reward safe employees
When employees do well in the program, be sure to celebrate them. There’s no right or wrong way to go about rewarding your employees, whether it be a celebratory event or a gift to acknowledge their dedication. By celebrating their achievements among peers, employees will be encouraged to continue safe practices and also give coworkers a goal to aspire to. The possibilities are endless, but keep in mind that your rewards should be tailored to fit a specific set of safety behaviors. For example, giving rewards without a solid and clear award-basis can create confusion and so it’s important to stay consistent when rewarding your employees!
There are some very advantageous tax benefits to help offset the cost of a safety program based upon a few IRS rules about who participates, the value of the rewards, and the manner in which the rewards are given to the employees.
Starting a safety rewards program at your workplace doesn’t have to be hard and can provide some tax advantages. Let nCentix help build a custom plan that is goal oriented and geared to encourage a safe work environment for you and your team.