Want More Discretionary Effort for Safety? Advertise Successes

By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

Improving safety culture requires a lot of time, effort, and energy…plus a LOT of employee participation! One powerful way to get employees involved in safety is to advertise all the good things you’re doing to keep them safe. This is especially important when improvements are made based on employees’ suggestions. When workers bring up concerns, report close calls, and provide safety suggestions it’s extremely important to listen and respond well. Otherwise, people’s opinions go into “a black hole” and employees shut down.

There’s little point providing your safety input if no one is listening.

Strong leaders share safety successes and celebrate safety efforts with employees on an ongoing basis. It demonstrates that:

Safety is a core value in the organization.
Leaders care about improving safety.
Leaders are committed to getting better.
The organization cares about the well-being of all employees.
Leaders value employees’ opinions.
Employee safety participation is appreciated.
Your hard work to get better is paying off.

These successes should be shared one-on-one, in small group meetings, during training, via email and newsletters, and any other means of communication. Advertising quick wins is especially important with culture change initiatives. This builds early momentum for long-term growth and sustainment. Something as small as a pizza party or as large as a safety fair sends the message that leaders notice and appreciate employees’ safety improvement efforts. Plus, they can be a lot of fun!

Bottom line: The hard work of making improvements has already been done. Do the easy part and showcase what you’ve accomplished. At Propulo, we work with leaders find new ways to advertise successes to fuel discretionary effort for safety.


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Employee Learning Teams