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Employee Engagement

By Madison Hanscom, PhD An engaged workforce has strong, positive effects on safety. Engaged employees are more willing to go the extra mile and take pride in their work, so it should be a goal for leaders to create an environment for engagement in order to promote a safer workplace. Consider the following when developing your plan to promote employee engagement in a safety context: Help employees see the value in their work. When you help employees to see how their work connects to the bigger picture, this creates meaning. It is important to show workers how their role and safety connect to

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By Madison Hanscom, PhD Employees want an active voice in your company, and leadership should be interested in what they have to say. The people are the culture, and it is in the best interest of leadership to know their perspective. Because it is often difficult to touch base with every employee, organizational surveys are a great way to listen more efficiently. Pulse surveys are brief, targeted feedback assessments that are administered frequently (e.g., quarterly, monthly) to gauge a variety of constructs like employee engagement, perceptions of change, or satisfaction with an initiative. To allow for speed and simplicity, pulse surveys usually

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By Madison Hanscom, PhD Changing how we think can have a profound impact on our life at home and work. Growth mindset is the notion that who we are as a person (e.g., our character, abilities, intelligence) is malleable and capable of being developed with effort. At the opposite end of the spectrum is a fixed mindset, which describes when an individual feels their talents and abilities are predetermined and not flexible. Those with a more fixed mindset might feel some people “have it” and others “don’t”. Research on this topic began in education, where it was observed that students with

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By Josh Williams, Ph.D. Leaders need to get more input from employees before making decisions that impact safety. Also, leaders need to share the “why” behind safety efforts instead of simply implementing top-down mandates. When new rules are communicated, people may have legitimate concerns and questions about why the new policy is needed. Taking time to address the underlying reasons for the change increases the probability employees will follow these procedures even when no one’s looking. Many employees lament that some identified concerns aren’t dealt with quickly or are swept under the rug. This creates safety problems and bolsters perceptions that “they don’t

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By Madison Hanscom, Ph.D. Feedback is one of the most important resources at work. It can be used to energize people, fuel their growth, guide them in the right direction, inform future behavior, clarify expectations, and help them to attain goals. Thus, it is central to motivation, performance, and even workplace safety (1,2). As the world is embracing remote work more than ever, many fear this will be associated with a lack of feedback when compared to the typical face-to-face workplace. This is a reasonable concern! A great deal of informal feedback is exchanged within an office environment. For instance, you might

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By Madison Hanscom, PhD What does the proverb “give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” have to do with being a great leader? In short, it allows followers to be more self-reliant. As a result, employees will enjoy more autonomy in their job, potentially experience more meaning in their work, and it allows the leader to find better balance in their own time. When employees run into obstacles, you don’t want them coming to you at every single bump in the road — but you

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