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Culture Change

By Madison Hanscom, PhD As companies plan and administer major changes or interventions to improve occupational health and safety, a participatory approach can very well determine success or failure. When employees are involved in the process, their voices shape the program into something that is a better fit for the people and the culture. There is no reason a group of leaders far removed from the average worker should be creating change initiatives in isolation. This can lead to a program that is out of touch with what is needed by the people, and it can also hurt buy-in and momentum.

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By Madison Hanscom, PhD Online shopping has become a regular part of the holiday season. It is more convenient than ever to send gifts across the globe from retailers we trust. Recently we have experienced an added benefit to online shopping — social distancing. Now we can rely on home delivery to avoid contact with crowds of people on Black Friday, Super Saturday, Boxing Day, and after Christmas sales. Although this certainly brings a lot of positives, there are important considerations when it comes to occupational safety. Behind every package on someone’s front step, there are several workers who made it happen.

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By Madison Hanscom, PhD Organizations must continually change and adapt in order to sustain improvement in this dynamic world. Without change, companies risk falling behind and losing the competitive edge. Researchers are developing a picture of what leads to successful change and what factors contribute to failure, because unsuccessful change can be disruptive and expensive. For example, it is known that having a proper diagnosis before the change, forming a clear vision, mobilizing energy, removing barriers, developing knowledge and skills for the change, setting goals, and implementing feedback are all crucial components of successful transformation. Another critical component is supportive leadership. What

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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 are engaged when they feel energized, dedicated to their job, and absorbed in their work (1). Engaged employees give companies a competitive advantage because they are willing to go the extra mile. Engagement researchers have found that employee engagement is associated with less burnout and absenteeism, higher job satisfaction, less turnover, stronger organizational commitment, better job performance, and an improved service climate (2). In addition to the organizational benefits, engaged employees experience health benefits such as lower levels of anxiety and depression, higher levels of perceived physical health, and quicker recovery time from work (3). Clearly, it

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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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