Creating a workplace community centered on safety is always an appropriate goal.
We say community instead of culture when we talk about safety environments because communities are organic, diverse and only flourish if everyone does their part. A safety culture requires subscription, while a community relies on the collective responsibility a group takes on to achieve shared goals.
Even if your safety culture is top-notch, it is still helpful to engage your team in community building activities so that you can improve and grow. Five key components can help any organization promote and encourage a safety community.
1. Create a Common Goal
Begin with a standard definition of your safety community. Define a relevant and attainable goal and related behaviors that promote your goal. Develop a plan to make it happen and create a clear objective for the organization as a whole. Communicate regularly about the safety-centered objective to strengthen and increase success towards this common goal. Use safety topics and training to empower your workforce and make safety the top priority.
2. Streamline Relationships Between Management and Frontline Employees
When safety becomes the key focus, it takes a team effort to maintain. Great leaders empower their team with the right tools and feedback to sustain a positive work environment. When management spends time in employees’ environments supporting feedback, problem-solving and acting on issues raised, relationships form. Strong relationships encourage employees to speak truthfully and honestly about situations that arise.
3. Encourage Collective Responsibility
Participation in a workplace community means that everyone needs to know their job and do it well. Utilizing a fair discipline system as well as incentives grows a community that watches out for each other. When the organization measures success around a common safety goal and safety becomes the priority, workers begin to protect each other, report hazards and multiply this initiative.
4. Engage Workers in their Safety
When safety becomes a condition of employment and workers are given the tools they need, they engage. Creating clear lines of roles and responsibilities and equipping employees to do their jobs, encourages active participation to keep the momentum going. Using the correct tools to give the worker a voice gives the worker confidence. The right tools will also promote surveys, training or positive reinforcement to boost morale and the safety community.
5. Act on Valuable Worker Information
Using the valuable data gathered, reported or witnessed, respond promptly. Identify hazards and use the information to take action and make appropriate changes. Doing nothing about risks leads to a complacent workplace, so get ahead of the curve and detect and resolve issues before they become severe or costly problems.
We are ready to assist you and provide you with tools to cultivate a safety community. Contact us at 651.294.2130 or firstname.lastname@example.org.