If you’re responsible for coordinating and implementing safety programs in your workplace, you know how challenging it can sometimes be to convince employees to adhere to regulations they see as boring or unnecessary.
Read on for three ways to inspire employees to stay motivated and engaged in safe workplace practices.
1. Ask for Employee Participation
Workplace safety programs are designed to keep employees safe and healthy, so it’s important to communicate the relevance of safety programs to their lives and draw on employees’ knowledge of the hazards they face. When workers ignore safety guidelines, make it a priority to find out why.
Involving workers in the development of your programs encourage them to feel responsible for the safety program and can limit later non-compliance by addressing concerns proactively. For instance, many workplaces that require the use of personal protective equipment benefit from accommodating feedback about fit and comfort. Employees who choose their own PPE are more likely to find it unobtrusive during use and more likely to wear it.
2. Use Appropriate, Accessible Humor
Positive humor – that is, jokes that are friendly and non-derogatory – can not only improve employee morale but can also make management appear more effective and make employees see them more positively.
Since being funny boosts your credibility, it makes employees more likely to listen to the important safety information you want to share with them. To avoid the pitfalls of humor in the workplace, make sure your jokes keep your employees’ sense of humor in mind:
- No group or individual in the workplace should ever be the punchline of a joke.
- Humor should be upbeat, uplifting, and meant to make people feel better.
- Avoid pranks, gag humor, or practical jokes that could scare or hurt people.
Pop culture references are a great way to find common ground and inject some levity into the workplace. Simpsons posters that make safety reminders funny are more memorable than long memos printed on company letterhead.
3. Incentivize Participation and Attentiveness
While safety meetings might be required, there’s a good chance that employees will try to find a way out of attending. They might be busy, tired, or just not interested. Still, if they don’t show up, they’ll hear neither your important safety guidelines nor your new jokes.
Let employees eat or drink and get comfortable during safety meetings to the extent possible in your current work environment – even if that means letting them snack with their microphones muted in Zoom.
Employees will retain information better if you make them active participants in the safety briefing process. Ask questions and offer quizzes that give employees a chance to demonstrate knowledge in front of their peers, and be generous with praise when you can tell workers are paying attention.
A positive, high-energy meeting might require a little more effort from you, but it’ll greatly increase the odds that workers retain information.
Safety programs are an underappreciated part of a happy, productive workplace. With some extra creativity and humor, you can motivate employees to stay safe and do their best work.
Interesting Related Article: “5 Key Tips for Improving Workplace Safety“