Too many workplaces see safety as an administrative task. It's often reduced to mandatory workshops and information sheets posted in the break room. But as company culture becomes a prominent feature that both attracts and retains quality employees, safety should become an integral part of what makes a workplace tick.
Safety need not be a burden; it can be part of a comprehensive wellness initiative that makes the most of employee potential. This has tangible effects for companies, who benefit from people who are more productive and more creative, and contribute to a well-functioning workplace. It may go without saying that this also helps improve the bottom line.
Workplace Safety Saves Money
The CDC noted that employers are legally required to create a safe workplace, but paired with that obligation is a largely untapped opportunity to promote individual health. In addition to adhering to safety regulations, the organization recommends a comprehensive workplace health intiative, with such elements as access to fitness programs, smoke-free buildings, and availability of healthy food on-site.
It sounds quite different from the junk food filled vending machines of workplaces of previous generations. But the CDC says this is more than mere window dressing: The policies help lower health insurance premiums, reduce workers compensation claims, combat absenteeism, and improve worker productivity.
Of course, from the perspective of the CDC, when done en masse this kind of initiative helps the entire population. Since everyone spends so much time at work, healthier workplaces mean better health outcomes overall. For corporations, it is a practical use of administrative budgets, since staff have the capacity to do their best work.
Initiatives Show Company Values Workers
Company culture that includes safety contributes to reduced stress and happier individuals. While this may seem like a flowery goal, it makes strong business sense. The little things matter when it comes to a company's relationship with its workers. Having a safety program in place, especially when management goes above and beyond to make everyone feel supported, shows those individuals hold value in the eyes of the administration.
Companies with strong company culture see the results in the capacity of their business to thrive. Positive culture is linked to the ability to recruit and earn loyalty from top-tier recruits. Employees are not only better individual performers, but have a higher capability to collaborate as a team. This contributes to better overall function at a company, both in the good times and during periods of disruption or challenge. When a crisis hits, the last thing management wants is a stressed-out workforce on the verge of collapse.
But it's not just an internal matter, either. More than ever, company reputation is a crucial element in its ability to develop the right team. In many ways, it's no longer optional for management to care about workers as individuals; it's required to be a core part of their recruitment and advancement strategy.
How to Send the Safety Message
Passive and active measures can help incorporate safety as an integral part of company culture. Those break room notice sheets are a start. Annual or semi-annual workshops may also be a good idea. But showing that the company puts a priority on safety is best demonstrated by example, from the top down.
When a manager goes out of her way to encourage employees to follow good safety practices, she's saying worker well-being matters to the company. Recognizing employees for staying safe or for protecting the safety of others, along with other on-the-job accomplishments, shows the company puts a premium on well-being just as it does on sales volume and revenue.
Enhance Your Workforce by Prioritizing Safety
Positive culture has a direct impact on a company's success. Ultimately, culture is about the atmosphere management creates through action and example. An environment where everyone is safe and supported fosters a workforce that can focus on the job at hand, thriving in their positions.