Gratitude is the True Reward of a Positive Safety Culture
Building a healthy safety culture is never an easy task. In fact, without enough support and planning upfront, it can turn into an uphill battle even for the most seasoned professionals.
While we may train our employees well and raise their awareness of common workplace hazards, this should never become a one-sided conversation. Safety is a two-way highway, never a one-way street. Employee feedback is crucial to understanding the root causes of hazards and continuous improvement. That collaboration fosters agreement on a sustainable solution. Here's the thing, deviations from standard operating procedures are inevitable, and recalibrations will need to occur from to time. The true litmus test of an effective safety culture lies in everyone agreeing on a solution, not just arriving at one. Why? Because without their buy-in, it becomes an externally motivated adherence to change. Enforcement alone takes far more energy and resources than commitment ever will. What we have here is a classic example of the carrot or the stick. The question is, what does the carrot look like? Gratitude. Big, Orange, and Healthy. When employers show appreciation for their teams' hard work in identifying hazards and working safely, they’re acknowledging and rewarding their commitment to safety. This sends a powerful message that keeping employees safe is priority number one. Plus, it can help boost morale and motivation across the workplace. Injury prevention isn't just about following safety protocols – a little gratitude makes it that much more effective. What does gratitude look like? Verbally, just like what it sounds like. Say "Thank You" and tell them why. But that's just the tip of the vegetable. Employees need to see that they aren't just a number. They are more than just a worker on the floor. They are a direct window into the heart and soul of what makes their company unique. For them to witness this fact, management needs to use a very different body part: their ears. Leadership must listen closely and respond appropriately so that their employees' voices are heard. Acknowledge their bravery in speaking up, every time. When people feel heard, they feel like they matter. When people believe they matter, their desire to contribute explodes. Every little bit counts. Over time, those pieces build up into quite the safety culture. By recognizing employees' efforts in contributing to a safe workplace, employers are showing that their most valuable asset – their employees – are invaluable. Beyond the metrics, formulas and cost savings, the company's true reward is the gratitude earned from their employees for showing genuine care. It pays to be thankful. Never hesitate to express thanks for your team's dedication to working safely while also working hard. That way, they'll know their hard work is valued and respected.