No matter what environment you work in, safety plays a pivotal role in employee morale and trust. Whether it’s a construction site or a staffing agency where rows of desks line up, safety culture needs to be pursued and upheld. But while seeking tips on how to keep a safe environment is important, understanding different behaviors that negatively impact your business’s safety culture can help shape your overall strategy on how to keep employees safe.
Ways to Tarnish Workplace Safety Culture
Here are some common factors that hurt the integrity of a company’s workplace safety across all industries.
It’s important to reiterate the importance of reporting incidents and to check in with your employees and supervisors to make sure they have an updated understanding. Some individuals may have questions on how to report an incident or just need some more information on workplace injuries and illnesses. Regardless of the reason, the workplace should keep an open line of communication with employees to cultivate a culture of transparency.
Poor communication can also create confusion when it comes to workers’ compensation. Knowing what constitutes a necessary claim and how employees can go about this process should start at the top. Having a Workers’ compensation policy can help to limit a company’s risks when it comes to employee injury and presents an opportunity to educate employees on general safety and safety responsibilities.
When it comes to workplace safety, major changes don’t just happen overnight. Even if a new process for upholding workplace safety may be met with a good deal of approval, leadership should exhibit patience. Employees must be offered time to change and adapt to new systems and policies in the workplace. If things are rushed, then mistakes will more than likely be made, causing a higher potential for injuries. Leaders should find the right balance between patience and initiative, keeping the sense of safety among employees high and secure.
Lacking in Empathy
A major goal for any business should be to get all workers back home at the end of the day as safely as when they came in to work. One way this may be at risk is having leaders in place who lack empathy for their employees’ overall health or current injuries. Leaders with poor interpersonal skills can have a negative impact on the process when they don’t react with empathy towards injured or ill employees. Some managers may put the business impact of having someone out due to an injury over someone’s health. While this may seem like an extreme case, it does happen and can only hurt morale, trust, and the overall sense of safety.
Bullying may sound like a topic for a younger audience, but it still presents a problem as we grow older and go into the workforce. Supervisors who bully their employees may end up negatively impacting overall safety culture at work, as well as worker well-being.
According to research from multiple universities, employee safety behavior can be worsened where they are treated in an unfair way by their supervisor. Leaders at a company have the ability to strengthen or weaken the overall sense of belonging based on how they support their status at that particular job. According to researchers, poor treatment of an employee can make them not feel valued, which in turn leads to bad behavior. From there, safety rules and overall safety may be overlooked.
How Management Can Uplift Employees & Improve Safety Culture
Companies need to keep in mind that it’s important to uplift employees and curb any negative attitudes from leaders in order to create a sense of belonging and workplace value, while also keeping negative effects, like lack of safety culture, at bay.