Most people don’t really like change. This is especially problematic when said change makes them do things they have been doing for years differently. This is very often the case for new safety programs. A good safety program is there to help your employees, to make their jobs safer, and also protect your company from lawsuits, however; these programs have their own requirements.
A new safety program requires a couple of investments. First of all, on your part, you need to invest the money and effort into getting it up and running. From your employees, they need to be at least somewhat retrained, and will force them to do their jobs differently, to a lesser or greater degree. That’s why we have written up a short list of tips that can help you figure out how to motivate them to follow this safety program. Read on to find out.
Above all remember that this will undoubtedly make people’s jobs harder. Not by much, especially if you do it properly, but it will at first make them less efficient. No matter if you’re implementing new procedures, or adding new equipment, until people get used to it, they will be spending more time on tasks that used to take them shorter amounts of time. This is why you need to be understanding.
Employee morale is no joke, and if you don’t want them resenting you, you need to always show that you actually care and that you understand them. Recognize, even reward people, if you see them putting in extra effort to stick to the new rules. Give them a day off, or maybe a slight bonus.
Listen to Them
Always listen to your employees. If they have any issues or problems, they should always come to you. Break the news gently, don’t just pop up and say, “Hey, this is the new way we’re going to be doing things.” Actually see what they think, and ask them how they want to implement the new rules in the least disruptive way possible.
Don’t be too haughty to ask for advice. Besides, the whole point of this program is to keep them safe. Remember to keep a positive and respectful atmosphere where the employee always knows that he or she can voice his or her opinion.
Be Precise and Structured
The biggest mistake made when implementing something like this is ambiguity. First of all, it defeats the purpose, and makes things much harder to do. Second of all, it will greatly annoy and frustrate your employees. You need to be very clear and precise in your speech. You don’t want somebody to invest a ton of work learning a new way to do something, only to find out a week later that they are still doing it incorrectly, just because they didn’t understand the initial instructions.
Furthermore, if you need to get any equipment or gear, get higher quality stuff. Don’t cheap out, trust us, your people will notice. If you need to get rails and barriers, contact a specialized company like Fortress Fencing. Don’t just go to Home Depot, unless you really know what you’re doing.
Start a Good Learning Program
When implementing new procedures, don’t just throw a list of requirements out there. Actually work hard, and developed a quick training program. Create a structured educational system, and look for a balance between being productivity, and learning this new system. You can do this with on-the-job coaching. Essentially, as they are doing something, advise how they can do it in the better, safer way.
If this isn’t a matter of new skills, but of new equipment, have your employees get familiar with the new stuff. Set up a training course for new tools, or draw out a clear map of all the rails and barriers you set up.
If you follow the couple of tips above, you will certainly be able to motivate your employees to follow the new safety program. It may be difficult at first, but be patient and thorough. Remember, this is all new, and will indubitably make their jobs a bit more difficult before they get used to it. That’s why you should always remember that empathy goes a long way.