While there are many factors in enhancing health and safety amongst workers, one of the most important is the level of engagement an employee has while on the job. While some accidents are bound to happen in the course of carrying out work, others (most likely many) could be prevented with higher levels of concentration stemming from engagement. On the flip side, a lack in concentration or awareness can significantly impact the likelihood of mistakes and accidents.
Although the above may be stating the obvious, the difficult challenge is in figuring out how to get people to be more engaged on their jobs. Many thousands of hours and dollars have been dedicated to solving this dilemma, yet there is still a major problem with low engagement levels at work; and while legislation can help, it is difficult to carry out legislation without genuine buy-in (engagement). Ultimately it is the employee him or herself that has to carry out their day to day functions in a safe manner. If they are highly engaged with their jobs and with safety measures, this process will be far more successful.
A key question to consider is how inspired an employee is to be doing his/her job. A fundamental mistake that I have seen through my experience as a growth strategist and consultant is when employers assume that their employees automatically buy into company directives.
Most often, not much consideration is given to discovering what is actually important to the employee and making efforts to ensure that this is fulfilled in return for good levels of performance. Yet when employees feel that they are getting a real win from doing their jobs, they will naturally be far more inspired and productive.
Approaching the creation of company culture based on win-win scenarios (that is both the employer and employee winning) is a significant way to enhance both productivity and healthier outcomes for all involved. It begins with an understanding of employees and their true aspirations, and then creating an environment where this is taken into account as the company also fulfils it's mission and objectives.
In today's society, where the responsibility of the safety and well-being of employees and contractors is now being shared by all company stakeholders, it is imperative that we begin to move on from assumptions regarding employees based on top down leadership, and open the door for a greater level of communication, and the creation of win-win scenarios that create higher levels of engagement and internally motivated productivity.
This will not only lead to an increase in overall positive results for companies and organisations, it will also lead to a decrease in accidents stemming from a lack of concentration or connectedness while duties are being performed.