Fall of 2011 OSHA regulations begin penalizing incentives or disincentives that use lagging indicators. Since most programs had two main components: 1) spot rewards, and 2) rewards for no injuries; the one item left standing is spot rewards which often wasn’t compelling enough at the time to warrant the initiatives. Spot rewards in the classic example–where safety manager walks up to employee and hands gift card for wearing of safety glasses–will always present an occasional and valuable opportunity for amplifying the message in a safety culture; but the range of strategies and influential program designs can go much further.
Instead of having safety management handing out gift cards on the floor or daily, save rewards for your safety meeting to employ a strategy of praise in public, coach in private. While maintaining record of which employees have received a workstation inspection recently and systematically observing production throughout staff evenly, have an objective approach by not mixing incentives during that time. But take good notes for the safety committee to review for recognition at next week’s meeting. Old-school way might have been a practice that lends itself to “here comes the safety sheriff”. New school ways reinforce safe behaviors by giving recognition publicly at safety meetings so the workforce individuals each know what gift card their peers received and what behaviors they were observed doing correctly and when, and then got surprised with reward and recognition at the meeting.The author:
Lauren McAuley is on the marketing team at GiftCard Partners. She is a recent graduate who enjoys diving head first into several aspects of the business including social media, graphic design, marketing, business development and public relations. Her passion for challenging herself keeps her trying new things every chance she gets, vegetable lasagna this week, maybe skydiving next week?