I dedicate the second Monday of each month to a return on investment post and month the focus is on paper-based safety incentive programs. I want to begin by defining a paper-based safety program; this kind of incentive program utilizes printed material to increase safety awareness and compliance through training, testing and positive reinforcement. There are many printed materials a company can include in their safety program: professionally prepared safety discussions, PowerPoint presentations on safety topics, safety program flyers and posters, safety quizzes and safety incentive point certificates that can be distributed to participants who can save or spend the certificates on safety award merchandise.
Now that we are clear on what constitutes a paper-based safety incentive program, I want to share some tips to increase the success of your safety program along with realistic return on investment expectations.
In order to set up a safety program that will produce a high ROI, you must move away from just rewarding employees for zero accidents or reduced accidents and shift your intent to establishing a safety culture in the workplace. While in a conference call the other day, I was discussing a new safety incentive program with my main contact at the company who had strong feelings about how the program should be set up. He wanted to make sure workers understood that the safety program wasn’t just about earning points for not having an accident. He wanted the message to be that yes, you will earn points for not having an accident but the emphasis is on other safety activities and behaviors that will earn you more points than keeping a good safety record. The activities that people earned more points for included: training and certification classes, keeping the work area clean and organized, leading a safety meeting, coaching a co-worker on safe behavior and best practices, reporting a near miss and a corrective action for future prevention, among many other activities. What this client, and many of my other clients with safety programs have realized, is that if employees participated in these activities, safety incident rates would decline naturally as safety awareness and compliance become second nature.
Another way to increase the success of your safety program is to minimize the cost your printed safety materials. When you can reduce the safety budget spend on the program materials, you can allot more budget to the goals participants reach so that better safety awards can be earned in a shorter period of time. When you partner with an experienced safety program provider such as Awards Network, you will have access to professionally prepared safety program materials. We even have a database of safety quiz questions covering a range of industries and topics that clients can use for safety quizzes. You can save a lot of time and budget spent on research and preparation of safety materials by partnering with an expert. Another tip is to partner with a company that can design the safety program artwork for safety incentive program supplements complimentary. This prevents you from having to hire a marketing professional to design the safety materials. My last tip to reduce your printed material budget is to print the materials yourself and on-site. Often I will email statements, flyers and posters for clients with safety programs to my appropriate contact(s). Each contact then prints and distributes the safety program materials and thus clients reduce the cost of printing and eliminate the cost of shipping.
Focusing on developing a safety culture and minimizing your printed safety material costs are both ways to maximize the success of your print-based safety program, but what is a reasonable return on investment figure for such a program? A ground breaking study by Liberty Mutual Insurance Company found that for every dollar invested in safety, a return of at least three dollars can be expected. Over ten percent of respondents in the survey reported a safety program ROI of ten dollars per dollar invested.
By following the tips provided in this post, you can effectively maximize the success and impact of your print-based safety incentive program and increase its ROI. Check back next month on October 11th for the next installment in our ongoing return on investment series.