Safety Incentive Programs done the correct way will reduce the number of incidents in the workplace and lower net insurance costs by having healthier employees. How do you make sure your safety incentive program is successful and not harmful? Review your goals to make sure that they are motivating and reward good behavior.
If your company rewards employees for the number of days without an incident, than this could be causing employees to underreport accidents. The last thing you want your safety incentive program to be doing is rewarding for unsafe behaviors. Vernon Iturralde and Kate Myers focused on the following goal setting guidelines instead of focusing on the days without an accident in their article “Lower Insurance Costs with Employee Incentive Programs”:
- Be Proactive instead of reactive.
- Motivate and encourage; reward for good behavior.
- Focus on individuals, as well as the company.
- Make the program more fair for team rewards.
To help make this a little more clear think about rewarding for attending a safety meeting, reporting that a fellow employee followed the rules, or make a safety suggestion. All of these goals focus on keeping employees’ safe and improving their safety. They will motivate positive behavior instead of inadvertently rewarding unsafe and harmful behavior.
Iturralde and Myers went even further and said that one company has a monthly worksheet that lists safe behaviors that employees get rewarded for. Each month employees can see what actions will allow them to get rewarded. One of Award’s Network clients gives 10 points for each safety meeting an employee attends each month. If your company has one safety meeting a week, then the employee could earn up to 50 points to redeem for a gift! The motivation may be the reward, but they will also get information from the meeting.
A successful safety incentive program must not only reward for good behavior but it should discipline unwanted behavior. A good example of this is having employees understand that they will not be punished if an accident occurs, but if an accident is not reported there will be consequences. Once a disciplinary policy is in place make sure to follow through with it. If employees know that they can get away with unwanted behavior they will tend to make more unsafe choices at the workplace.
The benefits of having a safety incentive program are measurable and obtainable if your company chooses to take the time and effort to make it successful. Starting or improving your incentive program could mean happier employees and reduced costs. Feel free to ask us for details if you are interested!