Safety programs are crucial for your employee’s development company-wide; a strong safety program keeps your employees safe, fosters leadership skills, and dramatically improves infrastructural procedures and workflows.
There’s just one problem… most safety programs are just not exciting. Employees can quickly transition to dragging their feet on the way to safety meetings, toning out during discussions, or worse – completely ignoring the information being presented entirely.
Boredom is the killer of interest. Thankfully, safety programs aren’t inherently boring; they are what you make them. The more excited your employees are about safety programs, the more successful the program will be.
So, here are 3 effective ways you can create a safety program that your employees will actually be excited about:
1. Comfort & Energy
If you want employees to get excited about your safety programs, make it the most comfortable portion of their working day. Don’t fall prey to the management/employee workhorse complex that every minute on the clock needs to yield maximum working value; allow 5-10 minutes at the beginning of the meeting for everyone to simply relax and converse. This may seem like a waste of time, but this small window of relaxation will create a habitual comfort response every time your employees are called to a safety meeting.
This simple addition to any program will greatly enhance employee participation, attention, and willingness to arrive.
2. Clear Goals & Presentations
A fundamental aspect of engaged learning is clear communication of purpose. Employees who don’t fully understand the initial purpose of the program or meeting will disengage, decreasing the value and effectiveness of your program. While this may sound obvious to you, we encourage you to perhaps delve a little deeper on the beginning statements of every meeting – communicate clearly and succinctly what the meeting will cover and how it will be covered. This provides your employees with a simple yet highly effective roadmap, creating a stronger cognitive connection to the material.
Secondly, please ensure that any presentations you provide your employees with look sharp and aesthetically pleasing. This is often an overlooked aspect of safety programs, but strong design improves sustained attention capabilities. For instance, a powerpoint slide shoved full of text will quickly generate disinterest and boredom. The average human attention span is 8 seconds. Instead, break that single chunky slide into 10 different ones with accompanying graphics to keep brains focused and attention cyclical.
While this method may not generate excitement directly, it certainly prevents any regression towards disconnection and boredom.
3. Interactive Learning & Discussions
Even if you have a room full of auditory learners, interactive discussions and activities throughout your safety program will always be an effective method of creating excitement and rapt attention. Consider ways you can take a “boring” topic (such as a powerpoint on how to properly engage in lockout/tagout procedures on a piece of machinery) into an interactive one (by providing employees with a tangible control panel during the meeting to interact with and test during the presentation). Additionally, ensure that open, interactive discussions are being conducted throughout the process to allow employee input and foster the feeling of ownership throughout the program.
This jolts attention back into the present, provides avenues for muscle memory retention on procedural movements, and opens avenues for improved programs by allowing employee-specific input on everything possible.
Creating a safety program that your employees will be excited about ultimately requires consistent empathy from you, and open communication from your employees; simply consider, “Would I be excited about this program?” Should that not be enough, there’s always the straightforward method of simply asking your employees, themselves. Let’s make safety exciting again.
If you are ready to begin investing in the development of your company’s own safety programs, do not hesitate to reach out to us by phone at 630.759.9908 or by email at Info@Optimum-USA.com.