Employee engagement is widely recognised as a significant business performance enhancer and a key part of a company risk assessment plan. But what is employee engagement, and how can health & safety contribute towards it?
Employee Engagement - Measuring Health and Safety Performance
According to the Gallup Q12, which is based on more than 30 years of in-depth behavioral economic research involving more than 17 million employees:
- Engaged Employees are 21% more productive
- Businesses with high employee engagement experience 28% less shrinkage
- Highly engaged work forces have 41% less absenteeism
It also identified the following 12 statements as those that best predict employee engagement:
- I have the materials and equipment to do my work right
- I know what is expected of me
- At work I have the opportunity to do what I do best everyday
- In the last 7 days I have received recognition or praise
- My supervisor or someone at work cares about me as a person
- There is someone at work who encourages my development
- At work my opinion counts
- The mission or purpose of my Company makes me feel my job is important
- My associates/fellow employees are committed to quality work
- I have a best/good friend at work
- In the last 6 months someone at work has talked about my progress
- In the last year I have had opportunities to learn or grow.
So, can health and safety support the development of Employee Engagement?
There is of course the obvious point that a strong safety culture is focused on the well-being and safety of its workforce, which says to the employees the company cares about us. But let's look specifically at six points.
1. I have the materials and equipment to do my work right.
Well maintained equipment, with adequate training and personal protective equipment would certainly add to an employee's ability to do the job right. It is easy to relate to employee's frustration when the "boss" doesn't provide the right resources, it raises the question "Do they care about the business and if they don't why should I?"
If you expand that further into the realms of personal protective equipment (PPE) and making sure employees understand the need for it and are made to wear it; if there is a lax approach, the PPE is ill-fitting and prevents the employee from working, then this could raise the question "does the boss care about me?"
2. I know what is expected of me
Safe Systems of Work, Method Statements, Safety Briefing, Toolbox Talks would all contribute to an employee’s sense of "I know what is expected of me", particularly if these are regular occurrences and not just a box ticking exercise.
On the flip side, how does an employee feel when a safety talk is delivered as "I need to do this and you need to sign this"?
3. My supervisor or someone at work cares about me as a person
A proactive safety culture where management at all levels has ownership of their respective element of the health and safety process and actively engages with their people will feed this driver and so would regular checks that employees have the right PPE, the provision of well-being support.
If the business uses an E-Learning system that also captures employee feedback, which the business then responds to would again demonstrate care for the workforce.
4. There is someone at work who encourages my development and a business that includes safety in its staff briefings or operates a workplace council, using these to gather feedback and responds to this would also demonstrate that
5. At work my opinion counts. It's not difficult to see how a strong safety cultures crosses over into
6. My associates/fellow employees are committed to quality work.
To find out how we can help you support employee engagement and share our employee engagement ideas, contact us for a free assessment.