It’s no secret that everything links back to employee engagement. Incident rates, quality, productivity, sales and more. How can you create a culture that encourages employees to be more involved? Last month, EHS managers, leaders and professionals gathered at the 2017 Gensuite Conference on Technology Leadership & Innovation to discuss exactly that.
So, what’s the secret to employee engagement that all managers must know? Employee Engagement experts at the Gensuite Conference believe that core of engagement lies in three main areas: culture, digital behavior-based safety tools and creating effective incentive programs. Don’t take it from us though – here’s a recap of our experts’ recommendations for driving outstanding employee engagement:
A common barrier for employee engagement is a lack of strong culture. According to this Deloitte article, an organization’s culture can become a key competitive advantage—or its Achilles’ heel. Strong leadership equals strong employee engagement and Gensuite user and COO of SAFEMap, Ewan Alexander, shared how safety leadership is key to building a culture of safety excellence. The first step to understanding your team’s level of employee engagement is to gauge what they think of your safety program using Perception Surveys. Ewan Alexander encourages safety managers to use Perception Surveys in order to take action to continuously improve safety culture and leadership. And, when positive change is enacted, everyone reaps the rewards. Those in the top quartile of employee engagement experience 70% fewer incidents and a 17% improvement in quality.
Behavior-based safety is a proactive approach; a way for management and employees to continuously observe, improve, and promote safety. Ryan Everett, Senior Manager/Compliance IT at Amazon, uses Gensuite’s behavior-based safety software to drive standardization in Amazon’s safety program. Amazon employees use Gensuite’s Safety Observations application to develop & measure leading indicators to identify safety improvement opportunities in real-time and establish program goals before accidents occur. According to EHS Today, employees develop a sense of ownership of their safety program when they learn through discovery. Deploying a tool like Gensuite’s Safety Observations enables workers to actively seek improvement opportunities in their own safety program, ultimately improving employee engagement. Ryan Everett and the Amazon team continue to evolve their safety program and procedures by working with Gensuite’s line of EHS software. Currently, Gensuite and Amazon are developing Genny, the Gensuite Virtual Assistant! This innovation combines Amazon’s artificial intelligence, Amazon Echo, with Gensuite’s powerful cloud-based applications. It allows employees to report concerns and engage with safety program tools through simple dialogue.
Michael Levy, CEO & President of Online Rewards and Gensuite user, says that you need to offer incentive to incite behavior change in employees. And it’s true! A study conducted by Loyola University showed that rewards programs directly impact employee engagement. However, it was noted that safety leadership must foster rewards programs to improve employee engagement. So how can safety leaders create successful incentive programs? There are three elements to effective incentive programs: motivation, attainability and a trigger. Motivation, monetary or non-monetary, can include cash rewards, awards and even emotional investment promised to employees who perform well. The tasks given must be attainable; workers must be able to complete actions assigned to them. And there should be a trigger or cue to complete the safety procedures and tasks. Potential areas for rewarding employees include training compliance, consistent attendance, utilizing digital safety management tools and more! Safety managers can combine these three elements by introducing gamification to their incentive programs. Everyone loves a good game, and a little healthy competition may be the best way to get your employees engaged. Gamification in employee engagement was one of the topics discussed during the Gensuite Conference and was also the most popular of all our innovation sessions. It is certainly something to consider when developing your own incentive programs.
Before the Gensuite Conference, our team was unsure of how interested attendees would be in the topic of employee engagement, though it proved to be the most popular track session, proving that safety managers are not alone. Employee engagement continues to be one of the biggest obstacles for managers today. At Gensuite, we offer an open, unified and holistic platform for all workers. This includes Perception Surveys, behavior-based safety tools, the ability to report safety concerns with integrated follow-up, feedback, leading and lagging trend reports and more, all available on streamlined, mobile-enabled software. Visit our Employee Engagement Program page and download the Case Study for more details!