Supporting a Culture of Caring Can Reduce Injuries and Costs, Improve Performance
We recently worked with a company that was having problems getting its employees to use their personal protection equipment (PPE). We convinced management to change its message – which had been focused on penalties and reprimanding employees who ignored PPE – to one stressing that using PPE was in the workers’ best interest, for their own protection. The company even purchased nonslip shoes for all staff and required all workers, even management, to wear them. These actions literally stopped injuries due to slips and falls.
Another company reduced its insurance claims simply by buying lightweight garbage bags instead of heavyweight garbage bags. This eliminated employees from overloading bags and injuring their backs while lifting them. At a third company, we convinced upper-level management to become involved, to the point that the CEO actually attended the safety meetings and sent out periodic safety messages. The result was a much more engaged workforce and a huge reduction in claims.
What these cases all have in common is one distinct intangible; the employees could see and feel that management was invested in their safety and well-being. And in turn, the company was rewarded for this “culture of caring” that permeated the workplace by having more engaged workers, fewer work days lost to injuries, higher productivity and a reduction in insurance claims and premiums.
It is hard to dispute the success of a multi-billion dollar enterprise like Disney, but that success wasn’t strictly built on Mickey Mouse, Darth Vader, Iron Man and fairy godmothers. Disney always has stressed the importance of engaging employees at an emotional level. And by showing workers that the company genuinely cares for their wellbeing, Disney employees are willing to invest in their work. Ultimately, these efforts lead to increased employee effectiveness and improved business results.<Read more>