While some employees may think that dealership safety rests solely on the shoulders of executive management that is not the case. Dealership safety is a company-wide responsibility, and though it may seem that your team is doing everything possible, additional steps can always be taken. It is important to implement a system that encourages employees, and management as well, to take part in the safety culture. Implement the following tips to increase engagement in your safety culture:
Use a Core Value System: When core values come to mind, we often relate them to moral values. However, in regards to safety culture, it is possible to implement core values that highlight employee safety adherence, knowledge, and proactive risk elimination. Pair your core values with recognition to encourage employees to take part in your core value program.
Recognize and Reward Employees: To achieve a goal is a good motivator, but employee recognition is often even stronger. Make sure to publicly recognize your employees when they go above and beyond with your core values and safety culture. To make sure that your employees are motivated by your program, make recognition a key part of your monthly safety meeting. Note how the employee met the safety and core values standards and how it benefited your dealership. Recognition can be given to teams, departments, or sole employees. For further motivation, you can consider a physical reward, such as reasonable time off, money, or gift cards.
Use Positive Reinforcement: Employees can’t take part in a program they don’t know about or understand. Make certain to communicate your safety program to employees, as well as the reward program in place. To make the program positive, put the emphasis on recognizing and rewarding actions that lead to a safer work environment. Don’t merely focus on the accident or the avoidance of safety incidents, as employees will be less likely to fully engage in the program.
Establish Credibility: To have a strong safety culture your dealership must remain consistent in their effort to promote safety. First, your dealership and employees must start with meeting the basics, such as providing and taking part in adequate training and being fully OSHA compliant. Keep your records public and visible to make sure that your employees care as much about safety as you do. Employees recognize when companies are behind in their safety compliance, have out of date material, or blame their employees for injury rates. Inconsistencies are noticed and a general attitude is established. To truly have a strong safety culture, start at the top. Engage all levels of your dealership, executive management down to temp workers, and then back up your safety program with actions to show your dealership’s dedication to safety.