Employee Monitoring for Safety: Achieving Buy-In
When it comes to workplace safety, it’s not always easy to get everyone on board with the practices that it takes to keep all employees safe, especially when involving the term ‘employee monitoring’. Although this practice benefits the entire company, employers and employees can’t always immediately see this when their job does not revolve around safety. As someone in a safety position, you recognize its importance, but how can you get everyone else to see things the way you do? After all, even if you establish an employee monitoring for safety program, it will only be effective with the compliance of all involved. Here are some things to keep in mind to achieve buy-in at all company levels.
Company as a Whole
Achieving buy-in needs to be a mix of pushing the benefits of an investment toward safety paired with what can go wrong if the worst happens and no safety measures are in place. Worst case scenarios affect the business across many avenues including but not limited to lowered morale among employees resulting in increased isolation and stress, staff churn, private litigation, the depletion of other internal resources including management time and training in attempting to move the company beyond the incident and negative press resulting in decreased stock prices and angry shareholders.
As a safety manager, it should come as no surprise that prioritizing safety often allows for optimal profitability. Make sure your company’s top level management is aware that there is known to be a direct correlation between happy employees that feel valued and overall company productivity. Not only this, but proactive measures to prevent workplace accidents will do just that- prevent them and the costly associations that come with them. In fact, many large corporations are now fully appreciating the positive impact on their brand that can be had by being perceived as proactive in reducing or eliminating risks to staff.
Direct line managers are sometimes difficult to get on board with a safety program such as employee monitoring for their lone workers due to the fact that they have often previously worked in their same position and are aware of the pushback that they may receive. They also may see it as just another thing to make their employees do on top of the many other things that they are held responsible for. A manager’s mindset needs to change in order to recognize their liability in the matter and place top priority on the safety needs and conditions that working alone presents. They can get a better understanding of what exactly this entails by simple communicating openly with their employees in order to better understand their situation and where risks may present themselves.
It is recommended A C level or senior sponsor holds middle management accountable for carrying out safety practices. This person should make a point to encourage these managers to think about and act upon risks. As for the mid-level, what’s in it for them? As we mentioned earlier, increased empathy ultimately leads to increased productivity, allowing them to get more out of their employees and see better results.
Employee/Lone Worker Buy-In
In the case of employee monitoring, those who work alone are often the most directly affected, as employee monitoring is a method of keeping them in touch with employers even when not in close vicinity. Because of this, workers are the easiest to get buy-in from, especially in instances where they do regularly face risk, such as aggression or verbal abuse. However, also because of this, they must make the most adjustment to their regular routine. Those that resist implemented employee monitoring safety programs usually feel as if it is just an extra unnecessary responsibility added on top of their task list. They also can see it as a ‘babysitting method’ and assume that their employers don’t trust them, as in many instances, the technology that comes along with employee monitoring allows employers access to information such as whether or not an employee was late, their location throughout the day and even the speed at which they were driving.
Let these employees know about the risks that they do face and statistics that prove that they are in fact pressing issues and train them on safety techniques they can implement to prevent such hazards. Additionally, in the spirit of prioritizing safety, employers should make a statement to their employees that any information discovered from the use of employee monitoring tools can and will not be used against them and will be only accessed to help them. This allows the technology to remain effective at its true purpose without further pushback from those that it is trying to protect. By doing so, you can create an environment of trust and collaboration. Lone workers are less likely to question the implementation of an employee monitoring safety program when they are made aware that it is being done with their safety and best interests at heart.
Worker safety is a right that everyone should be entitled to. By getting the entire company on board with a tried and true method like employee monitoring, you are one step closer to ensuring that all employees make it home safely at the end of the workday. After all, that’s your job isn’t it?! To learn more about the basics of employee monitoring for safety along with some best practices, download our free guide: “Employee Monitoring for Safety: How it Should Work.”