The premise behind Safety Pays is simple:
Fundamentally, an employee works at a job in order to make money. But part of what provides a sense of fulfillment is the appreciation and recognition one receives for a job well done. The more of these kinds of ‘return on investment’ dividends an employee is paid, the harder he or she will work to sustain it.
It therefore stands to reason that achieving the goal of increased safety awareness is vastly increased if each employee is provided tangible acknowledgements – whether in the form of money, appreciation or recognition -- for their contributions.
Safety Pays is therefore designed to link employee financial incentives directly to the goal of successful safety compliance. Although this is accomplished through a number of dollar motivations, the primary mechanism is "bingo," a game with which virtually every person is intimately familiar and enjoys.
The reason the Safety Pays use of bingo succeeds as an incentive device lies in the simplicity of its application. Every employee is a participant. Because bingo is purely a game of chance, every employee has an equal opportunity to win.
But most of all, it generates a sense of inclusive fun. Observing safety rules stops being something the workers have to do and becomes something they want to do! For game specifics, please see How Safety Pays Works.
A sense of teamwork and "esprit de corp" develops as each person realizes that the way to preserve the ever-growing pot of money is to help each other always follow safe practices in each area of their work together. A healthy peer group pressure is created to avoid taking short-cuts in one's approach to doing a job safely.
To further support this evolving commitment to best safety practices, the program includes a number of additional motivational tools. As mentioned earlier, second only to an employee's desire to make money is his need for recognition and appreciation by both his employer and fellow workers.
To meet these needs, the Safety Pays program provides a series of behavior modification tools. Positive reinforcement is offered through a number of individual employee incentives included. For example, those employees who bring safety suggestions to the attention of management are provided the opportunity for bonus play and additional incentive dollar pay-outs… simply for making a small but useful contribution.
Rewarding such positive individual behavior reinforces what management is looking for. This recognition, in turn, has a dramatic ripple effect on his/her co-workers. Anxious for the additional opportunities to win and hungry for the recognition that an individual contribution can bring, other workers soon follow suit.
In other words, nothing breeds success like success itself. In very little time, a company that may have earlier been at odds over safety program failure now finds itself working seamlessly together with its employees as a cohesive team. And with the significant reduction in losses to prove it.
Safety does pay!