How Effective Safety Incentives Keep A Company’s Workforce Engaged

On Monday, May 7th, 2018

When Safety Pays was created in the late 1980’s, part of what made its safety incentive formula so unique was due to it being the brainchild of a former television writer.

After departing the entertainment business, he stepped into a Los Angeles based seafood distribution company that was struggling with its losses.

For the better part of a year, he pursued conventional strategies such as plant safety inspections, safety training, improved safety equipment, etc.).   However, his loss control results were rather disappointing, particular in driving down on at-fault incidents.

It was at that point that he realized he’d failed to reach his audience:  the Company’s workforce.   He then remembered the advice his former writing mentor had given him:

“The only purpose for television programming is to keep the audience’s attention between commercials.”

Naturally, that meant the writer had better leave the audience at the edge of their seats right before the commercial break.   After all, it’s the commercials that pay the bills.

He realized that was the missing link from his Company’s achieving elevated safety consciousness throughout the workplace.   He realized that he had successfully created some great commercials through the implementation of a comprehensive safety program.

The problem was that he’d failed to gain his employees full engagement and participation.   Without that crucial linkage, employee safety awareness could never be fully realized.

It therefore became his goal to find a way to motivate them.   He wanted his company’s employees to not just watch those safety program ‘commercials’, but to then become buyers of a committed safety culture; one where everyone has full participation.

Safety Pays’ innovative approach to safety incentives was the eventual result of that understanding.

LESSON LEARNED:  If you want people to pay attention, give them a reason to; and one they’ll enjoy.   As the saying goes in the seafood business, “You bait the hook to suit the fish!”   Only then can you reel ‘em in!