Ideas for Motivating Safety Committees
Safety committees are proven to be more effective than safety officers alone. A committee of employees pulled from various departments can more effectively identify unsafe areas than can safety officers by themselves. The employees are continuously exposed to the very elements that safety officers wish to address, making them “safety experts” in their own rights.
However, these employee safety experts may not always realize exactly how knowledgeable they are about the practices in the workplace. They may not feel motivated to address the issues. Or their motivation may lag over time. How then can safety officers encourage these employee ambassadors to help identify unsafe practices and continuously motivate other employees? Let’s take a look.
Common Motivation Tactics
Some of the most effective and most used motivational tools in safety committees are food, special privileges and leadership competition. Let’s briefly look at each:
- Food: Every person must eat, and many people enjoy mixing socialization with motivational free foods. Using a mixer as a motivational tool can both increase attendance and allow members to break the ice before getting down to business.
- Special Privileges: This factor encourages members to attend meetings and encourages other employees to desire committee membership.
- Leadership Competition: Allowing employees to compete for a leadership role in the committee encourages attendance, allows management an opportunity to identify driven employees and encourages employees to showcase their talents.
Additional Motivation Tactics
However, sometimes these motivational tactics do not work or the tactic’s effectiveness lags over time. In these cases, some other motivational tactics may need to be employed, including the following:
- Individualized Motivation: If the motivation problem is with one or two members only, identifying their individualized sources of motivation may help get the team back on track. Speak with the individual’s managers to identify these areas or watch for signs of motivation, like money, praise and one-on-one attention.
- Group Motivation: If the entire group lacks motivation, the problem is best addressed with the group. Sometimes talking to the group can help turn them around. Other times, changing up the routine by meeting at a restaurant or throwing a party can work. If motivation is still an issue, change out group members: fresh members can help keep the group interesting and interested.
- Work With Skill Sets: Some members may feel undervalued or under-utilized. For example, if their skill sets lie in artistry, continuously identifying areas of potential safety improvement can leave them feeling useless. Asking this person or these persons to use their skills can motivate them to contribute, such as asking the group to draw safety cartoons.
- Recognize Efforts: Many employees enjoy being recognized, and this can be used as a motivational tactic. Recognize the employees for their efforts, both within the group and within the company. This will motivate the safety committee and other employees.
Motivation within a safety committee can be difficult to maintain over a long period of time, but offering rewards of food, special privileges, leadership, individualized and group motivations, working with skill sets, and recognizing efforts can leave you on the way to a better motivated safety group.