Top Five Tips for Better Worker Engagement
01 Apr 2018
By Guest Blogger Gareth Jeune, Carters Regional Health and Safety Advisor
We spoke to Gareth about his take on involving workers in health and safety and how worker engagement can deliver real business benefits. A member of the Registered Master Builders Wellington Executive, Gareth has worked on a range of construction projects in some fast-paced environments, including Wellington Airport, the rollout of the new health and safety legislation at PCB NZ Ltd and now with Carters Building Supplies.
When workers are fully engaged in their work, it’s more likely you’ll see an increase in the quality and productivity of their work, along with the safety standards followed during the process.
Workers are also happier, as they are gaining a greater sense of purpose towards what they are achieving each day – and we all want that!
Aside from a moral responsibility, our legal responsibilities also require employers to provide reasonable opportunities for workers to contribute to health and safety on an ongoing basis.
Tips to engage workers
Tap into the knowledge your staff hold, especially during the planning phase for a task. You will see the benefit when they are completing the task later on, especially when establishing realistic timeframes.
When planning the task, think about the people you know will be working on it. Even elements like the height or size of the worker e.g. think about the size of workers who may need to work in a restricted space.
When tasks are underway, interact with workers often and ask them how the task is progressing, along with any ideas they may have to make things easier in the future.
Ensure you have a process in place to capture reports of worker concerns, near misses and safe actions. Workers must have a way to express their concerns and raise issues.
Provide feedback to workers on what action you have taken around previously raised concerns and reward positive performance. Pre-start meetings and toolbox talks are great opportunities for this!
It’s all about creating and maintaining a workplace where workers are not only engaged about speaking up on health and safety issues, but also empowered to focus on solutions for making situations safe. Engaged workers can improve our places of work for everyone’s benefit.