Every department has their own priorities. All too often, what the safety department wants is seen as out of step with the rest of the organization.
But that doesn’t have to be the case. In the Summer/Fall 2017 issue of Safety Decisions, Ray Prest draws the connection between business and safety objectives. He demonstrates that a company’s trajectory is closely tied to safety performance.
Take employee engagement, for example. It’s a common concern for safety professionals. And as Ray points out, EHS folks aren’t the only ones concerned with engagement:
Employee engagement isn’t just a challenge in the safety department. It’s a top challenge for businesses in general. Gallup, the world’s pioneer in tracking employee attitudes and behaviors, uses it as one of the six main daily measures of the nation’s economic health. It’s one of the most common benchmarks business leaders use to determine organizational performance.
No longer should health and safety be seen as a department that drains resources. Instead, there is a strong business case for investing in worker protection. Making that case requires safety leaders to clearly present safety’s value propositions and show that safety is aligned with wider corporate goals.
The article outlines several methods for showing that there’s common ground with other departments. One effective technique is to show how safety improvements benefit operations. Improved morale, reduced human error and better attention to the task at hand are all outcomes of some types of safety training, and they almost always improve production as well. In this way, every area of a company should be dedicated to finding a solution to human error.
In the end, it’s all about making the connections between fewer injuries and better engagement. Some executives intuitively understand the link, but the majority don’t. It behooves safety professionals to show business leaders how safety and profits go hand in hand—because it’s one of the best ways to ensure a strong and stable investment in the safety department.