Employee Loyalty in Good Times and Bad

A recent Forbes article speaks to a new wave of employee confidence to which company executives should take note.  In an economy that continues to struggle (with slight improvements) – employees are finding their confidence and slowly emerging from the “I’m just happy to have this job” fog.  Companies need to recognize that to motivate their employees to not just work harder but simply stay on the job – incentives are critical.

The article discusses the need for companies to launch incentives before their employees launch themselves into a new job.  What’s unfortunate here is that companies do not already have these incentives in place.  While times of economic struggle often cause companies to tighten their belts — these are the times when incentive programs are needed most and instead of being cut – should be embraced and enhanced.

When employees see their co-workers packing up their desks and being walked out the door – they need to be reminded that despite tough changes – they themselves still have value and are needed at the company.  What some executives don’t realize is that employees do not inherently know this and need to be reminded often – which is exactly the type of impact incentives can have.

The author also makes mention of wellness programs.  Many companies have begun implementing wellness initiatives and are best served when they opt to tie it in with an overall incentive program.  Wellness and incentives are not mutually exclusive.  When tied together these two initiatives can further engage employees and remind them that the grass is not always greener.

Forbes Article

In economic terms, the multiplier effect refers to the proportional increase or decrease in final income that results from an injection or withdrawal of capital. In terms of Safety Reward Programs, the multiplier effect might refer to the ROI² (Return on Incentive Investment). A properly structured program significantly impacts overall employee engagement and safety culture, where employees are attuned to safety-related issues, inspired to display “Above & Beyond” safe behaviors, willing to be safety ambassadors, and encouraged to promote learning and support continuous improvement. Such best-in-class programs are designed to promote group objectives and reward individual behavior, engaging, motivating, and rewarding the people behind your success.

Fortunately, there are thousands of companies in high-risk industries that have excellent safety programming, training, and coaching in place. Many include safety in their list of core values and have invested heavily in EHS (Environment, Health, and Safety) technology, training, telematics, and personnel. However, too many miss the opportunity to incentivize and recognize individual safety contributions, behaviors, and performance.

Programs featuring tangible and experiential awards as the reward currency can have a multiplying effect that pays dividends. Benefits include a more highly engaged workforce, fewer accidents and incidents, reduced claims and losses, lower turnover and absenteeism, better communication, increased productivity, visibility to leading and lagging indicators, incremental coaching and training opportunities, and improved profitability.

So, what’s the rub? Are engagement programs focused on employee safety, health, and wellness expensive to implement? Do they only make sense for companies with thousands of safety-sensitive workers? The answer to both questions is no. Properly structured programs can be cost-effective and right-sized for companies with as few as 100 safety-sensitive workers up to those with 10,000 or more. The ROI² of these programs can be expressed as a ratio (in this case, 4:1), with quantitative results showing a savings of $4.00 for every $1.00 invested and qualitative results revealing higher employee morale, which serves as a catalyst for productivity. Safety Reward Programs help to mitigate risk, elevate employee engagement, and improve overall safety culture. They also present an excellent opportunity for companies to simply say thank you to their employees for being safe, committed, and engaged.

People have an inherent need to know that their efforts do not go unnoticed. Safety Reward Programs provide the stimulus and energy that encourage employees to perform at their best and achieve new heights.



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