What does Cloud Storage, Google Wallet and a 900lb iPod dock have in common?

These are all products featured at this year’s CES. The Consumer Electronic Show is the equivalent of 31 football fields full of emerging technology. This show never ceases to amaze me. There is quite a bit to see and comprehend in only 3 days. This year there was not a major focus on new categories. What I saw was several enhancements to existing categories. It appears to be the year of personal connection. Many manufacturers demonstrated how you can incorporate several of your electronic devices to communication with each other. Upload pictures/movies from your phone or camera to your TV, tablet or PC, etc.. Have your washer machine or dryer text you and tell you it is time to switch the clothes to the dryer. Now if they could just fold and put away for you.

My list of notable products from this year’s show;
• Samsung 55” OLED TV one of the largest of its kind in the market
• Sony’s Crystal LED display TV (approximately 600-million LED lights)
• Toshiba glasses free 3D TVs
• Sharp Freestyle Portable TVs – seriously you can take your TV anywhere (within 98’ of home base)
• Swiss Army Knife with a solid state drive (SSD)
• Ultrabooks, Ultrabooks, Ultrabooks – seems like everyone is coming out with the Ultrabook. A super thin, lightweight notebook to compete with Apple
• Apps, Apps, Apps – if you can think it, it is probably already out there and available for download
• Razor Fiona gaming tablet – conceptual at this time. Will run on Windows 8 with a $1000 price tag
• Roku streaming stick – turn your TV into an internet streaming device
• Phablet – Samsung is introducing the Samsung Galaxy Note. A cross between a phone and tablet
• OnLive – a free app that turns your iPad into a Windows PC desktop. Giving you access to games and Windows office
• Toshiba’s super thin tablet – only 7.7m and will run on the Android 4 platform (Ice Cream Sandwich)
• Coming soon – 4G for cars. OnStar has partnered with Verizon to bring 4G to your family car
• Waterproof, Dustproof and Shockproof HD video and digital cameras. Many include live streaming and GPS tagging
• And finally Life Technologies unveiled a DNA sequencer designed to decode an entire human genome in a day for $1,000 by the end of 2012. This one scares me.

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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