Safety meetings are a great way to keep your workers focused on safety. But, many times employees just listen passively and it can be difficult to get them to participate. In the June 2015 issue of Safety & Health Magazine, Richard Hawk gives some tips for getting your employees engaged in your safety meetings. Read below for his ideas, and some of ours, for getting more participation during safety meetings.
As a safety leader, your demeanor is important. If you walk in dreading the meeting, your audience will pick up on your mood and you will not have a successful meeting. Regardless of how tired you are, you should show energy and enthusiasm for the topic, even if you have to fake it.
Choose a Relevant Topic
Make sure the topic you choose for your safety meeting is relevant to your audience. You could talk about new rules or regulations that affect work on your site, or about recent accidents or near misses that have been reported in the local news media. By choosing topics that are relevant to your audience, you are more likely to keep them interested.
Give Positive Recognition
When someone does participate, make sure you acknowledge and thank them for their contribution personally. You could also offer a small prize or reward for employees who participate. It doesn't have to be anything big, just something that shows your appreciation and recognizes the employee.
Make it Easy
Some employees may feel nervous speaking in front of a group, but you can allow them to participate in writing by handing out blank index cards. Ask your audience to write down personal experience or their opinion about a policy or procedure related to the topic of the meeting. Collect the cards anonymously and use them to get a discussion going.