By Matt Doyle, VP and co-founder of Excel Builders, a truly unique custom home builder, creating homes that make every day easier.
Most safety policies are going to need a second look as we return to work in person again. Your team may have discussed how customers are going to be greeted or whether sanitation measures will stay in effect.
It’s important to develop a written policy that meets the needs of your business. However, I’m going to go further and say that it’s important for you to incorporate employee input into any policy that you develop.
I have some insight into why this matters as a builder of custom homes. I often need to develop new safety rules for each job site depending on weather factors, the materials being used or how involved the client wants to be.
Here are three reasons that I’ve learned to incorporate employee input when developing a safety policy.
1. It gives the team more time to absorb the policy.
Safety policies can be easy to forget when they’re announced as an agenda item for one day and never mentioned again. Developing a policy through meetings and interviews with employees will give everyone a more permanent sense of the policies that are being put into place.
Holding discussions will also give everyone a chance to hear the reasoning of new policies that are being developed. Some of this information may be new to employees who don’t work in the same areas.
When someone wants to request a change, they can do so by explaining why the change is important to their safety. That will give everyone else in the room the chance to understand dangers that they may not face in their own role.
2. It helps ensure long-term compliance.
Gathering input on your safety policies can help ensure that employees comply with them. This is because gathering input allows you to build policies around the workflow and customer interactions that are already part of the employee’s role.
Rules that are badly written or frustrating for customers are often quietly ignored when management isn’t watching. Over time, this can cause confusion over which safety guidelines are “serious” and which ones can be ignored.
Avoid any confusion by using employee input to create rules that can be followed efficiently.
3. It allows management to show commitment to all employees.
Gathering opinions and then implementing the most important ones is a great way to show your employees that you are responsive to their needs. Showing employees that you care is more important than ever even as budgets are tighter.
Good suggestions about safety can save your business in the long run. That makes talking to your employees and using their suggestions a win-win that can create a lot of goodwill.
Develop your next safety policy with employee input.
We’ll all have to review our safety policies soon. Employees, shareholders and clients alike will want to know what is being done to reduce the chance of emergencies. Your newest safety policies should consider the input of your employees.
First, starting the discussion will give your employees more time to absorb the policy. This may help them retain some information that could keep people safe. A discussion will also help you eliminate obstacles to compliance. Finally, it can help bring management and employees closer.