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    8 Best Practices for Employee Engagement in a Safety Culture

    It’s no secret that the best action an organization can take to align and engage employees is to make them feel valued. A culture of positive safety does that. But the journey to safety excellence has to be a crusade, not a casual endeavor. It must be deliberate, with a crafted process and messaging that is driven by your fleet’s leadership. Here are some tips on how to effectively engage your employees in your safety crusade.

    8 best practices for employee engagement in a safety culture

    Get your drivers, coaches, and other team members all pushing in the same direction with these top safety program practices:

    1. Create a compelling ROI story to win and retain the support of senior leadership. Safety is not a revenue-generating department. It's an expense. Leaders need to bring in programs that will lower expenses (e.g. the reduction in collision costs) and that's the ROI. It’s critical to convince them of the value of your safety program because their support and advocacy will set the tone for the rest of your fleet. 
    2. Elevate employee engagement with a strong safety culture. Some tips for driving engagement include: use case studies to create urgency around safety, build internal coalitions, have a vision and broadcast it widely, get some short-term wins, and empower front-line managers by making them accountable for progress and giving them the tools to achieve.
    3. Keep drivers on track with quick, continuous coaching. On-going coaching connects drivers to the safety culture and is more effective than episodic training. Focus on remediation and retention, instead of discipline.
    4. Boost buy-in with effective communications. It’s impossible to over communicate a safety program. Use all the tools available (email, posters, texts, etc.) for safety communications and remember it’s a two-way street—take feedback from drivers and coaches as they’re the people in the field every day.  
    5. Leverage analytics to increase safety program effectiveness. Data and technology help identify and focus on the most important areas of risk in order to measure progress and continually improve. Showcasing this data to your employees will help them understand why your fleet is making certain business decisions and also emphasize how safety benefits them personally.
    6. Integrate all safety technologies. Making sure all technologies, ranging from vehicle systems to video telematics software, play nice together helps fleets scale and get accurate data to support their safety initiatives. Having integrated, easy-to-use tools also helps employees prioritize safety without interfering with their daily jobs.
    7. Create accountability. Everyone should know their role within the safety program and how they’ll be measured. This sets a clear path to reach all safety goals. Remember to also celebrate achievements and their positive impacts – reductions in collisions or emissions not only save money but also improves and saves lives.
    8. Build team spirit. The safety mentality for drivers, coaches, and other fleet team members should shift from reactive (natural instincts), to dependent (supervision), then independent (self), and finally interdependent (team spirit).

    Engaging in fleet safety doesn’t just happen. Employees need defined and well-written procedures that are consistently communicated, from the top down. When your team understands the positive impacts of a safety culture and is motivated to strengthen it, productivity and morale will increase across the fleet.