No matter how long you have been in the safety profession, or in any type of industry for that matter, we have all come across our fair share of safety slogans. Some are clever and easy to remember, while some are just writing on a wall that we walk past each day. Which would you rather have in your workplace? I suspect I might know the answer to that.
If you are reading this article, you might be trying to change up your safety program, refocus your staff on safety, mix things up a little bit, spend your new budget money wisely, or perhaps even a combination of all those reasons.
Your time is precious, and so is the time of your organization. That’s why it’s important to ensure that you are allocating valuable time and resources to something worthwhile and long-lasting. One way or the other, after reading this article, you’ll have quite a bit to think about when it comes to safety signs and your “Why.”
The Wrong Way to Use Safety Slogans
So you tried using common safety slogans like “Safety First” and “Safety Always,” but had no change in your organizational or safety performance. Then you went the atypical route with “Safety…. Our #1 Priority.” But, just like everything else in life or business, priorities always change and after safety gets deprioritized to second or third because of some other demand, what happens then?
Now, you progress onto the clever stage of “Let’s Not Meet By Accident,” “Safety Doesn’t Hurt,” “You are the Key to Safety,” “Safety is No Accident,” or “A Harness is Better Than a Hearse.” These are pretty good, or funny at least, but they don’t move the needle in your organization or performance. So, is the amount of time you spend on changing safety signs or using cute sayings actually worth it or making a difference?
Why People are More Important
The short answer is no, because safety performance or performance in general is about people. And people need to be invested in, feel safe in their environment to voice their feedback, and know that something is going to be done about it. This is the psychological safety our organizations need to ensure for our employees and which guarantees that they are trained to be excellent at their work.
Setting the Foundation for Safety
All of this is set on the foundation of a shared purpose and vision along with the basic elements of robust, sustainable processes. These processes would include your mission, vision, and values followed by your standards, programs, and policy that help guide the “true work” that you do.
This is where you can establish the “Safety is Our #1 Value” type of mentality that can guide your organization and its culture. To do this, you’ll need a digital process that empowers your frontline workforce to provide feedback to the organization and through which leaders can utilize real-time, actionable data to make the best decisions for safety.
Continuous Improvement Loop
This digital process is known as a Continuous Improvement Loop and the leaders that want sustainability will invest in relationships that demonstrate leadership and foster trust on all levels of the organization. This type of thinking, rather than catchy safety signs, will transform your culture, break down silos, and create transparency for open communication.
Paving the Way for Safety Slogan Success
Don’t get me wrong, we should be making safety visible and easy to remember so that anyone walking into our facility is aware, and that could include memorable safety slogans and signs. But we need to make sure that we are doing the groundwork first to ensure that our messaging has meaning and resonates with our organization.
This starts with demonstrating all-encompassing and empathetic safety leadership where you are engaging where the work is being done, showing that you care, actively listening, and bringing action to the feedback that you are receiving.
So if you want to use a slogan like “Safety… Just the Way We Do Business” then go ahead, but first think about your “why” and the solid foundation that you need to build upon. This will allow you to focus your time on doing the “right” work where your safety slogans will have the most impact on the culture that you are building and the sustainable performance that you desire to achieve.
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