Many of the incidents that drive workers’ compensation costs occur at the “floor level” of a business. It’s obvious: whether it’s a construction firm, a hospital, or a staffing agency, the people who are most likely to get hurt are the ones doing the most dangerous jobs. What is less obvious is the important role executives play in encouraging safety among their employees working in the trenches.
Proactive leadership on risk management takes commitment. Just putting together words of encouragement is not enough. As important as they are, a written safety policy or a statement of values may have little significance in the day-to-day work of a company. To transform risk management goals into results, business leaders need to take action. These are some of the ideas that drive successful risk management leadership:
- Recognize safety as a core value.
Every business is driven by the shared values of its team. For most companies, safety is already an important value. After all, no one wants a colleague to get hurt or the work of the business to be interrupted by accidents and lost working hours. Recognizing the importance of safety as a value for their business often provides executives with the right mindset to lead from the top on this issue.
- Keep risk management in view.
Risk management is first and foremost a mindset. Effective leadership requires executives to keep safety topics at the forefront of their minds as they talk to their employees and review results. On the back end, make safety performance a key metric along with financials. On the front end, prioritize safety early and often while interacting with employees.
- Encourage engagement by employees.
By bringing the importance of risk management to the fore, executives give employees license to prioritize it in their own work. Absent clear leadership, employees may feel reluctant to speak up about problems or devote time to finding better ways to do their work. Likewise, by putting safety first team managers will be empowered to first address risk management concerns before going after their performance benchmarks.
- Let communication flow.
Conversations are key components of a robust safety culture. Senior management should encourage staff to speak openly and honestly about their risk management concerns. When safety is a core value for executives, they have a natural incentive to want to know how their business is doing. Encouraging and rewarding contributions from employees can highlight issues and steer the company toward better results.
Gunnin Insurance works with clients to solve workers’ compensation and risk management challenges. We can help your business get from where it is to where you want it to be. To schedule an appointment, give Gunnin a call today.