A Guide to Effective Safety Awards

In industries that require workers to pay close attention to their own health and safety as well as their colleagues’, rewarding is of even higher importance than any other industry.

Why are incentives and rewards important?

Incentives and rewards for employees and workers are one of the ways in which you can encourage good health and safety on site. They can be useful to:
  • Encourage employees to follow health and safety procedures.
  • Reward those who achieve outstanding health and safety performance.
  • Reward those who actively promote a good culture on site.
  • Encourage, reward, and reinforce specific safe behaviors.
  • Lower downtime and health insurance payments caused by unsafe behaviors.

The way you reward matters

There are numerous options to choose from when deciding on a way to reward employees for staying safe, such as:
  • One-off prizes for individuals, or for a group.
  • Periodic awards a recurring scheme where individuals or groups receive awards if they stay safe on the job for a specific period of time.
  • Safety raffle each time a worker behaves safely they receive a serial-numbered ticket, then the company holds a monthly draw where a ticket holder receives a substantial prize.
  • Then and there rewards where each observed single safe act results in a small reward.
  • ‘Safe person of the month’ rewards that involve an accumulation of recognition by others.

Even though any of these rewarding methods could be a good fit for your business, you need to consider the pros and cons of each. For instance, raffles mean that while several people may have been seen to act safely, only one is rewarded. And while ‘then and there’ rewards usually make a bigger impact by immediately highlighting safe behaviors in front of everyone, they also mean the rewards need to always be prepared for these occurrences well in advance.

Also, you need to consider the awarded worker’s values and preferences when choosing the reward. For obvious reasons, not all workers will be motivated by the same gift; which is why you might want to consider giving them more freedom in choosing their own rewards.

Don’t Make It Impossible to Succeed

It is vital that your reward scheme is communicated fully to workers everyone should know what it takes to achieve a reward and exactly what observers will be looking for. Moreover, all goals must be fair and attainable. Otherwise, the whole point –motivating for overall better results- will be lost on your workers, and your initiative won’t get you the results you want.