Work safety isn’t always the most inspiring conversation topic. People often think they’re being troublesome by even bringing the subject up – particularly in offices, where the risks can feel fairly silly to raise.
However, that doesn’t make work safety conversations any less important. Regular communication on the topic helps prevent recurring incidents, improve compliance, address complacency, and keep safety top-of-mind for employees.
We’ve put together some of our top tips to improve your work safety conversations. Our aim is to help managers and safety leaders to feel more confident in delivering inspiring and impactful safety conversations.
- Make it a two-way street
No one likes being talked at. Ensure your conversation is just that – a conversation, not a lecture. Stick to the point, be creative in your delivery, and even encourage debate to facilitate contribution from employees.
- Be respectful and human
Give staff your undivided attention and be sure to listen to their opinions on the topic too. Remember, even as the expert, you don’t know it all. If you don’t know the answer to any questions, reassure staff you’ll get back to them later with a comprehensive response.
- Stay positive and future-focused
Many times, it’s about the way the message is delivered, rather than the content of the conversation. Don’t dwell on past incidents or events that pick people out for “bad behaviour”. Shift the focus to opportunities, action plans, and future ways to improve work safety.
- Include open-ended questions
Asking questions improves engagement and knowledge retention. If you ask open-ended questions, participants will be required to think about their responses rather than nodding along (whilst thinking about their lunch break). You’ll get much better results.
- Ask for feedback
As with any kind of training, seeking feedback is incredibly important. Ask employees to be open and honest about how the conversation could have been improved, so you can do an even better job next time.
Is there anything you’d add to this list? Don’t forget to check out our range of work safety products, designed to make your life easier.