The workplace is a busy, complex and fast-paced environment. Employees work with little or no time to spare in their hectic schedules. Other work-related events or activities are sometimes considered as unnecessary distractions from their day-to-day work. These include meetings, trainings, company events, and even safety talks in the workplace.
Different issues like proper equipment handling, business code of conduct, sexual harassment, handling sensitive information, etc. are important for employees to know and understand. Regardless of how busy they are every day, they need to be educated on these important matters even through different means.
But how do you conduct safety talks for employees who just cannot make time? It’s simple; find a way to incorporate such talks in your employees’ day-to-day agenda. This means that you have to transform the “safety talk topics” into something informal, natural, and flexible enough to fit in your employees’ itinerary.
Lunch time is not necessarily crunch time
As a manager or employer, it is your responsibility to keep your employees or workers in tip-top shape despite the amount of work and long hours they subject themselves to. This includes ensuring that your employees are properly fed and nourished. Invite your employees to lunch or treat them if you can; this way, you can have the safety talk informally and it will be easier for them to provide feedback in a less strained environment.
Maximize the use of social media
Some companies allow employees to access social media tools and applications such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. even during work hours. A lot of companies even have their own pages where employees can become a member and have access to happenings, information, and events that are related to their work, workplace, colleagues, and employers. Social media can be as equally informative as meetings or focus group discussions if utilized properly. If you can find a way to incorporate your safety talks in your company social media accounts, it will be easier for you to disseminate the information you need to share. Furthermore, members can interact with each other freely and feedback can be received in real time.
Engage in small talk
Lunch time is not the only time to sit, eat, and talk with your employees comfortably. You do not have to wait for the next lunch to engage in small talk. Why not make a fresh brew, offer your employees coffee, and just freely speak your mind? Despite how busy they are, employees sometimes just need a little nudge to remind them to take a break once in a while. Conversations over a good cup of coffee are no different, and you can easily turn your small talks into mini safety talks as long as you do it casually. You will be surprised how easy it is for your employees to speak their minds freely if approached in a more comfortable and non-threatening manner.
Revamp your team or company bulletin boards
Those extra spaces in your office with whiteboards or corkboards are not there just for display. They are intended to feature interesting happenings, news, events and people in your workplace. Your employees may give these spaces a second look if they are interesting enough. You can even include your safety talk topics in these boards, making them more appealing by using trivia, games, or contests (if you have the budget). By making these boards informative yet attention-worthy, you can encourage employees to stop and do a bit of reading/learning without the pressure.
These unorthodox “safety talks” can only succeed if you yourself believe that they can. In the end, it will be up to you as the employer or manager to educate employees in the best and most convenient way possible. The important thing is to keep an open mind and continue innovating to keep your employees informed, satisfied and happy.