Initiating a work program that includes all team members working together cohesively to achieve a common goal is any managers “utopian” dream. While complete team “buy-in” may not be always be achievable, steps can be taken that will ensure participation by most if not all employees. If you are thinking about adding an injury elimination program as a part of your 2021 health and safety initiatives, I have outlined 5 items below that will guarantee employee participation.
- Connect on a Personal Level
- Think of your employees. What do they enjoy? What matter most in their lives? What are common hobbies that are shared? Focus on how this program will enable to them to participate in the activities that matter most to them when they are away from work. Being healthy at work means being healthy at home.
- Utilize Outside Sources
- Using outside sources provide a level of credibility with staff. Team members sometimes tire of listening to the “same people” in management. Additionally, an injury prevention program can easily be seen as “just another way for the company to increase profits.” Utilization of a resource not affiliated with the company
- Don’t be Afraid to Educate
- Believe it or not, must people enjoy learning basic anatomy and physiology. Becoming more educated on these subject matters will help team members understand the “why” behind what they are doing.
- Use an Injury Prevention Specialist
- Employees love the opportunity to work one-on-one with a specialist such as a physical therapist. This provides a “high touch” experience that is personalized and effective. Human-to-human interaction establishes a level of accountability and is more likely to foster healthy habits.
- Start an Ambassador Program
- Having program ambassadors is critical to the success of the plan. These ambassadors can connect with coworkers on a personal level by providing vocal and example-based leadership. In our experience, peer-to-peer leadership is one of the most effective participation models.
Kevin Winn B.S., CIEE, CSCS, NSCA-CPT