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7 Key Tactics The Pros Use To Avoid Workplace Injuries

7 Key Tactics The Pros Use To Avoid Workplace Injuries

Sadly, when an employee’s injured on the job, the recurring medical costs add up and, unless you have extremely deep pockets, these costs will become a serious burden real fast.

Not to mention the tragedy of a human getting hurt in the first place. The best to avoid anybody getting hurt in the first place is ensuring every single person who steps into your business knows which hazards are what, and how to prevent them.

1. Clear Pathways

If the walkways and paths that workers use are littered with clutter, junk, and giant obstructions… How can you expect busy, multi-tasking, busily-thinking workers not to trip and slip while they’re on the job?

Making sure common areas are well-lit is a sure-fire approach to ensure people get to their destination fall-free. Think of implementing slip-resistant flooring that serves the primary function of each particular area – like rubber mats in restaurant kitchens.

Slip-resistant flooring may just be an incredibly genius invention – as foot traffic, much like an ocean wave, comes and goes in waves and droves. One minute it’s busy, the next it’s not, and it’s hard to figure out exactly what the busiest times are going to be, day in and day out.

2. Don’t Strain Yourself

We live in the world of technology, there’s no getting around there. Everywhere we look, there’s another piece of tech to keep us reeled in and tuned-in to the entire world. Even simple, mundane tools that have been in our lives since the 80s; keyboards, mice, screens, etc. Without the proper ergonomic equipment to keep ourselves functioning, these devices end up crippling us.

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One way to combat all of this is by designing (and creating) your very own ergonomic office. Pretty cool, right?

3. Stay Up-To-Date About Hazards

Be vigilant out there! It’s not enough to know about hazards – new ones are developing all the time, and you’ve got to know them forwards and backwards. You have to know more about them than what your spouse’s favorite dish is for dinner.

And then educate employees about how to prevent them, and on what to do in case these hazards occur.

Think about smartphones: people crossing the street while looking at their phone! How dangerous is that? Think about all the moronic drivers there are in the world – people who don’t pay attention and are reckless with what they do in traffic. Maybe some lunatic driver’s looking at his/her phone the exact moment some poor desolate soul decides to cross the street – eyes glued to the phone. Nobody bothers using their eyes at all, and you see a hit-and-run waiting to happen.

Knowledge isn’t just power – it’s life-saving.

4. Safety Management Systems

These systems are predictive analytics whose primary function is simple: sort through several projects and identify the chances one of those projects will cause an injury.

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The VP of one large electrical contractor and system integrator used his safety management system on Friday. By Monday, he looked at the results. The high-risk activities were reviewed and discussed by the team, and they worked together to find ways of managing that risk and preventing injury.

Sure enough, it worked! Problem was, an injury happened later on in the week. As always, the point is this: safety management systems work -when used correctly – to predict high-risk activities and take preventative measures.

5. Hardhats

There’s no short of trips to the ER to fix concussions, fractured necks, and a whole treasure chest of falling-object injuries.

Sometimes, things come flying and falling at your head every which way from Tuesday. Hardhats in environments and spaces like these are a must – in fact, this should be mandatory by now. That’s the most common way to save your noggin from slobbering all over the concrete.

Another way?

Always wearing proper PPE. Safety glasses, goggles, face shields, etc. It’s the 21st century – I’ve met tons of managers who couldn’t be bothered to wear anything on their precious, sweet-as-sugar mug. Anything to maintain safety in the workplace.

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Sadly, vehicles are often involved in “struck by..” accidents; regular, real-world safety measures such as fastening seat belts, checking vehicles thoroughly, and wearing incredibly-visible/neon-bright clothing are a necessity. There is no chance of being too over the top when it comes to protecting peoples’ lives.

6. Safety Software

Workplace injuries can be predicted with 97% accuracy. This is big. Huge, even.

Why? It goes without saying that if injuries can be predicted, they can be prevented.

In fact, how does reducing an injury rate by 67% within 18 months feel to you? A Fortune 150 energy company did just that. How would reducing your workday rate by 97% in 12 months feel? A Fortune 150 manufacturer did exactly that, using analytics.

Gone are the ways of boring, old, inefficient conventional methods – tech is here to save the world again. Machine-learning algorithms developed in Pittsburgh, such as the CMULT (Carnegie Mellon University’s Language Translation Institute) manufactured such a money-and-life-saving device.

In fact, a safety software system called SafetyNet (right on point with that name) red-flagged 4 out of 10 locations as being high-risk for injuries. You can bet that the people who read those results did their best to prevent those injuries – all thanks to the simplicity of collecting workplace safety data.

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Bonus tip: it’s OSHA’s responsibility to develop new strategies and regulations when it comes to workplace safety. This extends to forklift maintenance and it is important to get your team certified for it. Follow OSHA’s safety protocols as soon as you can.

7. Overexertion

If there’s a task you’re struggling with? Swallow your pride and ask for help – you’re a part of a team. How valuable to the team are you if you’re injured and home-ridden for the next few months? Recuperating for any number of reasons.

There’s a common problem storming through the business world. It’s a monster that’s been running rampant for ages. It’s called overexertion, pushing yourself too far by doing too much – going far past your personal limits.

Some symptoms of overexertion are:

  • Low blood sugar
  • Dehydration
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Chest pains and/or profuse sweating

Granted, not many of us have the luxury of a pair of second hands or help. In this case, I’m sure we can all agree that proper training (and training techniques) is absolutely vital in this case – right?

Last Thoughts

Preventing injuries to your workers, or yourself, is as simple as using common sense. There is no shortage of information about health and safety, and I hope you’ve found something useful. Be safe out there.

Featured photo credit: pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Published on September 18, 2018

17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

Have there been instances when you noted a drop in your team’s productivity or observed a behavioral change in someone who used to be an excellent performer?

Before you blame the team for not being motivated enough or worse still, choose to ignore these warning signs, look inwards and ask yourself if YOU are doing enough to keep your team motivated in the first place.

Motivating employees is extremely crucial. As the leader of the pack, it is your responsibility to ensure each and every member of your team feels valued, driven and motivated.

After all, you cannot expect a bunch of disengaged and demotivated people to deliver results and grow your business, can you?

Here are 17 surefire tactics for motivating your employees and building a productive team:

1. Show your appreciation

In the whole race to achieve external business goals, leaders often forget to value their most important assets — their employees.

The least you can do to boost performance and morale is to appreciate your employees, recognize their efforts and give them credit when it is due.

Whether it’s sending a personalized note, recognizing achievements publicly during team huddles or even rewarding top performers at the end of every month, you will be surprised to see how these small acts of appreciation can go a long way.

2. Communicate effectively

Effective communication can do wonders in motivating employees. Who is a strong communicator? Someone who knows what they are talking about and are able to convey their message accurately.

Communication is a lot more than just language and talking. Factors such as eye contact, active listening, hand gestures and postures also say a lot about a person’s communication skills.

3. Be open to dialogue

Gone are the days when leading through fear and putting on the tough, distant leader act would work.

New age leadership is all about instilling trust by being accessible and encouraging discussions. Your team needs to feel comfortable speaking to you and you need to set the tone for such a camaraderie.

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In spite of having a busy schedule, you can still show you care through simple, effective acts.

For instance, having an open door policy, showing genuine interest while interacting with your employees or even greeting your team members helps breaking barriers and projects you as an accessible leader.

4. Provide constructive criticism

Giving negative feedback is always tricky — you don’t want to hurt feelings nor do you want the feedback to be taken lightly.

So, what do you do? The idea is to offer criticism such that it inspires change and delivers results.

Firstly, take criticism behind closed doors because nothing breaks self esteem the way calling out employees in public does.

Have a one-on-one discussion with the concerned person and make your feedback very specific. Be clear about your expectations and offer guidance on how they can improve.

Most importantly, give them the chance to explain their side of the story too instead of jumping to conclusions.

5. Conduct one-on-ones

Yes, you conduct weekly meetings with the team but how well do you know them on a personal level?

While you may think this isn’t an important practice to follow, it is one of the best ways to engage with your employees and identify what drives them.

Conduct a one-one-one session every month and use it to understand how your employees are doing and if they are facing any roadblocks.

More than reviewing performances, consider this as a relationship building tool to ensure you are aligned with your team and are working towards a shared, common goal.

6. Build training programs

In this ever-changing business landscape, it is important to ensure your employees are updated with the latest, relevant skills that can help boost productivity and performance.

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From imparting technical and soft skills to offering mentoring programs – investing in training and development significantly helps in motivating employees and keeps the learning going.

While conducting training programs, remember to keep them engaging and interactive. They need to ultimately drive value and reinforce learnings.

7. Offer growth opportunities

Every employee envisions a different career path for themselves and demotivation strikes the day they feel they have reached stagnation. As a leader, you need to first be aligned with their goals and offer ample growth opportunities that constantly keeps them engaged and motivated.

Growth opportunities go beyond just financial growth. While money is a huge driving factor, what makes most people tick is making progress in the company and going up the career ladder.

Being faced with new challenges and responsibilities lets them push the envelope and broaden their knowledge and skills.

8. Reward them

Go beyond verbal recognition and reward employees for their notable work. You can start an incentive program and reward top performers. This ensures increased productivity and brings out the best in them.

If you don’t have enough budgets for that, you can also reward top performers with movie tickets, a paid vacation or something as simple as giving them the option to work from home.

Rewarding employees promotes healthy competition and motivates them while meeting business goals.

9. Encourage team outings

Employee motivation also stems from how connected the team is. Invest time in team building because a team that works collaboratively is likely to deliver better results.

From bowling nights to hosting team dinners – team outings are a great way to get to know each other and bond. Assign someone from your team to be in charge of organizing these monthly outings and make sure you join them too!

10. Involve them

Involve your employees in decision making because when they are involved, they feel more valued and part of a larger cause.

Seek your team’s opinion and encourage healthy debates within the team. This boosts employee morale and challenges them to work harder as they know they are in a position to make an impact and will be taken seriously.

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11. Set meaningful goals

In the beginning of the financial year, make sure you sit down with each employee to set meaningful and realistic goals. The goal-setting conversation is an extremely crucial one and needs to be a two-way street.

Whether your employee feels burdened or doesn’t feel inspired enough by the assigned goals – this is the time to come to a consensus and assign goals derived from business objectives that foster individual development while keeping in mind their strengths and weaknesses.

12. Empower them

You cannot expect employees to be motivated for long if you micro manage the team and do all the talking.

Trust your employees and empower them to take decisions. Mistakes will happen but that is the only way they will learn.

Be open to discussions, delegate effectively, set your expectations and give your team the freedom to do it their way.

13. Deal with conflict

A conducive work environment is one wherein there is open communication and trust, but every once in a while, you do encounter people in the team who indulge in office politics and spread negativity.

How much ever fulfilled an employee feels with their work, gossiping co-workers are bound to ruin it for them. Workplace gossip if not tackled hampers productivity and soils working relations.

As a responsible leader, you need to maintain a conducive work environment and act as a mediator in such cases. Don’t be the leader who is locked up in his/her cabin and is unaware of what is brewing within the team.

14. Implement a flexible work culture

Flexible work cultures are a growing trend and are here to stay.

Whether it is offering flexible working hours or allowing employees to work from home once in a month – a flexible work culture promotes work-life balance and aids in employee satisfaction.

It shows that the management is sensitive to employees’ schedules and is thereby highly appreciated.

15. Host engaging activities

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy and we cannot agree more! So, why not devote one day of the week to employee engagement activities?

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From hosting baking competitions to introducing wellness programs in the office – let your team have some fun beyond work. This keeps the environment engaging, light-hearted and interesting, giving them all the more reason to look forward to coming to work.

16. Maintain a positive work space

Your employees spend more than half their day at work and in order to keep them energized and motivated, it is important to maintain a positive and inspiring work space.

Have a recreation center where employees can unwind after a hard day’s work, offer free snacks and beverages and invest in an open office design that promotes socializing and conversations.

These are simple yet effective ways to create a space your employees will love coming to.

17. Avoid discrimination

Any kind of discrimination, be it due to age, gender, religion or race hugely impacts employee motivation and performance.

In order to avoid such cases, you must lay down rules against discrimination and take strict action against accused employees. Lead by example and make sure no one in the team is a victim of bias and discrimination.

The bottom line

Don’t underestimate the power of motivating employees. Understand that the more engaged and motivated they are, the better their performance will be.

It is also a good idea to send out a survey and get feedback from your employees on the company culture, work environment and their motivation levels.

This will help you be more aligned with their expectations and further improve your efforts in building a stronger, engaged team.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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