When employers model good behaviour instead of just demanding it of their workers, they prove themselves to be true leaders and are more likely to influence their workers’ behaviour.
Leadership is vital in creating a culture that inspires workers to higher levels of health and safety. Seeing the boss do the right thing sets the tone and encourages others to follow. Model sloppy practices and unsafe behaviour as a leader and you will undoubtedly suffer the consequences.
Part of being a good leader is ensuring your team is prepared. As a small business employer, one of your most important responsibilities is training your employees in safe work procedures and making sure they are properly supervised when carrying out duties. This ensures that your team isn’t intimidated or confused by new equipment or procedures.
Although it is great to encourage your employees to be innovative and come up with more efficient ways to complete their work, encourage them to present their ideas to you before they take action. Monitor for employees who improvise their own techniques, and be on the lookout for workers taking shortcuts or being careless or reckless when working. Such behaviour could mean that workers don’t fully understand know how to do the task safely. In these instances, offer more training and encourage workers to ask questions.
Three Steps to Welcoming a New Employee
As a good leader, you should work with your team to help foster positive attitudes towards health and safety. While employee training is typically carried out by a supervisor, you have the legal responsibility to ensure that every employee receives adequate training. Ensure your due diligence by following up with the supervisor to ensure that all training is being properly carried out. Use the following procedures to introduce and train new workers.
1. Prepare to Receive the New Employee
- Review the employee’s previous experience, training and education
- Prepare or obtain a written description of the job, with a step-by-step breakdown of duties and responsibilities
- Plan what you will present
2. Welcome Your New Employee
- Help your new team member feel at ease
- Show the employee their assigned workplace
- Explain your businesses work flow and arrangement
3. Tour Your Facilities
- Explain the layout of your business and which section is responsible for what
- Point out fire exits, emergency equipment and the location of first aid facilities
- Explain that you will try to solve any problems that may arise
Lead by Example
Join WorkSafeBC and Small Business BC for Protect Your Staff, Protect Your Profits – an exclusive seminar on Wednesday, October 8, 2014 – 1:00pm to 2:30pm about how you can encourage a better safety culture. You will have the opportunity to ask questions of your industry peers and find out how their commitment to health and safety has transformed their businesses.