To have a strong safety culture, you’ve got to have employees who value it. While you can teach the importance of safety and inspire through your leadership, the easiest way to make sure your people value safety is to hire strategically. Here are three tips to hire employees whose beliefs and philosophy about safety align with those of your company.
- Ask a potential hire to explain why safety is important to him or her. Then listen carefully and watch body language. It doesn’t take a motivational speaker to communicate dedication. If the person hasn’t even thought about safety, it may be a good idea to look elsewhere.
- Communicate to potential hires your commitment to safety. Explain the culture and emphasize that you and your employees work together to ensure a safe environment. You’ll inspire those who want to work with you, and new hires will come in expecting to align with safety procedures.
- Get serious about drug testing. According to OSHA, “Of the 17.2 million illicit drug users aged 18 or older in 2005, 12.9 million (74.8 percent) were employed either full or part-time.” You may be convinced that your employees would never do drugs. But no one is immune, and there’s no substitute for prevention like random drug tests. Not only will drug testing weed out dangerous employees, it will also encourage those who may otherwise be tempted. Also, simply stating that you are a “Drug-Free Workplace” will mean that you won’t have to waste time interviewing those who know they wouldn’t pass a drug test.
Safety starts with leadership but relies on employees. To have a strong safety culture, you need to both model it and make sure your employees are on board and share your philosophy.