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Safety Incentive Programs

By: Matt Schiefferly
Vice President Safety Services


With the new year coming soon, it is an excellent time to start a safety incentive program for your employees. A good program can reduce insurance costs, raise employee awareness, and build company morale. Many insurance companies will offer schedule credits to companies that have team safety incentive programs in place, as does the CMSA workers’ compensation program. The difficulty is finding a program that works and is cost effective.

Since no two companies are alike in either operations or employees, we will not recommend a single incentive program, but rather some helpful guidelines that will allow you to develop a program that meets your company’s needs.

  1. Plan a specific target area that you recognize needs to be improved, injuries, damages, cargo handling, auto accidents, etc.

  2. Set realistic goals and define the goals before you start the program. Make sure the employees know what it takes to meet the objectives, explain specific ways of improving that is in their ability to control. Doubling sales is not realistic or in their control.

  3. Use a team approach and make it a friendly competition. This helps build enthusiasm and peer pressure, both of which are critical in a good program.

  4. Set a specific time frame. A month or quarter works the best, a year is too long and employees lose interest.

  5. Communicate the ongoing success of the program. Once the contest starts make sure you keep it in front of everyone’s mind. Post the prizes where they can be seen daily. Post the results so the employees know which team is winning and eventually who won.

  6. You must deliver on the promise and complete the program.

  7. Keep it simple. Make the program easy to follow and make sure everyone knows what must be done to win.

  8. Finally, make the reward meaningful. A small television, CD player, dinner for two, and cash are all good prizes. Make the prize worth a change in attitude. Patches or trophies are not usually enough to make an employees change their attitude.

We often hear that employees don’t want to start a program because it will become expected and then hard to stop. Make sure that you clearly outline this as a trial program and if it does not achieve the desired results it will not continue. Make the specific time clear. Most of all, try to make it fun.

If you have any questions or need help with a safety incentive program please contact Matt Schiefferly @ Paul Hanson Insurance Services (800) 852-1968 or e-mail Matts@Paulhanson.com. Visit our web page for other information vital to the moving and storage industry at www.paulhanson.com.