Aside from providing a safer environment for your employees — real human beings — a lower accident rate both reduces that particular cost and proves organizational commitment to worker safety, reducing the need for legal services and containing future liability risk in the process.
Engaged employees have a lower accident rate and each accident costs less. The first cost reduction makes complete sense: engaged employees are more likely to be paying attention to what they are doing and consequently are less likely to have an accident, but the second statistic — each accident costs less — is remarkable and deserves some explaining.
We know that a robust and properly deployed internal communications solution increases the levels of employee engagement. And we know that no matter how much precaution you take, some accident will occur eventually. It’s what we humans do, but why would an accident cost less?
I remember when I first started driving, my mother would remind me often that it took two cars to have an accident. (The fact that she accidentally drove her own car into the gate to her own driveway was proof that her claim was not entirely true, but her point was well taken). A generation later, I am telling my own son that adding a margin of error to his own driving will reduce the impact of another driver’s mistake, if indeed an accident becomes unavoidable.
That’s what happens in the workplace. When a higher percentage of people are behaving more carelessly, when an accident does occur, the damage might be compounded by the carelessness of more than one person. Perhaps the brakes on the factory fork truck were not serviced properly, and the driver of it was not paying attention to what was going on around him. When he had to make an emergency stop, the poor brakes service meant the truck took longer to stop. In a workplace of low employee engagement, accidents are more frequent and each costs more.
But wait. There’s more.
One of the core aspects of employee engagement is individual responsibility. When you empower your employees to make the decisions they need to make to perform optimally, they also take more responsibility. By empowering your employees, you are sending the clear message that their success is in their hands. Any employee who feels responsible for their own actions is simply less likely to blame their employer when an accident does occur.
Empowering your employees is also about letting them take charge of their own safety at work. If they feel they need more fire extinguishers, they work together to make that happen.
Of course, on an organization level, you will ultimately be held responsible for providing a safe working environment, but safety levels will be maximized when employees are included in the decision making process.
In summary, internal communication and the resulting higher levels of employee engagement:
- Reduce the number of accidents,
- Reduce the direct cost of each accident, and
- Reduce the chances of further liability issues.
The reduction in the costs of accidents might alone justify the implementation of an internal communications solution. Still, there are ten other great reasons to choose from.