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Why Recognition is the Key to a Strong Safety Culture

Ensuring employee safety should be paramount for any business, however some industries require a culture of safety due to their elevated risk. While policies, procedures, and training are essential components of workplace safety, one often overlooked but incredibly powerful tool is employee recognition.

People vs Numbers

To build a strong, sustainable culture of safety, leaders need to know who is exhibiting safe behaviors. Who is encouraging safe practices with their team? Who is going out of their way to perform safely? And who is coming up with new ideas on how to improve safety? Leaders can often focus on metrics without taking into account the nuance and human element behind the numbers. By recognizing employees, companies can readily identify who their most reliable safety champions are.

Forward-Looking Accountability

When something goes wrong, backward-looking accountability is applied. This often focuses on blame and discipline, but may not actually prevent the mistake from being made again. Safety recognition applies forward-looking accountability by focusing on the correct behaviors and proactive measures employees take to prevent an accident. This positive reinforcement prevents safety initiatives from becoming too reactive. By promoting vigilance and protective outlooks, companies can actively prevent injuries and accidents from occurring.

Morale and Motivation

Everyone likes to feel valued and appreciated for a job well done. When everything is running smoothly, it’s easy for companies to take it for granted. After all, safety should be the standard. However, there is an incredible amount of work that goes into these daily safety practices. By recognizing employees for their commitment to safety, it becomes a point of pride. The recognized person will develop an intrinsic motivation to keep performing the desired safety behavior and feel a sense of ownership over their process. Furthermore, if you incentivize your employees through an award program, not only will they feel pride in being recognized by their company, but they will be motivated to achieve every level of safety.

Bottom Line

According to a recent Gallup-Workhuman study, work injuries cost U.S. businesses $163.9B every year. They also found an interesting correlation between recognition and safety incidents: If the average organization in Gallup’s database doubled the number of employees who “strongly agree that they received recognition for doing good work in the last seven days,” that organization could experience a 22% decrease in safety incidents. This would result in an estimated cost savings of $2.8M per 10,000 employees. Using recognition to bolster a company’s safety culture can really pay off!

Safety Award Programs

Recognition is a truly powerful tool when it comes to building a strong safety culture. For those who wish to award their employees with custom high-end awards, Dion has you covered. All of our awards are custom made for each client, ensuring that they can only be earned through hard work and dedication. Your dedicated Account Manager will walk you through the entire process, and our office team is standing by with everything you need to fulfill even the largest of programs.

Getting started with Dion is easy: browse our gallery of past products for some inspiration, then This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. give us a call, or fill out our New Project Form for a quote!