In every organisation people have different levels of engagement and today I’ll discuss how this can affect safety performance. Some people love their job, they are motivated, get results and generally do most of the work. Then there are some who are not really there when at work. Sure, they’re physically there, but their mind, effort and dedication is elsewhere.

Research by Gallup indicates some interesting trends when we compare these two groups. If we compare the 25% most engaged with the 25% least engaged there are some alarming differences.

The first group will have:

  • 50% fewer accidents at work
  • 41% less quality defects in his work

The Gallup research categorised workers into three categories: engaged, not engaged and actively disengaged. Engaged employees are passionate and are the ones that solve problems and drive innovation within an organisation. Not engaged are those in the middle who come along for the ride. And actively disengaged are not only unhappy, but they act out this unhappiness undermining the good work of others.

What’s most important here is the ratio between engaged and actively disengaged employees, those who ‘do’ and those who ‘undo’. When the ratio within an organisation or team tips too low, dissention, mutiny and industrial action ensue.

Mining has a ratio of 1.3 engaged employees for every actively disengaged employee. This alarmingly lags behind the rest of Australia and New Zealand, where the ratio is 1.5.

There are several factors contributing to this lower performance in the mining sector, including remote locations and harsh working environments. However, the tide is changing as companies understand the return for investing in improved employee engagement. Companies such as WooBoard provide services to help companies improve their engagement levels. More effective communication methods are now available enabling companies to provide direct, transparent real-time messaging to their teams. In the tech industry this has seen the meteoric rise of the real-time team messaging app Slack.

The evidence is clear, driving up the level of engagement of the workforce bolsters your safety performance. Keeping the workforce happy and engaged shouldn’t be purely about industrial relations risk or compliance; we should see it as an avenue for improved safety, quality and productivity.

At Cribber we provide a direct line of communication for you to your entire workforce. Helping you build a sense of community, driving up engagement and employee well-being.