Oct 21

How to Get Your Municipal Employee to WANT to Join the Safety Committee

Inspire Desire to Join the Safety Committee

Follow this short checklist to see how you can engage your safety committee and recruit employees who are eager to become proactive members.

In this post we'll cover:
-The goal of a safety committee
-Five ways to inspire employees to join

What is the goal of a safety committee? 

The goal of a safety committee is more than keeping things in the workplace between the lines for BLS/OSHA’s sake. You can really build a sense of strong culture and community in your workplace if you have the proper incentives and agenda in place.  

A safety committee, of course, gauges safety needs, but it also deliberates on workplace accidents, departmental trainings, and brings forth potential safety concerns. 

So, how do you implement such action items? And what are those action items anyway?  

That is exactly what we’ll cover in the following five points. We’ve laid it out so you can skim through and implement the steps you deem necessary for your safety committee today. 

How to Engage Your Safety Committee

The question stands: How can you recruit members for your committee? We’ve covered the goal of one, but now let’s cover the ‘how’ of recruiting.  

#1: Post Expectations & The Policy

An employee needs to have some ownership, or they will feel the committee (running for it, heading it up, being a member) is a waste of time.
  
The fix?  

Post the expectations and time commitment. Employees should be able to take a copy of the safety committee policy and decide whether or not this is something they want to sign up for.  

Have you set up a policy and clearly outlined the responsibilities of the safety committee?  

Because this is a volunteer position, employees will have the impression that they can “flake out” on meetings. In the same vein, no one likes to be “voluntold”. So how do you ensure commitment, while not being a micromanager about the whole thing?  

Write out that policy!! 

Doing so will allow for serious expectations for committee members. This means you’ll have a team who is dedicated right from the start. You won’t feel your effort is wasted on employees who don’t want to contribute, and they won’t feel their time is being wasted on a committee they could care less about. 

#2: Who is the chairperson?

Getting at least one person to head up the committee and begin ‘recruiting’ is key. This person should not be a manager so it allows your employees to step up and take ownership of the safety and culture of their workplace.  

#3: Let’s talk about layout.

Where do employees bring their safety concerns? Is it only to the chairperson?  

No! 

Set up an envelope, box or email inbox in their department where colleagues can submit requests or issues, as well as ideas.  

Who writes the meeting minutes and what does it include?  

Although the secretary role is usually in charge of taking minutes, not everyone finds that particular job...particularly inspiring. You might try swapping around the role of minutes recorder, say every monthly meeting.  

#4: Motivation = Momentum

What are some ways you can encourage participation and build teamwork?
  
Free stuff!  

Try motivating your committee with “game day” (meeting day) shirts or coffee mugs. Maybe even post what the committee has been discussing, or ideas that are in the pipeline. Post for the whole department to see!  

The more you create interest around something, the more interest in the topic of conversation there will be! In other words, the more legitimatized the committee’s work will become. What if the committee was so talked-up, it became a committee of sought-after positions?  

And of course, don’t forget to commend your committee! 

Your employees are taking additional time outside of their regular jobs to contribute to the committee- let them know you see them and appreciate their hard work. 

#5: When to Meet

Instead of meeting after work or in the early morning, try this: 

Have the safety meeting over lunch. 
 
Have money in the budget?  

Treat your committee! Doing so is a surefire way to inspire an authentic sense of community and collaboration. Didn’t you know that on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs eating is one of the basic needs? :) 

Results of a Safety Committee

The end goal is that your workplace culture is being enriched, and team culture is being authenticated. Safety training and being involved with the safety committee doesn’t have to be drudgery. Instead, it can be a way to increase employee engagement while enhancing the wellbeing of your workplace- both its safety and team culture. 

How to Get Your Municipal Employee to WANT to Join the Safety Committee

Oct 21