How to Use Marketing Strategies to Enhance Workplace Safety
For those of you who hated Toby, from ‘The Office’, here’s how to approach workplace safety from a marketing strategies point of view.
Image source: https://unsplash.com/photos/Oalh2MojUuk
A safe workplace is a productive workplace.
Injuries on the job are not only unpleasant to experience, but they also damage employee morale. They disrupt operations, and in some cases, they can even expose your company to the unpleasantness of litigation.
Doing what you can to improve the well-being of your staff and reduce the likelihood of injury has many benefits for your company.
As Weekly Safety says in their excellent post on the benefits of a workplace that focuses on safety:
“A properly implemented workplace health and safety program acts as both a safeguard for individuals and a strategy for employee satisfaction and company growth.”
The Traditional Approach to Promoting Workplace Safety
When it comes to promoting a safe work environment that minimizes the chance of incidents, most companies gravitate to certain tried-and-tested strategies:
- Identify areas of risk.
- Consult industry regulations.
- Write on-site safety policies and guidelines.
- Communicate safety policies to staff as part of their onboarding process and throughout their employment.
- Keep employees up to date on changes in safety guidelines and expectations.
- Conduct inspections and tests to gauge the current level of compliance.
- Penalize non-compliance.
However, many organizations are starting to take a less reactionary route to workplace safety. Companies with more progressive mindsets are supplementing the traditional approach by making safety part of their culture rather than something they begrudgingly enforce.
Using Marketing Techniques to Create a Culture of Safety
Just as you can use digital marketing strategies to shape the thoughts and behaviors of prospective customers, you can also employ them to change your staff’s approach to workplace safety.
We can use the principles of content marketing when documenting health and safety guidelines. When content marketers write new material, two of their main goals are:
- Keeping the audience engaged with the content
- Making it as easy as possible for the audience to understand and retain the content
The best way to meet these two objectives is to create content for your staff as if you’re creating it for a lead in your marketing funnel.
- Write in an engaging and accessible way.
- Use short sentences and don’t attempt to get too flowery with your language.
- Use images every 150 words, content marketing experts suggest.
- Keep each content piece short and stick to one topic.
- Don’t expect your audience to read anything longer than 1100 words. That’s the length of a standard blog post.
- Use subheadings logically and frequently.
- Clearly communicate a message of “what’s in it for me.” Your target audience needs a solid incentive to do what you want them to do. Position this as a tangible benefit.
Even though you’re creating content about a topic that could be seen as quite boring or sterile, there will be ways to package it in a more accessible, enjoyable format. I recommend hiring a professional writer to help you with this task.
Use the access you have to your employees’ email addresses to keep them abreast of changes in health and safety guidelines.
Create compelling emails that employees will enjoy reading. Segment your email “subscriber” list into the various departments in the company and provide personalized information. Use their first names in the subject line to maximize your open rate.
You can also invite recipients to respond to your health and safety emails and generate conversations about the topic. Ask your staff what challenges they face when trying to be safer in their specific environment. Reward those that kick off a healthy debate.
Video marketing is effective exactly because of how engaging it is.
So, when you’re developing your health and safety guidelines, consider publishing them not only in written format but also as videos.
People understand and process visual information faster than what they read on a screen. They also tend not to glaze over while watching a short, entertaining video. On top of that, we retain content that’s been presented in video format much better than information published in written words.
Consumer behavior has been proven to be shaped by loyalty programs. When customers can prove that they’ve done something that benefits the brand, they’re given tangible rewards.
This is a concept that can quite easily be ported over into a health-and-safety context. Whenever a member of staff participates in a particular activity, you can award them the equivalent of “loyalty points,” which they can redeem for real-world benefits.
Consider rewarding the following behaviors:
- Attending a safety briefing
- Reading a new wellness blog post
- Participating in an email conversation about health and safety
- Passing a routine inspection
Some Final Thoughts: Health and Safety as an Investment
If you want to take employee health and safety seriously, it helps to think about it as an investment.
Sure, the money you put towards keeping people safe could be used in areas where you’ll see more immediate returns. But that’s the wrong way to think about the problem.
These are the inescapable realities of running a business. There will be direct and indirect costs for your company when an injury occurs.
Why not invest as much as you can in limiting this risk rather than dealing with the outcomes? This will not only reduce the impact that injuries will have on your operations but also improve staff morale.
When people see that their employers are thinking outside the box when it comes to keeping them safe, they feel appreciated. Consequently, their loyalty to the employer increases.
So, when it comes to health and safety at your company, don’t just do the bare minimum. The well-being of your employees shouldn’t be a grudge spend. Go out of your way to find effective, innovative ways to infuse your company culture with a sense of accountability, and you and your staff will reap the benefits.