A construction site has hundreds, if not thousands, of moving parts. Each employee has a different idea of worksite security and a different view of the role they play in it.
Having hundreds of employees with different ideas of how they play into a safe worksite doesn’t make for a safe site at all. In fact, the gap of knowledge and expectations between employees can make things worse than if these employees had no understanding of site security in the first place.
So – how do you make security awareness and workplace protection something your employees both know and care about? We’re addressing that below.
How to Establish Security Awareness as a Job Expectation
Before you can expect your employees to know and care about security awareness, you have to have an in-depth understanding of it yourself. On worksite of hundreds of people, we don’t have to tell you the importance of “practice what you preach.”
What does that mean? It means that you should not only train your employees on security but take the same training they take, yourself. Participating in training modules and activities with your staff will establish security as a culture and not just “another thing the boss wants us to do.”
1. Explain the Importance
Human error accounts for 37% of all workplace mistakes. That means if you sit 100 of your employees in one room, 37 of them (for the purpose of this example) will make a security mistake.
When you’re presenting workplace security training and information, make it clear that going through this training will not only increase their value to you – but also to future employers.
Showing employees that they have some skin in this fight will help them take the training seriously and, hopefully, care more.
2. Involve Everyone
While it may seem silly to have your payroll person come to a security site training, it shows that you’re serious about establishing safety as a culture.
Plus – your payroll person is just as at risk of that 37% human error statistic as anyone else is on your site.
Gather everyone and make training mandatory – but pleasant. Have lunch catered and pay your employees for their time.
3. Survey Your Employees
Before you have your big training meeting (which should be done every year), find out where your employees understanding of security is.
You could do this by emailing people a survey, talking to them and taking notes one on one, or a mix of both.
This gives you an idea of where to start your training, where current blind spots are, and (in some cases) who need the training most.
4. Teach Proactive Instead of Reactive
What’s better – having to solve a problem or prevent the problem in the first place? From a manager’s point of view, the answer is easy. The fewer issues that come to fruition, the better.
But unfortunately, most people learn security through having to react to it. This is one situation where you don’t want to learn by doing.
Some people choose to teach their training with a problem-based model. They present a security problem, then work backward in their training to talk about how it could have been prevented.
You know what works best with your employees, so your training will be different than someone else’s.
Why Training is Important
We’ve talked about how to make your employees understand the importance of security awareness, but let’s talk about why you should go through the effort.
First of all, it reduces accidents on the worksite. Whether those accidents are theft relate or injury-related, the fewer there are, the better.
Fewer accidents of any sort mean less downtime for your business, which leads to more profit.
The less time you spend cleaning up messes, the better chance your project has of staying on schedule. And what do clients love more than staying on schedule?
It Protects Your Assets
Assets on a job site are anything from your employees to your materials. Investing in security training means you’re saving money in injury-related or material loss.
That helps you stay on budget and makes the ROI on the time and cost of security training worth your time.
It Makes You Seem More Professional
The fewer accidents on your job site, the more likely your client is to recommend you for other projects. When businesses invest in other companies, they want to know they’re hiring a group that covers all its bases.
Not only does it better your reputation as a company, but it will make your employees more hireable (if they have to move, we’re sure you’re a great boss) as well.
Showing your employees that you’re willing to invest in them will help company morale and employee retention rates. Be sure to communicate this when you’re announcing your mandatory training to your employees.
Security Awareness Training: It’s a Mindset
One last note – when you’re conducting a security training, you want to frame it as a mindset and not one-time skill.
To do that, make sure you keep up with security awareness training at least every year and whenever you find a blind spot in your knowledge.
Finally – don’t forget to teach your employees how to use the security resources (like cameras) already available to them.
Just because you have a company that remotely monitors your site doesn’t mean your employees shouldn’t know how to use the equipment.
Don’t have a remote monitoring company? Get a quote, here.