You know that engaged employees are the key drivers of environment, health, and safety (EHS) compliance and building a culture around health and safety. And to spark that engagement, you’re committed to “selling” your employees on the value of EHS and making it easy for them to participate.
But there’s one little hiccup: Your dreams of marketing EHS and fostering more employee engagement is limited by your tight resources and budget.
Fear not, EHS leaders! There are opportunities (even on a shoestring budget) to market EHS if you’re willing to put your marketing hat on and get a little scrappy. Below we offer four low-cost, high-engagement activities and ideas to bring your EHS marketing dreams to life.
1. Make friends with the marketing team
Your company is already communicating various initiatives and key messages to its employees—and hopefully maintaining their engagement in the process. Tap into these existing efforts to uncover how they might help you spread your message.
Start by talking to your marketing or communications team (at larger organizations, it may take some networking to find the right contact and the right information.) Make sure you really listen to what they have to say, remembering that they are balancing multiple initiatives and have their own compliance and brand standards issues to comply with. Approach as an ally, looking to work together to achieve your mutual goals, and be prepared to be flexible.
Things will look a little different for every organization, but some ideas could include sponsoring an upcoming meeting, highlighting your work on a regular company call, or participating in an ongoing campaign (such as offering to write for an internal newsletter or helping to incorporate safety procedures into new hire onboarding). The more you work to integrate EHS into the existing company culture, the better chance you have of getting it to “stick” in the minds of your employees, leading them to greater productivity and a stronger bottom line for the company.
2. Sponsor an on-site activity
A surefire way to keep your employees regularly engaged in EHS is to keep it top-of-mind. Sponsoring regular, on-site activities reminds employees all throughout the year that their health and safety and the environment is a company priority. Consider some of the following, cost-effective ways to champion EHS at your organization:
- Supply the snacks. Depending on your location and work environment, it may be appropriate to host a regular gathering to reward employees for their efforts toward workplace safety and keeping the environment clean. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to make an impact—donuts, coffee, popcorn, or veggies and hummus can all be enough to increase employee engagement and boost morale.
- EHS Fair. Similar to the science and book fairs you’ll remember from childhood, an EHS fair can be a fun, low-cost way to give employees more visibility into EHS at your organization. Keep it scrappy by having the various functions/departments set up informational tables, so employees can walk around and learn more about the ways various groups (such as facilities, security, HR, and others) are working to keep them and their environment safe, healthy, and clean. Throw in a few games and a raffle prize or two, and you’ve got a fair!
- EHS Awareness Day. Similarly, a full-fledged EHS Awareness Day can further encourage employee engagement and shed light on some often overlooked EHS concerns. You could include interactive demonstrations of PPE or ergonomics adjustments, waste identification, an open Q&A forum, or play games like Safety Hazard Bingo based on your organization’s own challenges and initiatives.
3. Leverage your internal communications platform
EHS culture starts at the top and trickles down. That’s why it’s just as important for EHS leaders to engage in a culture of health and safety as it is for employees.
Whether it’s Chatter, Slack, Yammer, or another platform, take advantage of its presence in the office and use it to engage your staff in EHS. Encourage every member of your team—including leadership—to help keep EHS top-of-mind by participating in ongoing, thoughtful communication initiatives, such as:
- Implementing an EHS Champion of the Month program and announce the winner online.
- Sharing personal wins and success stories and encourage employees to share their own.
- Creating polls to drive engagement and excitement over new or changing regulations and to solicit feedback.
- Sharing memes, funny blogs, or relevant news stories to prompt discussion and lighten the mood.
By weaving EHS into employees’ everyday communications, EHS becomes a natural component of their lives.
4. Add gamification
Adding gamification to your EHS program can be an effective way to motivate your employees to take a more active role in health, safety, and keeping our environment clean. The games don’t have to be fancy--for example, you could create a set of cards, each of which has a dilemma on them. Have employees categorize the cards into “safe” and “unsafe,” or “compliant” and “noncompliant” to engage them in understanding regulations. Or, you could organize an EHS scavenger hunt throughout the office.
Whatever gamification you add to your EHS program, make sure there’s a prize awaiting your employees at the end. Make it worth their while to take an interest in the games and put their best self forward.
Keep EHS Top-of-Mind
Marketing EHS to your employees doesn’t have to be challenging—or expensive. These cost-effective ideas are sure to bring EHS into a new light at your organization, helping employees keep health, safety and the environment top-of-mind along the way.
Need an extra hand in improving EHS compliance or culture? Learn more about health and safety consulting services.
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