As a business leader, it’s vital that you feel confident in the abilities of your workers. Not only do you need them to be able to do the job competently, you need them to adhere to safety regulations and best practices to ensure WHS compliance at all times. While training is paramount to driving safety, it starts before that. Safety culture comes from having the right people in place with the right mindsets. But while many of us say that our people are our greatest asset, we don’t always hire with that in mind. It can be tempting to put profit first. However, by hiring the right people with the right ideals, we are hiring for a safer workplace, which reduces risk and improves our bottom lines.

How Engagement Drives Safety Culture

Safety culture evolves from a set of shared beliefs, practices and mindsets that work together to shape behaviour in the workplace. While it is something that every business strives for, it isn’t something that can be bought. Culture develops organically. If workers have negative attitudes towards what they do, it will impact those around them and, in turn, on workplace culture. In contrast, if workers are engaged in what they are doing, they will be more productive and, in turn, safer.

To build a culture of safety, a business needs the right leadership along with commitment and participation from all levels within the organisation. Ultimately, people who are engaged in what they do will take more ownership of safety problems and solutions and will consider their safety and that of their colleagues. The key, therefore, to building the foundation for a safer workplace, is in ensuring that the right people are in the right jobs in the first place.

How to Get the Right People on Board

Finding people who are motivated and passionate about what they do can make all the difference when it comes to workplace safety. These types of people don’t just do the job at hand, they care about it and those around them. The question, of course, is how do you get the right workers on board? There are three key things that you can do during the recruitment process to identify a winning team member:

1. Look for People Who Love What They Do

When it comes to hiring someone new, you naturally want to ensure they have the capability to excel at the job. However, if you can find someone who genuinely loves what they do, it makes a huge difference. You should be able to tell if someone is motivated about the role or project in question and seems enthusiastic to be involved. If they can share interesting insights and opinions, it demonstrates that their knowledge is more than skin deep and that they are an independent thinker. Be sure to ask for examples of how they have dealt with work pressures and how they have dealt with change too. A positive attitude in challenging times will influence those around them.

2. Check That Their Credentials Stack Up

When it comes to ensuring someone is both qualified and competent to do the job, you’ll need evidence to back up their claims. Some people will have the gift of the gab when they’re trying to win a contract, but does their background check tally and the quality of their work stack up? Ensuring that you have a clearly documented picture of someone helps to build confidence that they will deliver value and be the right fit. Engaged people will be committed to a standard of excellence in everything they do, maintaining safety procedures at all times and keeping an up-to-date record of their qualifications and registrations.

3. Ask For In-Depth Endorsements

While you’ll want to trust your gut and believe what you’ve been told, getting references is a vital part of the hiring process. However, you’ll want to be able to get a real feel for not only the quality of their work but their work ethic. Take references to the next level by getting input from former colleagues, managers and clients to evaluate their reputation. Don’t just ask for evidence of their ability to do the job, but for examples of when they went above and beyond, used their judgement to avoid an incident or motivated those around them.

Building a Compliant Workforce

As a business leader, it is your responsibility to decide what kind of environment you are creating. If you’re able to find people who love what they do, have a great reputation and can prove their abilities, you’ll have much more chance of building a compliant workforce. What’s more, if your workers are engaged and motivated, you will see improved productivity and far fewer workplace incidents.

Hiring the right people and avoiding the wrong ones can make all the difference to your business.

For over a decade, Conserve has helped organisations overcome contractor management challenges. We can help you develop a contractor management service that will be not only effective but will make your organisation safer, while minimising your overall risk. Request a demo now or visit the Conserve page for more great content.

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