Certainly not trying to tell you how to run your operations, but if you strive for a strong safety
culture then hopefully there are not too many negative events to manage. And as with all things,
when you only do something infrequently your key employees may forget the process, their role or
what is expected of them and in what timeframe. But if you configure your Workplace Health & Safety Software correctly, it will manage the 5 key aspects of stakeholder engagement for you.
So what are the 5 key pillars of Safety Stakeholder Engagement?
Your safety playbook should be reflected in the configuration of your Workplace Health & Safety
Software. Crucially, it will need to know who should be contacted and under what unique conditions.
Who is your direct manager? Who should an issue be escalated to? Who is the safety rep in your org
Whilst you will likely be getting data from your HR systems like SAP SuccessFactors, it is uncommon
for HR teams to maintain the detail of who performs certain safety responsibilities. Does your org
chart tell you who the fire warden is? Or who should deal with a confidential incident? Unlikely, so
it’s critical to enhance the data you get from HR with all the requisite “Additional Roles” performed
by staff that your Safety Software will need to accurately identify the right stakeholders under any
If you are going to assign a safety activity work with the “One throat to choke” rule. Try not to assign
it to a team. Wherever possible clearly assign the activity to a single owner. They may choose to
nominate other responsible people to help out or even create a team, but the ultimate responsibility
should reside with just one person. It removes any ability to play the blame game, especially when
we are talking about the safety of your employees.
So you have assigned an action to a single owner. The next aspect is a policy-driven response time.
Is it acceptable for you to not finish an incident investigation for 6 weeks? I should hope not. 6 days
perhaps. Your safety playbook is likely to identify how long a task should take. Configure your
safety software to understand those time-based expectations so that it can automatically set the
expected due date for each type of safety activity. When a due date is missed, we come back around to having your safety software populated with accurate data, allowing it to dynamically choose the right managers to drive the escalation processes.
Messaging Channel is key
Your business stakeholders will be familiar with the concept of a business system sending them a
message. HCM systems such as SAP SuccessFactors do it all the time. But other people-related
processes are less time sensitive. Does it really matter if your boss approves your leave request
today or early next week, your vacation is 2 months away? Probably not. But safety processes require a different level of urgency, after all, a person may have just been badly hurt. Is it okay to not react to that until next week?
Leaving the activity in a task or “to-do” list means it waits until the stakeholder chooses to look at
the list. An email has a slightly quicker response time, but can still get lost in the day-to-day activities.
This is where utilising SMS messaging can make a tangible difference. People associate text
messages with positivity, and you could argue that the human brain is geared towards preferring
SMS communications as it takes no more than three seconds to read and process a standard text.
To borrow from marketing research (Campaign Monitor), SMS messages have a 98% open rate while
email averages at just 20%. According to Pew Research Centre 67% of mobile phone users
constantly check their phones for any notifications, even if it hasn’t rung or vibrated. Getting your
key safety notifications into this behaviour is the pathway to effective stakeholder communication.
Having that immediate response from management builds trust and loyalty, and drives your positive
workplace safety culture.
Access to Data
The final pillar might seem obvious but is often not well managed by Safety Software. And that is
transactional access to the safety processes. Access that is easy. Everyone is busy and safety is not
usually your stakeholder's core job, just an additional responsibility.
So link the user directly from the message to the activity. One simple hyperlink in an email that takes them straight to the relevant record will do it, don’t make users have to go and try to find what needs to be done.
Transactional access to safety data must also consider your business policies to ensure the user can
only access what they need or are allowed to see. Ensure your Workplace Health & Safety Software
can correctly segregate critical data based on confidentiality levels. Safety systems need to
consider privacy legislation, legal privilege, confidential events and much more, so ensure you
enforce those security zones at all times.