In this time of scarce manpower and a transient workforce, we need to look at employee retention and the techniques necessary to understand what incentivizes an employee to stay with the company. So many times, we are told that, “I’m just a number.” “My boss doesn’t do anything but yell.” “I am not appreciated.” There’s a whole list of reasons why employees leave but most of them center around a need for a sense of belonging. Being a part of something is important. Knowing that the part they are playing is contributing to the betterment of the company is so important when it comes to becoming a team player. Many times, a really good foreman or superintendent is good at their technical jobs but not so good at team building. Team building has more to do with people skills than technical skills. A supervisor that calls workers by their names or holds a conversation where the employee has a chance for personal interaction, is building confidence and culture. It’s as simple as putting the employee’s name on their hard hats. Having an interest in the personal life of employees, without being intrusive, is important. Simple questions, “How was your weekend?”, “Kids doing okay?” prompts a response that takes a working relationship to the next level of a personable one where the employee matters. What does all this have to do with safety? If an employee feels necessary and that he or she is a part of the process, that employee works harder to make the company successful. They also understand that their personal safety and the safety of others is important to the people they are working with and for. No one will intentionally do anything to harm the work family if they feel that they are part of that family. It doesn’t take much to make a difference in someone’s life, but it is essential we do.
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