Employee Perception, Health and Safety, A Top Business Risk in 2022

As an employee, whether at the corporate office, school, retail store, or health care institution, safety and security is now top of mind. Not only do you want to feel protected and confident that the bad people can’t get in, that your data is safe but while on-site you want to feel that your personal safety day in, day out is top of mind.

There is a new business risk out there, one impacting recruitment and retention in ways we never would have anticipated. We all know building a team with the best and brightest can make the difference between business success and failure. But who would have thought our approach to health and safety could be our demise!

Employee Expectations Have Shifted

In late 2020, Honeywell conducted a study with Wakefield Research on workers’ perceptions of and feelings about safety of their workplaces. The study surveyed 2,000 workers across the United States, United Kingdom, Germany and the Middle East, who typically work in buildings with 500 or more employees.

Among other things, the survey found that 68% of employees are now scared to return to the office because they don’t feel safe. Of the remote workers, nearly a quarter surveyed would look for another job before returning on-site, if the necessary safety measures are not implemented. 43% of respondents believe the biggest safety risk is, contact with shared devices, and 42% believe that management will not enforce the requirements.

Those are some scary numbers when you consider the potential impact on your workforce and an organizations ability to retain the high-quality employees needed to be successful. Suddenly health and safety has become a differentiator in recruitment and retention.  Organizations must figure how to reduce the fear uncertainty and doubt in the minds of their employees about health and safety. If they don’t, they risk the incremental costs of increased turnover, loss of productivity and the ability to attract and retain the high-quality employees necessary to compete in what is sure to be, years of budget constraints, increased competition and customer scrutiny.

As with any business risk, it must first be understood to properly prioritize it within the upcoming operating strategy and budget. We must understand the implications if it happens, why it’s a challenge, and what needs to be done to effectively minimize it,

The purpose of this article is to help you do just that and explore the implications if we don’t eliminate the fear, uncertainty, and doubt in the minds of our employees, and why today’s methodologies are setting us up to fail.

Exploring the Cost of Fear, Uncertainty, & Doubt in Health & Safety

The Cost of Disengaged Employees

Understanding the cost of disengaged employee’s vs happy ones is key and will help put in perspective the importance of eliminating health and safety as one of the things that is causing employees to disengage or become distracted.

  • Actively disengaged employees cost the U.S. $483 to $605 billion per year in lost productivity (Source: Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report)
  • Organizations that rank in the top quarter of employee experience achieve more than twice the innovation (51 percent to 24 percent), more than double the customer satisfaction (32 percent to 14 percent), and 25 percent higher profits than organizations in the bottom quarter. (Source: MIT Center for Information Systems Research)

While there are any number of reasons for an employee to disengage, never did we think that health and safety would once again be one of them, after all, it’s been taken for granted for so long!

The Cost of Turnover

While the hope, is that the fear, uncertainty, and doubt doesn’t transition to turnover, if it does the costs continue to multiply.

According to an article by Forbes employee turnover can cost employers 33% of an employee’s annual salary, most of which comes from recruiting, hiring, onboarding and training the replacement. To put that in perspective, Forbes used the example of an employee salary of approximately $45,000 a year, in this case every time someone needs to be replaced it will cost about $15,000 per person, and that’s on top of the annual $45,000. These costs come from the recruiter fees, advertising, interview expenses such as travel, time to interview, reference checking, pre-employment testing, hiring bonus and relocation costs.  In addition to that businesses will want to include the incremental costs associated with training, and the loss of productivity of those needed to help the new employee ramp up to fully appreciate the total cost of turnover or business risk this represents.

Whether just distracted or plain fed up, the cost of fear, uncertainty, and doubt in the minds of employees is expensive and minimizing it must be a priority as we move into 2022 and beyond.

Why Today’s Health & Safety Methodologies Are Setting Us Up to Fail!

Maintaining a physically safe and secure workplace falls largely on the shoulders of property management, consisting of the maintenance, safety, and custodian teams. It is how, when, and if, they perform their daily work items, that is going to influence the level of an employee’s fear, uncertainty and doubt in health & safety. It is the consistency and accuracy for which they perform their jobs that will sway an employee and determine if you are meeting, exceeding or failing. It is the results of all operating teams that must be measured, managed and optimized to protect the employees and eliminate the distraction.

While it may be 2021 the methodologies used to manage the day-to-day responsibilities of the operating teams is still largely those of years gone past. Each individual team or department relying on its own set of spreadsheets, checklists and to-do lists to manage requirements and execution. Making it time consuming if not impossible to compile the data necessary to instill the confidence that you have done everything in your power to address the health risk and prove that management is indeed enforcing the requirements day in, day out.

Today’s paper-based methodologies are forcing enterprises to rely on the honor system, hoping that everything is actually completed, that lists are checked off and logbooks are filled in, that the data’s there if and when it is needed. It is our belief that it is time to digitally transform how we manage operating teams and procedures. Relying on the ways of yesterday, is no longer going to cut it and is exposing operations to more risk and cost than is necessary.

Fortunately, technology has evolved in ways that enable operations to cost effectively eliminate the fear, uncertainty and doubt in health and safety. We can automate to ensure nothing is missed. We can boost situational awareness and improve accountability. We can have the insight necessary to make more informed, smarter health and safety decisions.

Digitally Transform Operations with Command Center

Introducing Command Center from Zendelity which combines the flexibility of near field communications (NFC) with the smart phone, and our smart workplan management platform to reduce operating risk. It is a cost-effective, mobile solution designed for frontline teams and ensures adherence to all operating requirements. It automates the communication of operating procedures to ensure important work items are not missed. It enhances visibility and supports a proactive approach to management with a real-time view of compliance. It creates a system of record to help identify opportunities for improvement while also providing the data necessary to engage in data driven discussions with insurance providers, regulators and those that define brand standards.  In essence, it makes it easier for operations to meet and exceed health and safety expectations.

Command Center from Zendelity, cost effectively, digitally transforms the frontlines to help save lives, money and time for physical operations of all shapes and sizes.

By Rebecca Wormleighton – COO, Co-Founder of  Zendelity

Rebecca is a business leader with over 25 years’ experience in hospitality, communications, customer experience and enterprise product marketing/product management. Rebecca is currently responsible for leading operations at Zendelity, an organization dedicated to reducing physical operating risk for public properties. Prior to this Rebecca was on the marketing leadership teams at Mitel and IBM.