Unfortunately, it is much easier to quantify the costs of safety practices than the benefits. That’s because, while investing in EHS technology certainly comes with both direct and indirect positive effects, they can be harder to recognize in the short term. Licensing and implementation fees for EHS software solutions, on the other hand, appear immediately.
Over time, however, businesses can expect financial savings as well as plenty of additional benefits. Companies that employ effective EHS solutions can expect to see promising new trends due to improved safety like increased employee morale, less absenteeism, and lower rates of staff turnover. By investing in safety and health software, companies can ensure the safety and well-being of their employees while also protecting their bottom line. Implementing safety and health software can help companies to create a safer work environment, reduce the frequency and severity of accidents and injuries, comply with regulatory requirements, and improve employee engagement and retention.
Safety software can help improve employee engagement and retention.
By implementing safety and health software, businesses are investing in the establishment of a team-based approach to safety in the workplace. Along with the reduction of accidents and injuries, companies are tangibly demonstrating a dedication to the safety and well-being of their employees, giving the employees adequate tools to “own their safety” and encouraging positive company culture. Employees who feel that their safety and health are a priority are more likely to be satisfied with their job and more engaged in their work. This can lead to increased productivity and higher employee retention rates, two topics stressed more than ever in the age of the Great Resignation.
For example, safety management software can empower employees with the ability to report an incident, hazards, or other safety concerns on the spot with mobile accessibility. This capability can greatly improve the perception of safety within an organization, as concerns are more easily addressed and easier reporting means greater accountability. A Cornell National Social Survey reported that of the 52.9% of respondents that said they have never spoken up about any issue in the workplace, 41.1% placed themselves in that category because of a belief that it would be ineffectual to speak up. These statistics indicate that rampant non-participation at work may be due to a lack of follow-through from those in leadership. There are several potential reasons for those in authority not addressing concerns when they have been raised. One of the main contributors to this is the burden of authority. When managers/supervisors have many problems to solve in their daily workload, things will often fall through the cracks. However, with a centralized repository for data detailing near misses, hazards, and other workplace concerns, the probability of overlooking health and safety problems is greatly diminished, leading not only to better management of items that affect the well-being of employees but a greater sense for employees that their actions in the workplace make a difference.
At the enterprise level, a high number of accidents can lead to a loss of reputation. While reputational damage is not easy to quantify before it causes mass damage to the bottom line (e.g., a decline in stock prices) it does greatly affect employee retention, as people are not likely to stay on a “sinking ship.” If a company has a reputation for prioritizing profit over people, it will have to drastically compensate employees in other ways (higher salaries, bonuses, benefits) to win or retain them. Additionally, emphasis is increasingly being placed on the value of psychological safety for a strong organizational culture that attracts/affirms employees. While safety and health software cannot impress upon management the need for psychological safety, it is a tool to help communication paths remain open, encouraging the main element of psychological safety.
Safety management systems come with plenty of indirect benefits– the ones that might not appear right away but are certainly related to a strong EHS program. The higher rates of employee satisfaction, less absenteeism, and greater commitment to the workplace that occur when employees can see that they are part of a company that cares about their health and well-being all contribute to a positive ROI for implementing safety and health management software. Giving people the tools to perform their jobs with excellence does come with an upfront cost but will benefit an organization many times over in the end.
Abigail McKay leads SafetyStratus’ growing team of contributors as the Content Manager. Abigail has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and utilizes her education to communicate to the best of her ability the input from SafetyStratus’ team of safety professionals and technology experts. She has spent the last year building up the EHS knowledge resources available to SafetyStratus users and the wider community.