Improving Your EHS Program with Soft Skills Training
Employee health and safety initiatives impact businesses of all sizes and across industries. Soft skills, such as communication, teamwork, and leadership, have a direct impact on the quality of employee engagement and an organization’s ability to adapt, improve, and compete.
These are not areas which should be separated, isolated, or treated differently; rather they are intertwined because of the impact they have on enterprise goals.
According to a Gallup Employee Engagement survey, at the end of 2022 only 32% of employees were considered to be “involved in and enthusiastic about their work and workplace.” Perhaps more alarmingly, 18% of workers in the same survey are actively disengaged, “disgruntled and disloyal because most of their workplace needs are unmet.”
The same Gallup article indicated that in addition to clear expectations, connection to the company’s purpose, and opportunities to do what employees do best, employee engagement is also impacted by opportunities to learn and grow, as well as feeling cared about at work.
Environmental, Health and Safety (EHS) and Human Resource professionals are directly connected in cultivating, protecting, and managing the employee experience in most organizations. Both functional areas have a core responsibility to provide opportunities for employees to learn and grow, while also caring for their well-being while in the workplace.
According to an article in McKinsey Quarterly, “Engaging employees in the identification of problems…raises the organization’s awareness, lowers its tolerance for risk and improves the challenge of actually adopting a solution.”
Further, a study on a mining company published by Sage Journals concluded that “[Soft skills training] improved miners’ psychosocial health and ability to cope with stress which increased safety and health at the company,” due in part to increased employee engagement.
In other words, a safer workplace leads to higher levels of employee engagement and higher levels of engagement lead to safer workplaces and better business outcomes.
EHS systems and processes can easily be combined with soft skills training in a way that doesn’t disrupt an organization’s workflows or culture. This means introducing soft skills into any existing safety program can be a cost-effective and sustainable solution for ensuring employee health and safety, improving the employee experience, and helping drive better business outcomes.
Here are some examples showing how combining EHS software with soft skills training can impact the employee experience:
- Increased compliance. EHS software ensures employees are kept up to date on safety procedures, while soft skills training helps them communicate effectively and work together to create a safe workplace.
- Reduced stress and anxiety. EHS software allows employees to identify potential safety hazards, while soft skills training can help them develop stress-coping strategies, helping employees feel safe and supported.
- Increased awareness. EHS software helps organizations track near misses, while soft skills training can teach employees enhanced problem solving skills so they can, in the future, work out how to avoid a similar mishap.
- Reduced safety risks. EHS software makes it easy to report safety observations or potential issues, while soft skills training can boost employee accountability skills, creating a physically and mentally safe environment.
- Increased productivity. EHS software allows users to build audits and checklists, while soft skills training can teach employees organizational skills and time management techniques.
Overall, combining EHS software with soft skills training can have a positive impact on the employee experience. By improving safety awareness and compliance, communication and collaboration, and job satisfaction and engagement, organizations can create a more positive and productive work environment.
If you are interested in learning more about how to improve your EHS program with soft skills training, contact us today. We would be happy to discuss your specific needs and help with a program that is right for your organization.