Motivate Employees to Cut Losses
By Universal Underwriters Group's Loss Prevention Department

Even with a comprehensive safety program in place, breakdowns can occur, and safety may take a back seat. How can you keep your employees focused on safety? An incentive program might do the trick.

A well-structured and implemented incentive program benefits your employees and you. It can help reduce the frequency of accidents, which can have an economic benefit for your business and boost employee morale.

Implementing an Effective Program

Your safety program will be effective as long as your employees sense that you are serious about safety and that you’re monitoring activity. Providing incentives gives you the opportunity on a monthly basis to reinforce your commitment to a safe work environment. Make the incentives relatively small, but relatively frequent.

If you are interested in implementing an incentive program, here are some guidelines and suggestions to consider:

•Survey employees to determine their attitudes toward an incentive program. The survey should include how incentives are to be given out, who should get them, and what it takes to become eligible for an award.

• Ensure that management takes an active role in the program.

• Involve a variety of people in the planning process.

• Establish clearly defined, realistic goals, but don’t make them too easy.

• Avoid establishing a program that would encourage employees not to report accidents.

• Consider using a frequency or incident rate in the incentive program. Review your loss history to determine a rate – go back far enough to provide an accurate reflection of actual performance.

• To ensure they are effective, select awards that are worth the effort.

• Use care when money is part of the incentive program. Once it’s spent, there is little evidence of success.

• Emphasize recognition and positive reinforcement in the program.

• Reinvest a portion of the “safety savings” into the program. It’s a cost-effective way to keep the program fresh.

• Post a bulletin board showing the number of days without lost-time injuries or accidents in the workplace.

• Conduct lunch meetings with employees to discuss the injury/accident record and ways to promote safety.

Be sure to incorporate vehicle safety into your loss prevention incentive program. This is a crucial safety area in every automotive recycling business, and it deserves your attention in your monthly safety meetings.

A safety incentive/motivation program is not a cure-all for an ineffective safety effort. It should be used to enhance the safety efforts already in place in your business.

For information about how Universal Underwriters Group’s Special Account Services Division can help meet the special needs of your automotive recycling business, call 1-800-840-8842, ext. 4845, visit our web site at or send us an e-mail at

This article is provided for informational purposes only. Please consult with qualified legal counsel to address your particular circumstances and needs. Universal Underwriters Group is not providing legal advice and assumes no liability concerning the information set forth above.

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