Employees are humans and at times they will need to change their behaviour to bring safety levels in an organisation to a desirable level. To improve levels of demonstrated safe behaviour, you first need strategies to change behaviour. Rewards and recognition is a good place to start.


The methods used to change behaviour are numerous.  Research has shown that the “stick” approach only works so far. It is commonplace, perhaps because it is easier to implement, pointing out and correcting non-compliant behaviour when you see it. However, to achieve and maintain company-wide safe behaviours, the “carrot” approach is far more effective, pointing out the behaviour you want to see more of, providing recognition and rewards to drive safe behaviour.


The most successful Safety Managers design safety programs that incorporate recognition and reward to drive positive safety behaviour and the knock-on impact to financial results is undoubted. The basic human need for acknowledgement and affirmation needs to be fulfilled and when we are recognised for our contributions towards improving safety, naturally we tend to engage at a higher level and contribute even more.


Anchor Safety partners with Safety Managers and Directors every day. We’ve noticed that some of the most effective rewards are the simplest. If you’re considering using rewards to motivate safe behaviour, here are 5 effective employee rewards:


1. “There and then” rewards

Vouchers or gift cards provide immediate recognition for a single observed safe act. These can be relatively low cost amounts, but are effective because of their trophy value. The meaning and recognition for an employee greatly exceeds the actual monetary value.


2. “Knock off early on Friday”

An hour earlier scheme for individuals or groups has a minimal impact on productivity but can be worth its weight in gold. Employees appreciate the gesture and will value the opportunity to leave work early.


3. Safety Raffles

Issue raffle tickets for safe behaviour, then hold regular drawings where people receive larger rewards. However, this needs to be organised carefully because, while several people have acted safely, only one is rewarded.


4. Safety Recognition Banquets

Always popular, you could organise meals as safety meetings for employees, the CEO, or other executives. These support communication and keep safety top of mind while building trust and team spirit.


5. Accumulation of recognition

A “safe person of the month” is both a simple scheme and a popular concept.  It leverages peer pressure and competitiveness to drive safety. If done right, and consistently, it can be very influential.


What about the budget requirements?

In most companies, budget restraints are front of mind. However, a reward and recognition program doesn’t have to cost a lot.  When successful, they are usually viewed as an investment - not an expense - because the overall goal is to form part of an effective safety program that reduces the number of injuries and workplace accidents.

Whatever rewards or recognition you choose to acknowledge safe behaviour, make sure the awards are genuine, important, meaningful and really worth achieving.


Looking for a PPE provider who understands the challenge of driving safe behaviour? Speak to the experts at Anchor Safety - we can help. Call us on 0800 328 5028 or Request a Call back.