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Safety Incentive Program – Safety Bucks, Prizes, and Games

- November 13, 2018 by Rhyanne Skinner, CSP (View all posts by Rhyanne)

In my last blog, I discussed safety incentive programs. Today, we’ll dig a bit deeper and discuss a specific incentive program that I’ve seen bring success to companies.

I like to utilize an points system. Whether it be “atta boy” cards or “safety buck” or a traditional “gold star” type of approach. The exchange of the “atta-boy”, buck, or star is the immediate part of the reward system. Employees can save up by acquiring these throughout the course of a month/quarter/year.. Employees can then use their rewards to get what they want which helps addresses individual the issue of personal motivation and perceived value.

I suggest giving multiple denominations depending on the level of the behavior rewarded. You may also want to consider the ability to take away these “points” for safety violations. Any additional activity to encourage group cooperation and competition can also really help motivate! Try putting together a competition between shifts, locations, or departments and see if people jump on the opportunity to “win”.

The goals is for employees to acquire and build their points, stickers, bucks or whatever you decide for use towards a larger “prize” or “prizes” at the end of the recognition/reward period. Individuals and groups with the largest “stockpile” could/should also get additional prize incentives.

If you’re feeling creative, set up your system like a board game or a sport such as basketball, soccer or football; for example, the person or team with the most “points” (i.e. best behaviors) gets to keep the “ball” (maybe it’s a stack of extra points or a visible object) that can be “stolen” by another team or individual if they are caught doing a “bad” behavior or if they achieve a higher status with good behavior.

When its time to redeem points, you need to plan ahead. Should big ticket items be included or just trinkets, T-shirt, and gifts cards.   Using an auction type activity at the end of the reward period is another fun activity to consider rather than “buying” or a store type approach. As the details of the program are identified consider:

  • Who will do the giving/rewarding (managers/supervisors only, or can employees “nominate”?)
  • Who will receive (all levels, management or no management?)
  • Who/how will it be tracked (personally, by an administrator, envelopes, a board, excel spreadsheet)
  • What can be afforded, and how frequently (time off sounds good, but can it be given as requested; do “blackouts” need to be applied to use and if so does it still make it difficult to use? Can you afford several large ticket items at once? Maybe several more moderate items in a “shop” that employees can buy several items during the period or at the end of the period).

Remember these programs are dynamic and can be challenging to create and implement at first. Don’t get discouraged if it takes a while to work through some kinks early on or if you need to make adjustments later to keep in fresh. You will be shocked by the energy and synergy the program will ultimately add to your workplace!