Recognition plays a significant role in achieving permanent employee behavior change. Traditionally, safety incentive programs have based rewards on all employees reaching a benchmark. When rewards are based on everyone succeeding, negative peer pressure can occur, resulting in injury hiding.

Proactive, prevention-oriented reward programs that focus on identifying desirable actions, behaviors and conditions, and eliminating unsafe actions, behaviors and conditions, effectively produce employee behavior change without the unwanted side effect of injury hiding. Tangible rewards that are positive, regular and certain reinforce desirable behaviors and conditions, making them more likely to continue and even replace undesirable behaviors and conditions.

The keywords in achieving employee change are:

  • Proactive, behavior-based employee recognition

  • Permanent employee behavior change

  • Leading indicators approach

  • Elimination of unsafe actions and behaviors

  • Elimination of injury hiding

  • Engagement of middle managers

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