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Safety Leadership in the Workplace: Dealing with Non-Compliant Employees

SAFETY LEADERSHIP IN THE WORKPLACE:
DEALING WITH NON-COMPLIANT EMPLOYEES

Non-compliance in the workplace can range from failing to follow rules and regulations to outright defying authority, and none of it foretells a positive outcome. Not only can non-compliant employees put themselves and others at risk, but their behavior can spread to infect their fellow workers. You need to address non-compliant behaviors as quickly as possible, and you have several options from which to choose.

Meet with Non-Compliant Employees

Scheduling a face-to-face meeting with your non-compliant employees achieves two goals. It gives you the opportunity to talk to them about their noncompliant behavior, and it also gives you a chance to dig deeper to uncover the cause. Employees may be unaware of regulations, unhappy with their jobs, going through difficult circumstances in their personal lives, or have other issues for which you can provide resources or guidance.

Objectives:

  • Don’t attack the worker for mistakes
  • Find out if there are forces outside of work distracting them
  • Build a relationship that allows for question s to be asked on both ends

Explain Consequences

Clearly outline what the consequences will be if employees continue their behavior, with specific consequences based on the severity of their behavior. Firing employees is not always the end-all solution, and you may not have legal grounds in all cases. If non-compliant behavior continues, you can:

  • Limit promotions
  • Limit privileges
  • Limit bonuses

Use Positive Motivation

Fear of losing something, such as bonuses or privileges, is a strong motivator for employees to change their behavior. But it’s not the only tactic you can use. Positive motivation is another option. Here you can set benchmarks for an employee or an entire team by outlining the type of performance and results you expect from them. If they meet or exceed those expectations, a reward can be in store.

  • Create rewards for individual safety accomplishments
  • Reward group safety accomplishments (100 Days without an Accident!)
  • Emphasize the teamwork principals

Be Consistent

Whether you’ve outlined consequences, promised rewards, or used a combination of both strategies, it’s essential you live up to your word. Lack of enforcement or delivering on your promises sends the message that your word is not to be taken seriously. This leads to the same mindset when it comes to workplace rules, regulations and compliance issues.

  • Maintain a professional relationship that does not cross lines
  • Give non-compliant workers a special project to show them you see their value
  • Deliver rewards within a reasonable timeline

Measure Progress

The only way you’ll know if a non-compliant employee or team of employees has improved is if you track their progress. Monitor your employees’ behaviors following your discussion about poor performance.

Make it a Team Effort

Post a graph or chart in a public area of the workplace, such as the lunchroom or break room. This chart can display relevant performance information on each worker or team, showcasing their progress toward the desired goals. Make sure the goals are clearly outlined, as well, so employees know exactly what they’re striving for.

  • Put chart in areas where all employees can see them
  • Use email or Learning Management Systems to send out results
  • Use bright colors that help inspire

Encourage Exceptional Performance

If a certain issue keeps arising in the workplace, such as non-compliance with a new regulation, consider positive motivation to get everyone on board. Set a measurable goal relevant to the issue, and then offer a prize or reward for the employees that meet or exceed that goal.

Consistently turning to these strategies can help transform non-compliant employees into productive, motivated workers. That, too, can spread to other employees who may naturally begin to follow their positive lead.

Final Thoughts

Consistently turning to these strategies can help transform non-compliant employees into productive, motivated workers. That, too, can spread to other employees who may naturally begin to follow their positive lead.

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