Rewarding Safety Performance is Chicken Soup for the Work Team

By Connie Fabre
President & CEO, Greater Baton Rough Industry Alliance (GBRIA)

Giving awards to people for achieving safety milestones is a practice that has been in existence for many years and it can improve morale and boost team spirit in the workplace. I remember working as a process engineer in the early days of my career and one of the highlights of our work team was an annual safety reward dinner. It was a chance to get dressed up and to see people in a different way than in their usual work coveralls. The favorite saying people said to each other was “Hey, you look great. You really clean up well!” To see your workplace teammates dressed up and with a spouse or significant other, provides a more personal perspective of who they are and that can translate back to the job. When we have more empathy for each other, looking out for each other on the job becomes easier.

The Greater Baton Rouge Industry Alliance just held its 26th Annual Safety Excellence Awards on April 14th, 2022. At this year’s awards banquet, 40 industrial construction and maintenance contract companies, nominated by 33 industrial sites received awards, and there were community service and innovation awards given as well. Many regions around the country and groups like GBRIA and councils like those who are members of ARSC also provide awards in a similar manner. This is a word of encouragement for those organizations to continue hosting these programs. During the COVID-19 pandemic many events were waylaid and perhaps restarting them has been difficult. These events do matter, and the individuals and organizations receiving the awards certainly do benefit in more ways that just what chicken soup can do for a person. The recognition for a job well done translates into a boost in morale and that can translate into continued success in the workplace in safety and other performance areas. Please view GBRIA’s award recipients and the photos from the event at GBRIA Members Home (shutterfly.com). We were very happy to award the Alliance Safety Council with our Innovation Award! The Alliance Safety Council continues to bring new ideas that push the envelope on what is possible. This past year, Alliance Safety Council built a new site entry criteria portal that will help contractors better understand the requirements that sites have and enable them to better prepare their workforce before entering sites.

Does your council or owners’ group have an awards program? If so, we’d love to hear about it in another issue of the ARSC Newsletter. Benchmarking off each other is one of the biggest benefits of organizing as associations, so let us hear from you! I invite you also to learn more about our process and we’d like to learn from you to improve ours.  More information on GBRIA’s program can be found at www.gbria.org/safetyawards.