April 2013

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Page 39 of 59

Operations Can Safety Be Bought? Thoughtfully planned safety incentives can work when you understand what behavior you really want to motivate, and ��� separately ��� what results you want to achieve long term. By Maria Vomiero Safety incentive programs may seem simple on the surface, or even necessary, such that no self-respecting safety director would consider a safety program complete without a good incentive program. Yet implementing a safety incentive program that effectively sustains positive cultural change is no small feat and requires a thorough understanding of both the individual organization as well as the science behind incentive programs as a mechanism in behavioral motivation. The Science Behind Behavior Motivation Incentive systems are based on the ���pleasure principle.��� Behaviors that are rewarding continue; behaviors that are not rewarding cease. Incentive systems are actually part of everyday life and embedded in many familiar activities. As parents, we struggle to get our kids to eat all their vegetables, learn to read, and do their chores. We typically tie these activities to some type of reward program that will be motivating enough in the short term to permanently change behavior in the long term. Air miles, VISA points and all kinds of frequent-shopper programs are examples of incentive programs aimed at driving certain consumer loyalty behavior in adults. However, organizational incentive systems aimed at driving specific safety performance results can be slightly more complicated. In order to understand incentives and rewards in any setting, we need to first understand where rewards fit in our psychosocial makeup as human beings. Let���s go back to basics: What do people need and want? Ensure Basic Needs Are Met First! Maslow���s Hierarchy of Needs, developed in 1943, breaks down human needs into five basic categories: biological and physiological needs, (air, food, water and shelter), safety needs, (security and protection), love and social needs (affection, family, relationships), esteem needs (reputation, status) and self-actualization (self-fulfillment, and the full utilization of capabilities and talents). 38 | www.cedmag.com | Construction Equipment Distribution | April 2013 38_Safety_Feature_KP.indd 38 3/25/13 12:22 PM

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