Earlier this year, we conducted a survey on employees' perceptions of workplace safety and emergency preparedness and published the results in a free to download whitepaper. The results of the survey are revealing inasmuch as they identify blind spots in critical communications and show that a significant number of respondents are unsure of how to react in different types of emergencies.
It was also noticeable that while businesses often use multiple channels of communications, few channels account for the complete picture of emergency incidents in the workplace. It also appears that, out of the workplace, communication with remote employees could be vastly improved - a measure that would also greatly improve employee engagement.
In order to help businesses identify and eliminate blind spots in critical communications - and improve communication with remote workers - we have used what we learned from the results of the survey to develop a Business Safety Solutions Evaluations Kit. The Kit has the objective of enabling businesses to select dynamic and flexible solutions that keep everyone in the business connected and protected.
Where are the Blind Spots in Critical Communications?
The blind spots in critical communications vary according to the nature of the business operations, the physical layout of its campus, and its existing emergency communication solutions. According to the results of our survey, most businesses use multiple channels of communication in day-to-day activities, but many of these (i.e. email) are unsuitable for communicating in an emergency.
Our survey also found that, even when dedicated emergency channels exist, these don't necessarily communicate the nature of an emergency to every employee simultaneously. This can have consequences if employees are unsure about whether to evacuate or shelter in place, or if the communications fail to prevent employees entering a building in which an active assailant is present.
What Questions Should I Ask Vendors of Communication Solutions?
If blind spots in critical communications are identified, it's not only important they are eliminated, it is also important how they are eliminated. Emergency communication solutions should be capable of alerting everyone at risk of injury to the emergency, accelerating emergency response, and providing the maximum possible situational awareness during the emergency.
However, implementing an emergency communications solution that cannot provide targeted alerts exacerbates business disruption, delays resolution, and hinders recovery. Therefore, our Business Safety Solutions Evaluations Kit suggest five questions businesses should ask vendors in order to balance safety with business continuity, and prompts businesses to think of other questions they might like to ask.
Why Certain Capabilities More Important than Others
One of the most successful techniques in sales is feature-benefit closing. It involves a salesperson explaining a feature, explaining how the feature can benefit a business, and then asking a closing question - for example, “This alarm system transmits a signal that can be heard 200 yards away. This means everyone in your factory will be able to hear it. Is that the level of coverage you are looking for?”
By answering the closing question affirmatively, the business is half-way to committing itself to a purchase. However, the level of coverage might not be as important as (say) two-way communication, ease of use, or anonymous text tips. Therefore our Kit provides a list of communication solution capabilities for businesses to select the most relevant to their circumstances.
Our Business Safety Solution Evaluations Kit is free to download! Click below.
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