The morale of your employees has a huge impact on your business. Absenteeism, productivity, and turnover rate are all affected by how your employees feel about coming to and being at work. It has enough of an impact that it’s worth taking some time to figure out how to improve it, especially if working conditions are perilous. So what are some things you can do to boost employee morale in dangerous industries?

Reward Risk

While you shouldn’t reward risky behavior, adequately compensating employees for working in a dangerous environment is important to maintaining employee morale, as well as retaining your employees. If employees view their rate of compensation as inadequate, they’ll be less satisfied with their job and begin to look for a different one. Low morale leads to higher turnover rates, which can cost your business a lot of money. If your employee retention rate resembles a revolving door more than anything else, you might want to take a look at how well you’re compensating your employees.

Reduce Injury Rate

When employees get injured, it takes a toll on morale. No one wants to see their coworkers get hurt, and many times employees are asked to take on additional responsibility to make up the difference if someone has to leave due to an injury. How long someone has to be away from their typical job duties is referred to as the DART rate, which stands for days away, restricted, or transferred. Some industries have a higher DART rate than the average. The more dangerous the industry, the higher the DART rate is likely to be. By taking steps to reduce the rate of injury at your business, you can reduce your DART rate and lessen the stress and strain on your other employees, thereby protecting employee morale.

Reward Adherence to Protocol

Protocols in dangerous industries are often put in place to protect workers. Rewarding your employees for adhering to those protocols will help your employees feel good about following them. Even if the reward is something as simple as providing a free lunch if you go a certain period of time without any incidents, that can be enough to boost employee morale. As an added benefit, you’ll pay less for the reward than you will for an insurance or workers compensation claim, and your employees will help hold one another accountable so they can get the reward. Workplace accidents are expensive, so taking steps to encourage employees to follow protective protocol is highly beneficial.

It’s important to protect the morale of your employees, especially when they work in dangerous industries. Make sure you are adequately compensating them for the risks they are taking, take steps to reduce the rate of injuries, and reward adherence to protocol. This will show your employees you care about them and appreciate what they do for your business, which will help them feel better about coming to work for you.

Read this next: How to Make Protecting Employee Health a Priority

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