From a post by hrdaily:
For a long time employers have banked on the "capital of authority" – and sometimes fear – to ensure compliance from workers, but this approach does not sit well with the current generation, says safety expert Loren Murray. Today's employees have more choices and are better educated, she says.
"They want more, they expect more, and they know what 'good' looks like.
"Like a discerning TV watcher, this generation does not want to be manipulated, interrupted, forced, persuaded or frightened into buying a product – and this includes the safety message.
"They want to choose it because it's cool, it expresses who they are, and it works for them. And I think if we want to have a stake in the future of this highly individualised, discerning and savvy generation, we need to get on board with this."
Target the people who care
Murray, who was formerly head of safety at Pacific Brands, recalls "pushing" a safe acts observation program across the business a few years ago.
Some workers expressed interest, but others merely "tolerated" it because they had to.
"The majority... just don't listen to us," she says. They aren't interested in corporate messages and don't trust authority.
"You're staring into their faces and they're probably thinking about anything but your message."
Murray started asking herself, "Is there another way of doing this?" – and realised there was.
Instead of focusing on the disinterested majority, she decided to focus on the workers who were
interested – the "innovators" and "early adapters".
These people are the passionate ones, Murray says.
If an innovator or early adapter is obsessed with burgers, they'll go to the other end of town in search of the best one; if they're obsessed with the latest technology, they'll buy the newest possible television, even if it still costs a fortune, she says by way of example.
Other employees recognise these people's expertise – they trust them, listen to them and even seek them out.
"If I want a flatscreen, I don't listen to someone tell me about it on TV advertising, I go to my mate – if I can stand listening to him rattle on for two hours," Murray says.
"I go to him because I know he'll tell me what is the best product to buy – and I trust him... I don't trust corporate at times... but I trust my mates."
Another reason to target influencers is that standardisation simply doesn't appeal to individuals, Murray says.
"Human beings want products that excite them; they want products that interest them. They want products that say something about them," she says.
"So when thinking about who you're going to target, do you continue to push your message to interrupt – to force your message – into a bored, disinterested majority?
"Or do you find people who... if you target them and if they love it... will spread the message?"
The latter approach might take longer, "but the take-up you do get will be quality", Murray says.
Learn about Barringtons Compliance Computer Software System Smartek, here
Blayne Webb, Director, Barringtons