Workplace Injuries and Employee Morale

January 27, 2021

A large potential expense for businesses—especially frontline businesses—is workplace injury. Though they can be preventable with safe practices and proper training, accidents can also be prevented by managers who allocate more attention toward employee morale.

Cost and Inefficiency

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, nonfatal workplace injuries cost employers around $1 billion each week in 2015 for direct compensation. OSHAcadamy found that the average direct cost of an injury can range between $1,000 to $20,000 on a per-worker basis. 

This analysis does not consider indirect costs, which can be even more harmful and pervasive.

Indirect costs are much more significant, ranging between two and ten times as expensive as direct costs. Because they are uninsured, indirect costs come straight from the business’s bottom line. 

Indirect costs can materialize through OSHA penalties, property damage, and onboarding expenses. Inefficiencies—such as lost production time, reputational damage, or the spread of low morale through a workforce—can create additional pain points for managers. However, according to OSHA, “employers often find that process and other changes made to improve workplace safety and health may result in significant improvements to their organization’s productivity and profitability.”

Indeed, Janice Berthold—an expert in workers’ compensation insurance—explains that a positive work culture that promotes health and safety drastically decreases insurance claims. In some cases, injuries are preventable altogether if managers listen to employees.

Unintentionally developing a culture of fear rather than focusing on morale and employee health can have a sizable negative impact. According to Harvard Business Review, a culture of fear can lead to disengagement from employees, resulting in 49 percent more workplace accidents and 60 percent more work defects.

 

Morale and Productivity

A workforce which believes that management cares will make all the difference for employee health and company growth.

Although managers may struggle to build relationships with every employee in a large company, having some form of positive reinforcement from management can greatly increase morale and productivity. If employees sense that managers consider their health, safety, and morale, accidents can be mitigated. Forbes explains that “employees who think they have a positive work-life balance are more productive and dedicated by 21 percent than those who don’t think so.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that a company which attempts to boost morale also has a competitive advantage. This can manifest in better employee retention, which leads to more applications from quality candidates. 

Managers must consider an important caveat. If attempts to increase morale fail to consider the specific needs of the employees, neglect to seek direct input from employees, and do not value the privacy of the employees, they may backfire by decreasing morale.

Qlicket offers solutions that allow employees to feel heard while preserving anonymity, allowing for positive changes within a workforce. Qlicket’s methodology reveals specific problems that your employees are facing, boosting morale and creating a culture of health and safety.

Written by Qlicket team member Ethan Forde.

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