Summit team tackles employee-safety recognition upgrade
ITD mission statement of "Your Safety" means more than just the public's safety.. A cornerstone ITD value is to safeguard and promote the safety of employees. One of the most popular Leadership Summit teams was brought together specifically to move the needle on the department's employee safety recognition efforts and heighten awareness of the importance of managing risk and exhibiting safe behaviors.
They also had to contend with a serious curveball halfway through the process.
"Part way through our week, we found out that the current program had been cancelled and the amount of money we had to work with had changed," explained team member Bud Converse of District 2.
The team had found that most ITD employees love getting the traditional belt buckle for their safety award and would be extremely disappointed if they could not continue to receive them. However, the cost of the belt-buckle recognition was beyond what was allowed by code.
So, the team began exploring new alternatives.
"We came up with some ideas to reward safety in our work place and stay within the guidelines of our policy," Converse said. "We were still able to come up with a great program, and a path to accident forgiveness."
The team utilized a Design Thinking methodology to wrap their heads around the problem and arrive at a solution. Guided by Char McArthur, Vince Trimboli and Francine McGrew, the team was encouraged to approach the problem through a series of steps: Empathize, Define, Ideate, Prototype, and Test.
"It is a fresh new way to approach a problem and could be used in any aspect of your life," Magstadt added. "This was a new learning experience for me, and very interesting," Converse added.
One idea introduced was a "Challenge Coin" (pictured right) awarded for good behaviors, a concept adopted a few years ago by the United States military and gaining traction in the business world.
Employees are recognized for safe behavior at a level commenserate with the risk they experience. Additionally, exhibiting behaviors that lead to accident prevention, or speaking up about safety, is rewarded. In fact, all employees are rewarded for safe behavior regardless of risk factor.
The team also found that most employees would like awards handed out in a team setting (not just finding it on their desk).
"A handshake and look in the employee's eye from a supervisor means a lot to them," said team member Dianna Magstadt.
Magstadt said the team also discovered most new employees were unaware of any employee safety recognition program.
"In addition to solving the problem, the journey was about developing leadership and collaboration skills by listening to our customers and asking questions," said Vince Trimboli, team champion and ITD Communication manager. "We can take those skills back to our teams to better serve each other and Idaho citizens."
A reduction in employee accidents also will be a measure of success.
Watch the Employee Safety Recognition Team video.
Pictured above, left to right: Francine McGrew (HQ), James Bennett D4), Mark Porter (D5), Brad Woodrow (D4) at podium, Brad Richards (D6), Nancy Casperson (D5), Andy Lambrecht (D3), Dianna Magstadt (HQ), Brian Needham (D1), Bud Converse (D2), Damon Hull (D5), John Tomlinson (HQ) and Vince Trimboli (HQ). Not pictured is Dan Conner (Aero).