More Than Reducing Costs

When a company experiences significant increases in workers’ compensation costs, it usually triggers internal activities to reduce insurance costs and spending.  The key to spending fewer dollars is more than just stopping a few accidents; it is having a sound safety program designed to continuously improve.

A safety program that, at a minimum, is compliant with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards can yield significant savings by reducing injuries, and illnesses, saving workers’ compensation dollars.

Building a Solid OSHA Program

There are five steps your company can take to have a well-rounded safety program that encourages a safe work environment, is compliant with OSHA standards, reduces accidents, and ultimately reduces workers’ compensation costs.

1. Develop the various programs required by the OSHA standards.
2. Integrate those programs into the daily operations.
3. Investigate all injuries and illnesses.
4. Provide training to develop safety competence in all employees.
5. Audit your programs and your work area on a regular basis to stimulate continuous improvement.

Develop Programs Required by OSHA Standards

Aside from being a requirement for various industries, the OSHA standards offer a solution to reduce incidents.  Several accidents stem from underdeveloped or poorly implemented OSHA programs.

  • Failure to keep high traffic and working surfaces clear may result in slips or trips.
  • The lack of using personal protective equipment may result in lacerations.
  • Poor lifting techniques can result in strains.

OSHA standards require a variation or type of written program to be developed and communicated to employees.  According to the National Safety Council, over 60% of CFOs reported that each $1 invested in injury prevention returned $2 or more, and over 40% said productivity was the greatest benefit of an effective workplace safety program.

Time and time again we see that companies with thoroughly developed OSHA-compliant programs have fewer accidents, more productive employees, and lower workers’ compensations costs.

Integrate Programs into Daily Operations

Successful safety programs focus on being proactive instead of reactive.  Accident investigations become an excellent source of information on already existing issues in the workplace, as well as potential problems.

Policies alone won’t get results; the program must move from paper to practice in order to succeed.  Putting a policy into practice requires a strategic plan. This plan must be clearly communicated to key participants and in a culture, that inspires and rewards people to do their best.

When developing any business initiative, there must be an emphasis on frontline supervisors and helping them succeed.  Every good business person knows with that any new program whether it be safety, quality or something of the like it must be second nature to the frontline supervisor. A solid OSHA program integrated into the daily operation and led by competent supervisors is just the beginning.  If the frontline supervisor knows the program and wants to make it happen, the program succeeds; if not, the program is a source of constant struggle and an endless drain on resources and energies.  Providing supervisors with knowledge and skills through continuous training is critical to the success of any program.

Investigate All Injuries and Illnesses

Workers’ compensation is designed to recompense employees for injuries or illnesses they suffer during their employment.  This should not come as a surprise, but increasing numbers of claims drive up workers’ compensation costs. To reduce those costs, you must simply reduce your accidents, and the ability to reduce accidents is significantly enhanced when those accidents are fully investigated instead of simply being reported.

Accident reports are historical records only citing facts, while accident investigations go deeper to find the root cause so that improvements can be made.  Businesses that stop rising workers’ compensation costs have an effective accident investigation process that discovers the root cause of the problem so that corrective actions can be made.  Again, training proves beneficial because a supervisor skilled in incident analysis is a better problem solver for all types of production-related issues, not just safety.

All accidents should be investigated to find out what went wrong and why because each one of them is important and should be treated as such. Ask yourself this: If you only investigated serious quality concerns instead of every little deviation, would your quality program still be effective?  Companies with solid quality programs investigate and resolve every deviation from quality standards.

If your emphasis is only on those incidents that have to be recorded on the OSHA 300 log, you close your eyes to the biggest accident category: first aid-only incidents.  Many companies get upset about recordable or lost time accidents because of the significant costs involved, but they don’t realize that the small costs and the high numbers of first aid-only incidents add up.

Statistics show that for every 100 accidents, 10 will be recordable and one a lost-time incident.  If you investigate only recordable or lost time accidents, 89 go unnoticed.  Would you consider a quality program that allows an 89 percent failure rate successful?  Reducing serious accidents means you must reduce your overall rate of all accidents – including first aid-only incidents.  That only happens when every incident is fully investigated to find the root cause, and remedial actions are identified and integrated into the daily operation.

Training and Auditing for Continuous Improvement

The final steps focus on training and auditing your program for continuous improvement.  Training plays a significant role in safety and in reducing workers’ compensation costs.  The goal of training is to develop competent people who have the knowledge, skill and understanding to perform assigned job responsibilities.  Competence, more than anything else, will improve all aspects of your business and drive costs down.  Supervisors must have the knowledge and ability to integrate every safety program into their specific areas of responsibility.  Every employee must know what is expected of them when it comes to implementing safe work procedures.  Once the programs are developed and implemented, they must be reviewed on a regular basis to make sure they are still relevant and effective.

This might require a significant change in how you manage your safety program, but if your workers’ compensation rates are high, it may be time to make this leap.

Building a Safety Program

Unemployment. Hiring Trends. Staffing Industry

According to a report by ADP and Moody’s Analytics, job growth slowed in October, and the private sector added just 130,000 new positions, which is below the average of the last twelve months. Small business growth was also down from the previous month, while payrolls among large enterprises showed an increase. Per the sector details, goods-producing employment rose by 24,000 jobs, construction payrolls added 14,000 jobs, and manufacturing payrolls increased by just 5,000.

The bigger news released by the economic-forecasting firm Capital Economics, reports the U.S. unemployment rate numbers will rise for October from 7.5% from 7.2% due to the government shutdown. The unemployment rate for October will include furloughed government workers and private sector employees laid off by companies that relied heavily on federal contracts. Yet, the expectation is the unemployment rate will certainly fall this month, as a reflection of the federal and private-sector employees returning to work.

Additionally, the release of the third quarter GDP report was postponed  until November 7th due to the government shutdown but the forecast predicts a 2.5% growth which all depends on the temperature of companies going back to business. There is speculation that hiring, spending and investment decisions were delayed from October to this month.

What this means for both the industrial and professional staffing industry; those staffing firms coming out ahead must best locate, filter and train the workforce from an abundant pool of available candidates. The record levels of unemployment and underemployment bring an opportunity for staffing firms to position themselves to help bring about social good in guiding the individuals seeking employment.

 

Affordable Care Act Talk with Predictions for the Staffing Industry

Our apologies for the lapse between blog posts, but rest assured you can now expect to see them on a weekly basis.

We have had quite a bit going on in the last three months and the best starting point is to highlight our attendance last week at the 2013 Staffing Industry Analysts Executive Forum. Over 900 CEOs, owners and senior level executives gathered for four-days at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate in Florida for one of highest rated conferences in the industry.

The Affordable Care Act was a central topic of discussion (as it is with all businesses right now), but the overall vibe is the ACA will be more of a boom than bust for our industry. And as 2014 draws closer, all staffing firms are gearing up for the changes but many proposed rules are still under discussion. You can definitely expect to see several ensuing blog posts as we learn more in the upcoming months.

A few other discussion points were about the expected industry growth over the next five years and the emerging online staffing market. Barry Asin, Staffing Industry Analysts President, gave a keynote speech on the following 18 predications for our industry.

Here are all 18 predictions for the staffing industry by 2018:

1) U.S. staffing revenue will hit $160 billion in 2018, up from $126.8 billion in 2012.

2) North America will remain about a third of the global staffing market.

3) Information technology and industrial staffing will make up nearly 60 percent of the U.S. temporary staffing market. They are at 53 percent now.

4) Market concentration increases: the top 15 firms will have 50 percent of market share.

5) The Affordable Care Act will benefit the staffing industry. “We will see that the Affordable Care Act will be more boom than bust for the staffing industry,” Asin said. However, a survey by Staffing Industry Analysts found that staffing firms expected customers to absorb a median 65 percent of extra costs while another survey found a majority of buyers expect to absorb none of the costs.

6) Healthcare staffing revenue will reach $13.4 billion in 2018, which represents an estimated compound annual growth rate of 6 percent from 2013.

7) Work will expand from “supply chain” to “human cloud” models. The human cloud includes online staffing as well as crowdsourcing where a large task is broken down into several smaller micro tasks that are farmed out to online workers.

8) Online staffing will reach $5 billion in annual spend in 2018 from $1 billion in 2012. Online staffing includes firms such as Elance and oDesk. These firms connect staffing buyers with workers online — tasks are posted on a website and workers are engaged and paid via the platform. The workers are often independent contractors, but they can be W-2 employees as well. Often the staffing buyer and worker never meet face-to-face.

9) Total talent management will become ubiquitous by 2012. Total talent management refers to overall management of a workforce, both traditionally hired and contingent workers. It includes such aspects as designing benefits and compensation, measuring performance and planning for future workforce needs among other aspects. It involves both traditionally hired and contingent workers.

10) Technology choices and effective adoption practices will be critical to the success of staffing firms in 2018 like never before.

11) Maturing VMS, MSP and RPO models morph into the next big thing.

12) Staffing firms will be among the heaviest users of social media.

13) Big data and social media will dominate the skills needed in staffing.

14) New staffing operating models will roll out of the lab and into the mainstream. Examples include virtual and offshore recruiting and video interviewing.

15) Death of the branch office model for staffing companies.

16) Independent contractor compliance/screening adoption will exceed 70 percent among large clients. Presently, 54 percent of large buyers had adopted such models in 2012.

17) Micro-targeting locations will drive growth for staffing firms.

18) Micro-targeting of skills will drive growth in staffing as well.

 

 

 

The Disengaged 65%

Employee Engagement Starts At The Top

Gears showing engagementBelief in the future of your organization and belief in senior leadership are the strongest drivers of employee engagement. This goes beyond just having a stated vision and mission statement, but involves leaders that take a sincere interest in their employee’s long term success.

This is not to say that having a stated company Vision and Mission are not important. In fact they are. According to research done by Modern Survey, employees are 26X’s more likely to be fully engaged in their jobs when an organization’s values are “known and understood.”

In the same survey it was noted that 65% of the workforce feels they are under engaged; that only 39% believe senior leadership shows a sincere interest in their well-being; and only 41% have confidence in their company’s senior leadership.

So here’s the challenge ….

How do you get a workforce that feels it is generally underappreciated and uninspired to be more engaged?

1. You absolutely need to create a Vision and Mission statements that speak to the future and promote the greater good that your company can accomplish. Knowing that you are part of something bigger is key to creating an engaging work place.

2. Senior management must profess and continually reinforce the company’s Vision, Mission and Goals. If top management doesn’t live their beliefs daily, then your employees will not incorporate these commitments into their actions.

3. Build confidence into all you do. By exuding confidence and clearly communicating what needs to be done, others will jump on board.

4. Recognize those around you. Showing appreciation for an employee’s effort and commitment will energize them.

Don’t Be Part of the Disengaged 65%

Building a workforce that believes that what it is doing positively impacts others, feels appreciated, and sees the company’s values reinforced daily, will insure that they are NOT part of the disengaged 65%.