Workplace accidents cost billions each year, "In addition to their social costs, workplace injuries and illnesses have a major impact on an employer's bottom line. It has been estimated that employers pay almost $1 billion per week for direct workers' compensation costs alone." (OSHA.gov)
Believe it or not, research has shown not being listened to is one of the factors that causes employees to be more prone to accidents at work. When they feel they are not listened to, they are more likely to become disengaged from their work. Disengaged workers don't have much emotional connection to their jobs, and consquently don't pay as much as attention as they could. Inattentiveness in workers makes it more likely that they will have accidents.
Morning huddles are for communication, not only for managers to talk to employees, but also for employees to express themselves and learn from each other. Listening to each other, including managers listening to employees, is a big part of everyone being part of the team and community of the company. Daily huddles aren't only good for reducing workplace accidents, they are important for generating and maintaining a sense of what a good work team is.For example, consistent employee recognition for work well done is a best practice of strong company culture. Of course, daily huddles are also good for tracking the status of projects, giving updates and planning for the future.
The first consideration for effective daily huddles, is selecting a meeting facilitator. This person is typically chosen by management and often is a more senior employee. An effective meeting facilitator is someone who listens well, has good social etiquette and awareness and has a positive regard for others. If a facilitator is rude, insensitive, or very self-centered, the entire meeting may become a time in which employees don't feel comfortable communicating. They may not speak up about important issues concerning safety on the job site and project management. Encouraging employees to express themselves and not shutting them down when they do, is actually a key component of strong teams.
When employees are not comfortable expressing themselves, the whole team and potentially the company will miss out on some important information. As mentioned above, employees that aren't listened to don't feel connected to the team or their work, and will likely be more prone to having accidents. These accidents can be costly, slow down the pace of work and decrease employee morale. These latter two effects also cost construction companies and sometimes dearly. There can be a negative ripple effect that eventually impacts the whole organization or project, simply by creating an atmosphere where employees aren't comfortable expressing themselves and they aren't listened to, or perceive themselves to be unheard.
Unsafe workplaces also typically have higher employee turnover, and this is a major cost for companies as well. The selection of an effective daily huddle facilitator may seem like a trivial matter, but communication is so important for effective teamwork and company culture, that it is actually one of the most important decisions.
It is also helpful is the daily huddle facilitator selected has planning experience, or at least an interest in it. This outlook can be effective for anticipating potential problems in order to prevent them or reduce their impact. Eliminating or mitigating problems before they spiral out of control is an excellent way to keep projects on track and manage costs.
Benefits of daily huddles:
- Reducing accidents
- Improving safety
- Reducing employee issues such as contractual problems due to misunderstandings.
- Better teamwork
- Reducing employee disengagement and employee turnover
- Recognizing employees for their contributions in order to maintain or boost morale.
- Planning instead of reacting.
- Pacific Timesheet includes a customizable Morning Huddle module in its crew timesheet solutions.