As companies rush to hire workers for the holiday season, SAIF has tips on how to provide safety training to new employees of all ages
Whether it’s your first job or a way to supplement your career, working during the holiday season can be a great option for many Oregon workers. But, as companies invest in seasonal employment this year, SAIF wants to remind employers not to skimp on safety—and to remember that safety training communication comes in all shapes and sizes.
“Holiday help can be vital for Oregon businesses. But it’s critical to provide the same safety training as you would for any employee, especially when you consider new employees are more likely to be hurt on the job,” said Christina Lincicome, SAIF’s director of diversity and inclusion. “That said, there’s no ‘one size fits all’ for communicating to your holiday workforce about safety.”
Lincicome notes that, while it’s not possible to predict how every employee best learns and communicates, there are some generational differences that generally apply.
“We know, for instance, that Generation Y may expect more in-the-moment feedback than previous generations,” Lincicome said. “When implementing a strong safety culture, it’s important to provide feedback as you go.”
One thing workplaces can consider is pairing up millennials and boomers for safety training. Boomers tend to have more experience, prefer learning in a social environment, and are process-oriented, so can explain why things are the way they are. Millennials tend to be more solution-oriented, so may be able to point out a better way of doing things.
The most important thing is to not assume, cautions Lincicome. “Some managers may want to provide too much oversight to young workers, or assume older workers already know safety measures. It’s critical to have an open dialogue with each worker to understand their experience to-date, gauge their preferences for how and where they receive communications, and determine where any gaps in safety training may be. By communicating in a way that connects with employees, employers can better ensure their workers are safe, and possibly save lives.”
For more information on each generation’s workplace preferences, please see the attached matrix. Supervisors of younger employees can also get more information, including tips for preventing young worker injuries, on SAIF.com.
SAIF is Oregon’s not-for-profit, state-chartered workers’ compensation insurance company. Since 1914 it has been caring for injured workers and helping to make workplaces safer. For more, visit the About SAIF page on saif.com.