Employee safety communications
Learn how to use Workplace features like Groups, Safety Centre and Knowledge Library to build your employee safety communication plan.
When it comes to employee safety, it's important to have the tools to reach everyone and a comprehensive communication plan to keep people safe and informed.
Whether you're sharing travel advisories, weather alerts or warning employees of crisis situations, your communications need to reach people quickly, provide effective guidance and gain instant attention.
In this guide, you'll learn how to use Workplace features such as Safety Centre, Groups and Knowledge Library to:
- Assemble your team
- Set up your communication channels
- Run regular tests and drills
- Alert employees of situations that might affect their safety
- Track communications
- Share post-incident reports
- Keep the entire organisation up to date
- Gather feedback
- Address feedback openly and transparently
1. Assemble a cross-functional team
Assemble a team of people from across your organisation, including comms, security and HR to ensure that you have broad coverage for employee safety communications. If your organisation has multiple office locations, assign members from each office to cover regional incidents as they occur.
After setting up Safety Centre in the Admin Panel, a system admin should make each member of your team a Safety Operator. Safety Operators will help you manage your employee safety communications. They will be able to use Safety Centre to create new incidents such as live crisis events, system tests and practice drills. They will also be able to send out communications to members of your organisation.Set up your communication channels
2. Set up your communication channels
Create the communication infrastructure that you'll need to plan and share employee safety information across your organisation. We recommend:
- A secret group for Safety Operators and stakeholders. Use this group to keep each other up to date, collaborate on employee safety messaging and keep communications and decisions in one place.
- An open, official, default group for security announcements. If your organisation has several office locations, create a group for each one and assign members to them using People Sets.
- An open group for global security Q&A to gather feedback on security concerns. Encourage employees to post in this group if they have a question or concern about something happening at a work location (from suspicious activity to a natural disaster). Make several of your Safety Operators admins of the group and make sure they monitor posts to respond to questions in a timely manner.
- An employee safety section in your organisation's Knowledge Library. Use this section to store important static resources in one place, such as company safety and security strategy and guidelines.
Pro tip: In your security announcement and global security Q&A groups, share a post with links to relevant safety materials including the Employee safety section of your Knowledge Library. Then, pin the post to the top of the group so that employees can easily reference it at any time.Run tests and drills
3. Run tests and drills
To ensure that you're prepared in the event of a crisis situation, run regular tests and drills using Safety Centre.
Tests are a good way to familiarise yourself with the capabilities of Safety Centre. Encourage newly assigned Safety Operators to run tests to review Safety Centre's features. You can also use tests to evaluate your employee safety messaging as a team.
Drills can be used as planned simulations to ensure that you and your employees are prepared in the event of an emergency. Notifications sent out for drills will include "DRILL" in the title.
In your test and drill communications, make sure that you're providing employees with clear instructions on what actions they need to take. Tests don't typically require action on their end, while drills should prompt them to follow safety procedures such as a physical evacuation.Keep employees informed as incidents unfold
4. Keep employees informed as incidents unfold
When a safety-related situation takes place, create a live incident in Safety Centre to manage your response.
- Give your live incident a title and description
- Assign other Safety Operators to help with communications
- Choose from a variety of message styles to help you communicate clearly and effectively, depending on the situation. Message styles include:
- Choose who will receive your messages by selecting an option from the drop-down menu. If selecting profile location, bear in mind that the profile location will need to have been entered in your People directory.
- People can receive the safety message through a Workplace notification, Workplace Chat message and email. Select the channels that are best suited for your audience and send your message.
You can send a variety of safety messages for each live incident to continuously update employees of situations as they unfold. Consider sending out a safety alert as you learn about an incident, to quickly inform employees and provide guidance. If the situation becomes serious, send out a Safety Check to verify that employees are safe and to find out who needs assistance.Track incident insights
5. Track incident insights
Refer back to your live incident to track metrics such as response rates for Safety Checks and read rates for all other message styles.
Dive deeper by clicking into specific messages to see a list of recipients and to track whether they've read your message.
If you sent out a Safety Check, track who has marked themselves as safe and who needs your assistance. Contact employees by phone to follow up with anyone who needs help or hasn't responded to your message.
Bear in mind that people may be unreachable if power or communications are affected, and you should let employees know that their first priority is always to get themselves to safety.Share post-incident reports
6. Share post-incident reports
Don't forget to keep affected employees in the loop even after the incident is over. Follow up with employees by sharing an important bulletin to let employees know that the incident has been resolved, and to inform people of any next steps you'll be taking to continue ensuring their safety.Share updates with the entire organisation
7. Share updates with the entire organisation
Make sure you're being transparent about safety incidents and keeping all employees in the loop by sharing incident updates and response posts in your security announcements group.
After the incident is over, share a summary in a post including learnings and next steps.
For your most critical updates, use Mark as important to ensure that posts are front and centre for all relevant employees. When you mark a group post as important, it will appear at the top of the Feed for all group members.
Want to share this video with your Workplace community? Download it here.Gather feedback and improve your communications
8. Gather feedback and improve your communications
Employee feedback can help you continue to improve upon your communications, so you can better meet the needs of your employees. Use your global security Q&A group to gather continuous feedback, and to understand what safety topics employees are unclear on.
And to gather feedback from the entire organisation, use Workplace's Surveys feature to send out quarterly anonymous surveys to get employee input on your organisation's safety strategy and your team's handling of recent incidents.
Want to share this video with your Workplace community? Download it here.Address feedback openly and transparently
9. Address feedback openly and transparently
Demonstrate that employee feedback is valued and appreciated by sharing a post that openly addresses survey results and outlines next steps that you plan to take to improve.
For even more transparency in crisis handling, go live with members of your leadership team to discuss your employee safety strategy and answer questions.
Use polls to gather questions before the live broadcast and live Q&A to gather and respond to questions in real time.
Employee safety isn't just about ensuring the physical well-being of your employees; it's also about building trust and a sense of security through open and transparent communication.
With the right strategy, you can deepen people's understanding of safety guidelines and precautions, prevent incidents, keep people safe and build a culture of care.Other helpful resources
Other helpful resources
- Safety Centre interactive demos: Through a series of self-paced interactive demos, learn and practice how to use Safety Centre to communicate during your next fire drill and prepare to help keep everyone safe during a live incident.
- The system admin guide: Learn how to use the Admin Panel to manage people, groups, content and the security of your Workplace.
- Engaging employees in times of change: Download this PDF guide to learn how to leverage Workplace as part of your change communication strategy
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