In the world of manufacturing and construction, safety, quality, and productivity are inextricably linked. It’s impossible to sacrifice one without sacrificing the others. When organizations put better care into maintaining their safety, quality, and productivity, they are also better able to serve their customers and protect their employees. Let’s explore the relationship between these three important pillars of a strong, sustainable business.
The Three Pillars: Safety, Quality, and Productivity
Too often, businesses will see safety, quality, and productivity as interfering with each other, while they actually operate in concert. Organizations must not think of safety as a nuisance, but rather as an incredibly important component to business success.
- Safety improves quality and productivity. When operations are unsafe, they aren’t well-managed. Employees will not be motivated nor mindful, and employee churn will be far greater. Quality and productivity both suffer when employees are under stress, unsatisfied, or unable to complete their mission. But when businesses are safe, it frees up employees to focus on their quality and their productivity. The safer the organization is, the less frequently the organization will experience large scale disruption.
- Quality improves safety and productivity. Safety is a measure of conscientiousness and proactiveness. High quality work means better results and better products. The higher quality the work, the fewer re-works are needed, and the greater overall productivity is. When quality is high for a business, it can be assumed that standards for the business are generally high, including safety equipment, safety software, and safety processes.
- Productivity improves safety and quality. Carelessness is often what begets safety issues. With the appropriate (and productive) safety processes, safety can be improved, and quality can be improved as well. The more productive employees are, the less likely they are to cut corners on things like safety processes. The more productive they are, the more likely they are to put extra attention into the quality of their work.
As you can see, all three of these pillars really rely upon each other to improve upon the organization’s outcomes. When one pillar falls, the others follow. But when one pillar is strong, it strengthens the entire business. Companies need to take a look at their safety, quality, and productivity, so they can explore where they may be falling short, and where their business may be destabilized.
Traditional Barriers to Safety, Quality, and Productivity
It’s easy to see that safety improves business outcomes. Dangerous operations lead to lost time, injured employees, and a loss of morale. Nevertheless, many organizations fear that additional safety processes can take time and money. While true, it’s time and money well spent; it’s better to spend a small amount for preventative care than a large amount for an emergency.
In terms of quality, the primary issue is often expediency. Companies may feel they have to choose between fast, cheap, or high-quality. When companies are forced to reduce costs (cheap) and produce quickly (fast) they need to sacrifice quality. But sacrificing quality actually ends up driving up time and costs; unsatisfied customers demand reworks, which can often be upwards of three times the original budget.
Finally, productivity must never be seen to be at odds with safety or quality. Organizations may feel that safety and productivity are mutually exclusive, and that it’s difficult to maintain a productive office with increased regulation and safety processes. However, the opposite is true; it’s impossible for employees to remain productive in a dangerous environment.
Creating a Solid Foundation for Your Organization
How can businesses create a solid foundation for safety, quality, and productivity? It begins with company culture. Employers need to foster a company culture that values all these things, and it all begins with safety. Safety is essential to a business. A business can always improve upon the quality of its products and the productivity of its employees. But a business that is dangerous and unsafe can establish a negative reputation that will follow it forever.
In addition to company culture, employers should embrace new business processes and business technology. Safety management software can be used to improve upon incident reporting and provide better real-time visibility, making it easier for companies to ensure that their employees are following enhanced safety protocols, and that any safety issues are being properly and expediently addressed.It isn’t always easy for an employer to improve their organization from the ground up, especially if it requires sweeping or structural changes. But when it comes to safety, it’s critical. Learn how Anvl can help you gain real-time visibility and ensure process compliance to identify defects early and gain valuable data insights to drive continuous improvement.