How Does A Well-Implemented Safety And Health Program Affect Employee Retention?
  • March 1, 2024
  • Oliver Nelson
  • 0

Employee retention is a big problem in today's workforce. According to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS), 3 to 4.5 million employees in the United States quit their jobs every month. While this figure is abysmal, there is still room for firms to improve employee retention. 

Employees quit their jobs for many reasons. But, frequently losing talented and valuable employees for whatever reason can be highly problematic for an organization. It forces you to deal with a time-consuming hiring process, culture disconnect, training expenses, and whatnot.

So, what can be done to encourage increased employee retention? There are many ways to do it, but the most effective method is through implementing an onsite safety and health program. After all, prioritizing workplace safety is also an important part of employee well-being. 

This blog provides a detailed explanation of “How does a well-implemented safety and health program affect employee retention?” Read on.

What Exactly is Employee Retention? 

Employee retention refers to the strategies organizations use to prevent employees from leaving the company or employee turnover. 

Increasing retention directly impacts a company's performance and success. Employee retention is a challenging initiative for many organizations, especially given the high rate of resignation and the threat of recession. Introducing a safety and health program is one effective way. 

What Is a Safety and Health Program? 

According to Occupational Health and Safety (OSHA), a safety and health program is a well-structured plan designed to prevent workplace injuries, illnesses, death, suffering, and financial hardships.

As per a 2023 survey by Alertmedia, over 90% of American workers believe their employers prioritize productivity over safety and well-being. 

The major elements of a well-implement safety and health program are:

  • Management Commitment and Employee Involvement
  • Worksite Analysis
  • Hazard Prevention and Control
  • Safety and Health Training

But can these practices affect employee retention? Let’s find out. 

How Does A Well-Implemented Safety And Health Program Affect Employee Retention?

A well-executed safety and health program can affect retention in many ways. The obvious reason is simply that it keeps employees safe.

Here are the key ways:  

i) Reduces incidents and injuries –

As said, the first reason is it prevents hazardous incidents in the workplace. Physically, it is important to the organization and employees that everyone is physically healthy.

Focusing on safety and health prevents these injuries from occurring in the first place and allows employees to continue working. 

This includes enforcing norms and protocols for safe equipment and reducing workplace injury risk. It is critical to have a well-maintained workplace to prevent the serious risk of legal action and responsibility associated with loose cables and unstable infrastructure. 

Let’s say you were renting a home, and the house owner kept the property in disrepair and bad condition. You would, of course, lose respect and trust in the leadership. 

The same thing is true for companies. Special maintenance shows regard for individuals and the place that the company pays for. From a comprehensive point of view, employees must be able to receive mental health services. 

Similar to poor physical health, bad mental health can impair a person's capacity to perform and maintain employment. Hence, it is important to ensure that your staff have access to the resources they require to remain healthy.

ii) Boosts communication and engagement 

Another way that safety and health programs can benefit employees is by boosting engagement and improving communication. Most workers are hesitant to speak out or express safety concerns if open communication is not maintained. 

So, employers must communicate clearly about safety regulations, practices, and occurrences at the workplace. 

If safety changes are implemented in response to an incident, employees must be informed and reassured that workplace safety is a top priority. Open communication regarding health and safety is also required to ensure that employees feel comfortable voicing queries.

iii) Enhances productivity and efficiency –

Another important impact is that it increases productivity. Employers who adopt excellent safety and health programs become more committed to their employees' success, which is the first step in establishing a trusted working relationship. 

Implementing methods to actively protect workers from mental, social, or physical harm in the workplace promotes team culture and increases productivity. These are the two factors that are linked to job security and employee retention. 

Under OSHA, the incidental expenses of workplace injuries exceed 2.7x the direct expenses of imposing safety. That doesn't even account for the expenses of cultural turnover and a lack of trust in the workplace.

A safety program is designed to avoid injuries, minimize downtime, and equip employees to thrive in their tasks while remaining productive throughout.  

iv) Improves morale –

Morale is basically the self-esteem of the employees. Feeling safe is a key aspect of a company's reputation as a great workplace, leading to strong employee morale. 

This can be accomplished by providing workers with health and safety equipment and tools, following established guidelines and procedures, setting health and safety policies, identifying and analyzing hazards collaboratively, and encouraging workers to follow them. 

Employees with good morale are more content and productive and usually stay in the same company for extended periods.

v) Shows a commitment to employee well-being 

When employees get to know that their employer cares about their well-being, they become more motivated, energetic, and enthusiastic about their jobs. 

This influences their attitude at work, which is an important factor when deciding whether to continue working in the same company.

vii) Benefit from better healthcare systems –

Since health is everyone's priority, healthcare programs and health insurance benefits are very attractive to employees.

As many organizations have dropped the majority of their healthcare benefit plans like health insurance, providing health benefits to your employees is actually a good way to retain their loyalty to your company. 

Lastly, It’s worth noting that employee perceptions matter and can differ from one another and from those of management.

Final words! 

To sum up, employees are the most precious assets of a company. Looking after their health and well-being is the most effective approach to fostering a culture in which employees do not want to quit, and the initial investment will be worth it.

For companies, asking, “How does a well-implemented safety and health program affect employee retention?” is an important step toward shifting your company's attention to employee well-being. 

Company values are clearly defined by protecting people and maintaining a healthy working culture. 


1. Why is it important for employees to be involved in safety and health programs?

Ans: Sharing safety and health information among workers fosters trust and helps companies make more informed decisions. 

2. What are the 3 major elements of an effective safety and health program? 

Ans: The three basic elements of an effective safety and health program are management leadership, worker participation, and a systemic approach to finding and fixing hazards. 

3. What is the impact of employee well-being on employee retention?

Ans: Employees who feel supported and appreciated are more likely to remain loyal to their employers. They are also more likely to engage and be productive at work. 

4. What is critical to the success of safety and health programs?

Ans: For the safety and health program to be successful, the participation of workers and their representatives is important. In addition, effective and regular communication also matters. 

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Oliver Nelson

Oliver Nelson is a New York based Health Specialist Writer who completed his graduation from Syracuse University back in 2015. His writings were published in the top Healthcare brands in the United States.

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