Whenever there is a discussion of safety incentive programs, invariably safety bingo is mentioned. It clearly has been the most used and imitated incentive plan for business, and continues to be used after more than 30 years. It shouldn’t be!
I have a number of problems with the whole concept, but here is the top one. As safety professionals, or human resource professionals, we are leaders, looked up to provide the right guidance and support. In the area of safety, that guidance is crucial, because we know that many of the jobs that are performed by the people for whom we have responsibility are dangerous. We tell them and warn them, and provide training, PPE and education to insure that they perform those jobs safely.
And to motivate them we play bingo. Really?
Is there a greater disconnect than that? It is insulting and unserious, and carries the opposite message that we are trying so hard to get across. There is value in a well-designed safety recognition program, but there is no value in bingo.
About the author: Joe Stevens founded Bridge Safety Consultants in 2003 to provide companies and organizations with a resource to help them strengthen their safety culture. The company conducts a safety culture audit, then designs and manages safety recognition and rewards program, with bilingual monthly safety meetings. Stevens can be contacted at: [email protected]. To see a typical meeting in action, visit the Bridge Safety Consultants Web site.