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The ‘Great Resignation’ – an opportunity to rethink your PPE offerings

Rethink PPE

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, people have started to focus on the things that really matter to them. Employees everywhere have gained a renewed sense of the importance of family and work-life balance. Many who were formerly happy to have a job are now asking themselves what they really want to do with the rest of their lives.

In America, for instance, workers are resigning from their jobs in numbers not seen in the past 20 years. According to the Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) from the Department of Labor, job openings soared to 9.3 million, shattering previous records. It’s clear that employees are no longer choosing to remain in jobs that don’t completely satisfy them. It has employers everywhere wondering what it will take to keep people happy during the “Great Resignation.”

As a safety professional, you may be asking how this affects you. It is, after all, still imperative that organizations such as yours mitigate the risk of workplace hazards for your employees – always a difficult task, even in the best of times. But now, in the current environment, safety pros are also having to keep an eye on ensuring workers are happy as well as safe. The exodus of previously satisfied employees is forcing safety leaders to reevaluate their workplace safety culture with a focus on adopting measures to boost employee retention and morale.

Of course, there will always be rules and reminders to enforce and enhance safety, but we all know they don’t necessarily lead to change in employee behavior. That takes a very different approach. As Nate Snyder, director of global safety and security at Red Wing Shoe Company, says, “You have a higher chance of getting buy-in and compliance if you make it easier or better for team members.”

Red Wing Shoes

Personal protective equipment providers are also responding to employee demands by creating products that better meet a wider variety of needs. That includes functional, comfortable and even stylish PPE designed specifically for women – from safety footwear to hard hats, coveralls and more.

Although style may sound trivial when it comes to the serious business of workplace safety, the reality is workers are more likely to wear PPE that fits well, feels good and they’re proud to wear. Red Wing is a great example of a workwear manufacturer that has anticipated the trend to incorporate style and ergonomic comfort without compromising on safety and functionality. Once solely synonymous with premium quality footwear, the company now provides complete head-to-toe PPE to keep your crews safe and productive while working in tough environments such as oil fields, factory floors and distribution facilities.

The moral of the story: If you provide your workers with industrial safety products that fit well, make them feel good, and are made of comfortable and protective materials, you’ll encounter less resistance and increased compliance. This is a goal that’s as important as ever considering today’s highly selective workforce and high turnover rates, and where the cost of replacing an individual employee can be up to two times the employee’s annual salary, according to Gallup Workplace.

Nothing boosts the morale of today’s demanding employees like proving you’re committed to investing in their safety. Providing PPE that delivers comfort, fit and, yes, even a little style will go a long way to that end. It will help you to enhance employee efficiency and morale, leading to increased buy-in, higher productivity and less turnover.

Let’s face it, any way you can entice employees into being safer is worth the effort. Although it’s important to look for a company that can offer you the quality and breadth of PPE products that you and your workers demand, it’s equally important to consider expertise, support and flexibility from a company that can be a true PPE partner. Let a local Red Wing expert help you take safety to the next level by building a complete PPE solution to meet your specific needs. Since 1905, Red Wing has been helping generations of workers perform their jobs safely and comfortably with purpose-built products from safety footwear to flame-resistant workwear and more. We can help your company, too. Connect with us at Red Wing for Business.

Tito Warren, President
Global Industrial Sales and Operations
Red Wing Shoe Company

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