Corporate America and small businesses alike are constantly looking for new and exciting ways to improve morale, reduce injuries & worker compensation costs, reduce absenteeism, boost sales, or motivate employees to turn in more money saving suggestions. Employees today are Starbuck?s carded out, wondering where to put all their lapel pins, exhausted from another dinner out, and in dire need of valuable recognition from employers. While any recognition is valuable from a business sense, the best recognition is items that employees need to help manage the stress in their life.
Making sure your employees are prepared ahead of time is one of the keys to reducing the negative effects of an emergency situation upon your business. A prepared employee will know what to do in an emergency. You should also consider ways to help employees adequately prepare their families for emergencies with survival gear and disaster supplies. This will increase their personal safety and help your business get back up and running, as those who are prepared at home will be better able to focus and carry out their responsibilities at work. One way to help your employees prepare is to provide survival gear as part of a company reward or recognition program.
While many argue ?Nothing will ever happen here,? the fact is that virtually every corner of America is subject to its own unique potential disasters, hazards and concerns. The Pacific Coast has its earthquakes and tsunamis; the Midwest has its thunderstorms, floods and blizzards; the Southeast has its hurricanes and wildfires, the Great Plains has its tornadoes and wildfires, and the Northeast has its hurricanes, blizzards and floods. So the reality is, wherever you do business, or wherever you travel, you and your employees face significant potential disasters and hazards.
In July 2006, the Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for Communication Programs at Johns Hopkins University conducted a survey and focus groups to find out how well people are prepared to face an emergency. ?While more than two-thirds of the respondents from five Baltimore area counties and Baltimore City said they have some emergency supplies on hand, the other third do not. Only about a quarter of residents feel ready to deal with disasters.?
A recent poll, sponsored by the Insurance Information Network of California and Fireman's Fund Insurance Company, found that ?Only 22 percent of Californians consider themselves to be prepared or very prepared for a disaster in their area. Nearly half singled out ?common sense? as the reason to prepare for disaster, but noted few incentives that would motivate them to be ready for future earthquakes, floods or fires. The largest segment of respondents -- only 10 percent -- cited a local disaster as the reason to prepare for future risk.?
And a 2005 Disaster Preparedness Poll conducted by Marshall Marketing & Communications, Inc. in Partnership with KIRO-TV in King County, Washington, ?a full 53% of respondents aged 18 - 34 and 39% of those aged 35 ? 54 do not have an established disaster preparedness plan and a disaster preparedness kit in place. These two groups represent a significant portion of the workforce today.
It is this significant lack of preparedness by the citizenry that has professional emergency responders and local, state and the federal government concerned the most. While most cities, counties and states have some form of emergency response plans in place today, the vast majority of citizens do not. Should a significant event occur, many citizens may be on their own for up to 3 days without support from professional responders or volunteer agencies that may be focused on more critically injured persons or more dangerous situations.
You can help your employees prepare by providing survival gear as part of a company reward or recognition program. You can provide such supplies or survival kits directly to employees, or make an online emergency preparedness store available through your intranet for employee purchases. Either way, you will truly be helping your employees and their families as well as improving your employee's ability to recover from a disaster and more readily support your business following a disaster.
One such company, Consolidated Diesel Company in North Carolina decided to provide survival kits for their employees as part of their hurricane preparedness safety program. Deborah Wilkins said, ?We were very pleased with the 2 person survival kits provided we selected for our workforce. Recipients were amazed at the amount of supplies included in each kit and it was like watching kids at Christmas looking through all the components in the kits.?
Typical rewards programs are structured in one of 3 ways depending on the purpose of the program.
1) The first method involves the company pre-purchasing the desired survival supplies (e.g., solar radios, food rations, shelter, first aid supplies or survival kits) for distribution at company functions or gatherings. This provides maximum impact and the most timely reward process.
2) With the second method, the company can purchase or issue unique gift certificates to award winning employees for purchases at the online store. The award winning employees would be given an appropriate coupon code (representing either a percentage discount or dollar value) to deduct from their order when checking out of the online store.
3) The third method is designed to not recognize any one individual as ?special? but rather provide all employees with access to an online emergency preparedness store to receive a company group discount. With this third method, a company would merely provide a link from their employee intranet to an online emergency preparedness supply store along with a discount code.