User engagement

The importance of user engagement when launching a company-wide incident reporting app

In any organisation, particularly those managing multi-asset complex estates, the effective reporting and management of incidents are crucial for maintaining safety and operational efficiency. Launching an incident reporting app is a significant step toward streamlining this process, but its success hinges on robust user engagement. Here’s why user engagement is paramount and how to foster it.

“All eyes” approach

One of the foundational principles of an effective incident reporting system is the “all eyes” approach. This philosophy underscores the responsibility of every staff member, regardless of their department, to be vigilant and proactive in reporting incidents. When everyone in the organisation feels responsible for safety, the likelihood of identifying and mitigating risks increases exponentially. This collective vigilance transforms the entire workforce into a network of safety advocates.

Reference: Working with one of the largest infrastructure and property investment businesses in the UK with a diverse range of assets spanning across ports, media, retail, airports, energy and infrastructure, it is imperative we have a unified approach across the estate to managing risk. Through the digitalisation of safety and security plans, a fantastic initiative called “Don’t’ Walk By!” was launched, where all staff are responsible for reporting safety and security incidents with a simple ethos of ‘we can’t take action on things we don’t know!’. 

Company-wide incident reporting allows the business to improve their response, team collaboration, performance and also reduce the impact of incidents to the business. It has enabled them to control and resolve incidents more quickly, streamline communication and apply assurance activities that deliver a proactive approach to business continuity and resilience. All reported data provides a data-rich picture that can inform a more strategic approach to security & safety decision-making, ultimately protecting our people, assets, brand and profits.

Easy access

Ease of access is a critical factor in encouraging widespread use of the incident reporting app. The app should be accessible via multiple platforms, including a web interface and a downloadable mobile application. This accessibility ensures that staff can report incidents quickly and conveniently, whether they are at their desks or out in the field.

Simplicity and intuitiveness

The app must be simple to use, with an intuitive interface that features clear labels and straightforward touchpoints. It should require minimal training for users to become proficient. An intuitive design reduces the barrier to entry, encouraging more users to engage with the app. Furthermore, the app should capture critical data efficiently, enabling the organisation to make informed decisions swiftly.

Defined processes based on roles

A successful incident reporting app must have clearly defined processes tailored to various roles within the organisation. These processes should delineate the responsibilities of each role in reporting, responding to, and resolving incidents. By providing role-specific guidelines, the app ensures that everyone knows exactly what to do when an incident occurs, reducing ambiguity and increasing the efficiency of the reporting process.

Engagement programme

To motivate users to actively report incidents, an engagement programme is essential. Features like leaderboards can gamify the reporting process, recognizing and rewarding the best reporters and responders. This competitive element can drive higher levels of participation and foster a culture of continuous improvement.

Reference: Working with one of the UK’s largest multinational home improvement retail companies, Zinc launch a new incident reporting app, which has seen a marked improvement in several key performance indicators:

  • Estate-wide Incident Reporting Rates:
    97% of the retail estate are reporting incidents (up 7% from the previous year), indicating higher engagement and vigilance among staff across a large complex estate.
  • Colleague Engagement & Safety Culture Index:
    68% increase in individual staff reporting incidents across the estate, who are actively using the app, demonstrating widespread adoption. These metrics underscore the app’s effectiveness and the importance of user engagement in creating a safer, more responsive organisational environment
  • Duty Manager Responsibility Rates:
    Improved by 12.5%, ensuring incidents are addressed more efficiently and highlighting the positive impact of the initiative.

Share Good News Stories

Celebrating successes by sharing good news stories is a powerful motivator. Highlighting incidents that were effectively managed and resolved thanks to the specific staff can inspire and encourage others to participate. This positive reinforcement not only boosts morale but also underscores the value in promoting safety and efficiency.

Measuring your impact

It’s crucial to measure the impact of the incident reporting system. Metrics such as the number of incidents reported, the response times, and the resolution rates can provide valuable insights into the app’s effectiveness. Regularly reviewing these metrics helps to identify areas for improvement and demonstrates the value of the system to the organisation.

Creating a safety culture

Ultimately, the goal is to create a pervasive safety culture across the business. When everyone is engaged in reporting and resolving incidents, it reinforces the importance of safety and risk management. Over time, this culture becomes ingrained, leading to a safer and more productive work environment.

“Engaging the entire workforce in incident reporting is pivotal to its success. By leveraging our new app, we’ve witnessed our customers significantly improving their security and safety metrics, reduced response times, and fostered a culture of accountability and vigilance. This collective effort of using our easy to use incident reporting and driving an engagement programme ensures a safer, more efficient workplace for everyone.”
Paul Coverdale, COO, Zinc Systems

The impact of engagement vs. non-engagement

Without engagement:

  • Incidents are underreported, leading to unaddressed risks.
  • The safety culture remains fragmented and ineffective.
  • Staff may feel unsafe and undervalued, leading to lower morale.
  • Regulatory compliance may be compromised, resulting in potential fines and legal issues.

With engagement:

  • Incidents are promptly reported and addressed, reducing risks.
  • A strong, unified safety culture is established.
  • Staff feel empowered and valued, leading to higher morale and productivity.
  • Regulatory compliance is maintained, avoiding fines and enhancing the organisation’s reputation.

In conclusion, engaging users when launching an incident reporting app is not just beneficial—it’s essential. By fostering an environment where every staff member feels responsible for safety, providing easy access to intuitive tools, and recognising contributions, organisations can significantly enhance their safety and operational efficiency. 

This commitment to engagement will pave the way for a robust, proactive safety culture that benefits everyone.

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