As the workplace threat landscape continually evolves, effective communication is keys to fostering a resilient environment to keep teams safe. In order to cultivate a culture of well-being and resilience, it is important for organizations of all sizes to recognize and prioritize employee safety and security. 

One way to accomplish this is utilizing modern communication tools and strategies, such as Next Generation 911 (NG911) which aims to enhance emergency services by leveraging communication methods improving speed, accuracy, and efficiency of emergency responses. Many state and local governments across the U.S. have already or are planning to transition from analog 911 infrastructure to digital, IP-based NG911 systems for emergency call handling.

To maintain a resilient workforce, security leaders may consider embracing communication tools that integrate with emergency services. This would not only ensure faster response times, but also timely information provided to employees when it counts during an emergency. 

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) points out that as state offices work toward implementing NG911 networks, assessing progress can pose challenges. CISA previously released a self-assessment tool, as well as other resources, available to 911 authorities and emergency communication centers (ECC) and public safety answering points (PSAP) administrators and oversight personnel to help evaluate a system’s NG911 maturity state and understand the next steps necessary to continue deployment.   

Emergency communications play a critical role in keeping connected during a disaster, especially for first responders. During an emergency, wireless and wireline communications can become degraded or overwhelmed, however frontline workers still need to have timely and effective response.

To that end, each year CISA honors National Emergency Communications month and encourages emergency communications partners to enroll in free priority telecommunications services (PTS) such as Government Emergency Telecommunications Service (GETS) and Wireless Priority Service (WPS) to maintain communications during a crises. These services are critically important as they allow for communication with priority capability when networks are degraded or congested and allow for the exchange of information when needed most.

Employee Viewpoints on Safety

In order to build and maintain a resilient workforce and promote a culture of workplace safety, it is important for security leaders listen to the concerns and ideas of team members and employees. It is critical to understand things from their perspective. According to a recent survey, 49% of today’s workforce believes the world is more dangerous today than it was a few years ago, which is understandable with the seeming increase of severe weather incidents and other emergencies.

A recent study released by AlertMedia, reveals the importance employees place on workplace safety as well as what they think of their companies’ approach to ensuring it. According to the survey, employees feel more secure and engaged when they are informed about safety protocols and emergency procedures. The State of Employee Safety Report discovered that 71% of employees don’t think their employers are following through on safety promises, and 65% believe their employers are not making an active effort to improve safety training.

The report also showed that 84% of employees believe their organization has the means to help them feel more prepared for any emergency; however, the majority of employees surveyed (75%) say current safety efforts have not been very effective. 

An employer’s ability to demonstrate a genuine care about worker safety plays an integral part in worker retention with 46% of employees saying they take it into consideration it when assessing whether to stay with an organization long-term.

Building a supportive workforce requires a proactive approach to safety communication. By leveraging modern communication tools and strategies, security leaders can stay ahead of the curve to enhance employee safety communications and build a work environment that prioritizes the safety and security of its people.