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Can reward and recognition programs create a more secure workplace?

Sales incentive programs and recognition strategies are often focused on bolstering productivity and performance, but they may have another benefit: a more secure workplace.

Sales incentive programs and recognition strategies are often focused on bolstering productivity and performance, but they may have another benefit: a more secure workplace. When workers are more invested in their jobs and connected to their colleagues, they're more likely to contribute – rather than detract from – a safe, secure work environment. And that includes both cybersecurity and physical security.

Cybersecurity requires everyone's vigilance 
In a recent article for CSO Online, Douglas Thomas, the director of counterintelligence operations and corporate investigations for Lockheed Martin Corporation, described how employee engagement is critical for data security measures to be effective. Many organizations put in place antivirus software, firewalls and secure file sharing programs to bolster their systems against corruption or hackers. However, these efforts can quickly come to naught, especially with the increasing popularity of bring-your-own-device polices and other situations in which workers use their own machines for professional purposes. It requires education and commitment to ensure that team members actually use secure collaboration programs, for example, rather than resorting to consumer-grade alternatives.

Reward and recognition programs help to foster employee engagement, which can lead to workers who more actively care about their companies' success and are more attentive to policies and procedures. Additionally, these solutions could be tailored around compliance goals and training regimens to further strengthen security.

Physical safety is a team sport, too 
Thomas also noted that physical security insider threats, such as suicidal or malicious activity, can be reduced by engaging the workforce. Employees who participate in peer recognition programs may feel a stronger sense of camaraderie and be more in tune with each other's attitudes and opinions. This, the source added, can help team members identify potential issues before they become disasters.

Supervisors could also tailor their employee reward and recognition programs around workplace safety goals, such as objectives for the number of days without an on-site accident.

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