Training Top 125 Best Practice: AAA Northeast’s Personal Safety Program
AAA Northeast believes its safety program should apply both inside and outside of the workplace as a reflection of the roadside service membership organization’s values and commitment to help and serve as a way of life. This is one of the primary reasons AAA Northeast created a Personal Safety Program for all employees during the first half of 2017.
The project scope was to train all employees on how to prevent and/or react to incidents related to parking lots, active intruders, and road rage—three scenarios that could put their personal safety at risk. These situations were selected because they apply to all AAA Northeast employees, regardless of demographic, job title, or work environment. In addition to aligning with the organization’s values, this training was developed in response to the rise in active intruder incidents, which have increased in the United States every year since 2014.
AAA Northeast’s senior vice president of Human Resources contributed to the design and content of the training, and senior leadership made the execution of this training part of the organizational goals in 2017. This required 3,300 employees to complete the training either online or through classroom facilitation, a total of 1,975 dedicated hours. As part of the ongoing learning continuum, AAA Northeast requires all new hires to complete an online version as part of their onboarding process. Additionally, reminders summarizing key aspects of the training are sent three times a year. Through these reminders and management reinforcement, employees stay informed of the topics incorporated into the training.
Not only was the training content a unique combination of topics, but it required efforts expanding beyond the classroom, as well. As part of the Personal Safety Program, AAA Northeast installed turnstiles at the entry locations of its headquarters facility, preventing unauthorized individuals from gaining access to the building. This was done largely in response to employee feedback solicited during training sessions, as well as an internal security analysis of the organization’s facilities. Through this combined approach, the percentage of people who use a secure means to enter the building increased from 67 percent to 100 percent.
Personal Safety training has changed AAA Northeast’s organizational culture, employee behavior, and key safety metrics. Since completing this training, front-line employees and management staff have become safer and more vigilant. In addition, incident reporting accuracy and response efficiency improved by nearly 50 percent. When comparing incident data from 2016 (six months prior to training implementation) to the first six months of 2018, there has been a 15 percent and 10 percent reduction in injury and motor vehicle crash frequencies, respectively. This can be largely attributed to the risk avoidance and response techniques employees are trained on and empowered with as part of the Personal Safety program.
Finally, as a member-centric organization, one of AAA Northeast’s corporate goals is to increase member satisfaction scores on a continual basis. Since rolling out this training, employee performance has led to scores measuring from 87.8 percent to 88.7 percent, exceeding the goal of 87.5 percent.