The new year is naturally a time for a business to reflect on our previous year/s and decide if there is anything you can aim for in the coming year that will improve your business efficiency, productivity and employee engagement.

While in this mindset, why not consider setting some WHS company, team or even individual goals to aim for?

Similar to your personal goals or resolutions, it’s essential for a business to consider the SMART acronym (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-Bound). Goals set using this formula, in consultation with the team, are more likely to succeed.


Identifying what goals to set

We would always recommend you review your current state, that is – looking at how your business operates right now, in relation to your Work Health and Safety processes. You could look at the business as a whole or break it down into departments or individuals. If WHS is light within the business, we’d recommend starting with broader, holistic business goals that will help tick off big ticket items… quickly.

If you identify gaps or issues, you can set your goals around those areas, with the aim of improving your safety systems. It will help to collaborate with a range of people within your business to brainstorm ideas and talk openly and honestly about what could be improved.

Other tools like exit interviews and surveys which may have been completed could also give you information about how improvements could be made and that your business could turn into goals. Goals that are developed with input from others will help to strengthen your team’s commitment to achieving these objectives.


Let’s put this into real-life examples​

One essential requirement is to have all new employees inducted into the business efficiently and with ease. This ensures people have immediate awareness of any WHS  hazards and how to avoid incidents, as well as get to know employees , key rules and policy requirements (e.g. no smoking onsite) and the location of facilities).

If your business isn’t exactly nailing the inductions just yet, a simple goal might be to say; “All new employees must receive a WHS induction on their first day”. 

In a SMART goal format, it might look like:

    • Specific:

All employees must have a WHS Induction on their first day.

    • Measurable:

You can check this is occurring by reviewing completed induction forms and feedback from new starters and their supervisors.

    • Achievable:

There should be someone (ideally their supervisor) to meet the employee on their arrival to site and complete an induction. If they are remote, you can still arrange a day 1 induction, just virtually.

    • Relevant:

Of course! Inducting new employees to work is a critical step in providing relevant safety information and training. This is a legal requirement.

    • Time-bound:

In this case, we can say that this process will start from X date (when the induction process is set up and the relevant managers trained).  


To achieve this goal, you would need to complete a few other actions first. It’s a good idea to document  required actions so your business understands what is required. An example of actions include: :

    1.   Develop an induction process in consultation with your team including assigning roles and responsibilities
    2.   Design an induction checklist to use
    3.   Train the supervisors on how to deliver the induction and complete the checklist
    4.   Write the induction requirement into a policy or procedure

Once those tasks are finished, you can set a date to start inducting new workers and update your goal (in the time-bound section) with that date.

After you have established the induction process you can measure the goal simply by evidencing completed induction forms, reviewing compliance monthly, and confirming at the end of the year if the goal was achieved. If not, see where things went wrong, seek feedback, and put things in place to improve that process.


Creating Enthusiasm

Once the goals are locked in, share them with your team. You may display the goals on a noticeboard, on a HRIS, or via email.

Goals that are transparent and discussed often will have a better chance of being achieved.

As with personal goal setting and motivation, consider “rewarding” the team (or relevant people) when milestones are met, and then when the overall goal is achieved.

Going back to our example, you may buy the team morning tea when the new induction processes and forms are set up. And if an audit is done after 12 months and every single new worker was inducted properly (i.e. goal ticked off!) – you may reward the team with lunch and an early clock-off.

WHS goals can also be added to employee’s annual KPIs which can help to drive commitment and action, with a potential reward should they be achieved. This is also a good way of making accountabilities clear.



Setting several uncomplicated goals that have meaning and improve health and safety at your organisation is a great way to kick off your new year.

As your business becomes more WHS savvy, you may begin to seek and set more complex and strategic WHS goals, always with continuous improvement in mind.

And as you can see, from blending goal setting with team consultation and interaction, you will also be building trust and collaboration. WHS goals demonstrate your commitment to your team’s safety and wellbeing.

Please contact  the Employment Innovations team for more information  about how we can assist your business in your annual WHS strategy and goal setting. 


About Employment Innovations

Employment Innovations is one of Australia’s leading providers of employment services designed to increase productivity and ensure compliance. Its services and solutions include all the tools that every Australian small to medium sized employer needs – including workplace advice, legal services, payroll solutions, migration, human resource management and HR software.



The information provided in these blog articles is general in nature and is not intended to substitute for professional advice. If you are unsure about how this information applies to your specific situation we recommend you contact Employment Innovations for advice.