Integrate Incident Reporting Downwards

Incident reporting is an essential part of creating a workplace environment that is safe and supportive for your employees. Through incident reports, management can quickly address issues that lead to accidents, incidents, and injuries. They can also learn how to better manage the aftermath of incidents and introduce policies and procedures to deal with challenges.

Software is an excellent way to gather, track, and manage incident reports. But, how do you implement it effectively? And how do you get employee buy-in so that they actually use the system? We will answer these questions and more below, sharing how to get your workers invested in using your incident reporting software.

What Does Integrating Incident Reporting Downwards Mean?

So you’ve got the green light from senior management to procure new software for incident reporting. That’s great! But what next? 

Getting the approval to acquire the software may be a challenge, but now you face an even greater one: how to implement it. You may have chosen the best software on the market but if you can’t get employees to use it, it becomes worthless.

Integrating downward is all about getting your workers involved in the software integration process right from the beginning. Instead of a top-down approach, where you just implement the software and expect employees to adopt and use it right away, you instead bring them into the fold more intentionally. 

This includes enlightening them about the importance of incident reporting, the reasoning behind acquiring software, and how you think they can benefit from the system. It also involves showing employees how the system works and how it will support everyday tasks and improve their workflows.


Why Integrate Downwards?

The benefit of approaching integration in this way is that it keeps everybody in the organisation clued in. When your employees are not in the loop about system changes, functionalities, etc, they cannot use systems efficiently. This can affect productivity and the value of the software system in your company.

Having an employee-centric mentality towards incident reporting software also speaks to and supports the purpose of reporting. Incident reporting is all about bringing improvements in safety and functionality in the workplace for all employees. 

Your employees are the ones who experience the work environment “on the ground”. They know what issues lead to unsafe conditions so are better positioned to report incidents, safety observations and near misses. Without their buy-in, you will not gather sufficient reports or insights to make a difference in your workplace safety.

5 Top Tips For Effective Downward Integration

For effective downward integration, you need to show your employees the value of the new software and what purpose it serves. Here are our top five tips for getting your employees on board.

1. Speak To Your Employees

Your software should meet the needs of your employees. They will be the ones contributing reports and actively using the system. To make sure it has the features necessary to do this, you ought to speak to your employees before selecting a system. 

Conduct a survey or have an employee meeting dedicated to finding out the pros and cons of your current system. Find out what they think would be useful in a reporting system and why. Use these insights to guide you in choosing a system that suits your workforce.

Practical guide for setting up an incident reporting process

2. Consider Software Usability & Accessibility

Prioritise two features when picking a reporting system: usability and accessibility. How easy will the system be for your employees to use? Not all your workers are tech-savvy so you have to consider if they will be able to navigate it. If not, it can leave them frustrated and cause them to avoid filing reports at all. This goes against what you are trying to do with the integration.

Accessibility, on the other hand, speaks to how easy it is for employees to log in or get into the system so that they can file reports. If accessing the software is limited to management or is a tricky process, this can also deter workers from reporting. Employees must be able to access the system anywhere and anytime, from any digital device.


3. Prioritise Education About Incident Reporting

The software platform you choose is simply a tool facilitating reporting. What actually matters are the act of reporting and the reports themselves. If your employees don’t understand what incident reporting is, how to do it, and why it matters, they won’t see the point of the system at all.

Constantly educate your team about incident reporting. Teach them the different types of incidents. Highlight important factors for them to consider when filing a report. And share the benefits of reporting for them as individual workers, the workplace culture, and environmental safety.


4. Design Thoughtful Onboarding & Training

To ensure that your workers know how to use your software, you must have detailed and thoughtful training steps in place. Onboarding is key to the successful implementation of any organisational system. It is the employees’ initial experience of the system that can define how they feel about using it going forwards.

Ongoing training is also important. Giving workshops and other training forms from time to time can refresh employees on how to use the system but also remind them why it is there. You can also use regular training sessions to teach workers how to navigate updates in the system and address glitches and difficulties.


5. Be Open To Feedback

‘Nothing is perfect’ is a good motto to remember when it comes to software integration. You need to be patient and see the integration as an experiment. Constantly reflect and ask yourself what works and what doesn’t, and where you can improve the system. Also, give your employees platforms to share their concerns about the system. Feedback and reflection will help you develop the best incident reporting structures possible.

Another way to facilitate reflection is to track data and analytics that should be available through your software platform. These numbers will give you insights into how the system is performing, employee input, and more.


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Final thoughts

Incident reporting needs employee input, engagement, and buy-in. Without it, you will have limited reports that don’t give you a holistic sense of safety issues in your organisation. However, employees cannot give you these three things without understanding and knowledge. Downward integration ensures employees understand incident reporting and its importance and how to use your software. That way, they find it easier to contribute their perspective.


If you're looking for a platform to collect more data to have better integration of incident reporting, we've got you covered. Falcony is easy-to-use, boosts two-way communication, has customisable workflows, automated analytics, vast integration possibilities and more. Start your 30-day trial or contact us for more information.

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We are building the world's first operational involvement platform. Our mission is to make the process of finding, sharing, fixing and learning from issues and observations as easy as thinking about them and as rewarding as being remembered for them.‍

By doing this, we are making work more meaningful for all parties involved.

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