Lower safety numbers or improve safety culture?

Lower safety numbers or improve safety culture?


You know that you want to improve your safety culture, you just may not be going about it the right way. So, let’s give you a tip
on where to start to improve safety culture the more effective way. Welcome to safety hearts and minds, online courses and videos to help you energize safety, build teamwork and get employee buy-in. When I am consulting with senior managers or presenting to supervisors, I ask this question: are you trying to lower numbers or improve safety culture? Both is usually the answer. And you may know that when you improve culture, you get better performance in the numbers. But here’s the problem: you’re not actively working to improve the culture.
You see numbers are measurable. And what gets measured gets managed. It’s harder to measure safety culture. But, here’s a simple tip to help you get
clear on whether you’re working on numbers or culture. Ask yourself where your energy
is going. Is what you are doing right now helping to improve culture or focus on the
numbers? Anything to do with processes and procedures is about improving performance numbers, not culture. Slips, trips and falls, ladder safety,
PPE, handwashing, those things are not culture items. They are performance items. Items that
impact numbers. Culture is about motivation, teamwork, getting buy-in to safety, leadership, caring, trust and respect. All of the soft skills. And if
you’re not doing any of those, you’re not actively moving towards improving your safety culture. You’re focused on getting people to follow rules and procedures. That’s numbers. If you want to shift the culture, you don’t
do it by showing charts and graphs in your safety meetings. Or by reviewing rules and procedures they already know. If you’re not actively engaging your people
to create a movement of safety in your workplace or in your crew, if you’re not openly showing them that you value your people and that they matter, you’re not going to shift the safety
culture. So, here’s what you need to do today. Make a list of things that you would like to see your people doing that they’re not doing
enough of now. Maybe complimenting each other for excellent work. Or asking some of them
to step up and be leaders, to speak up, to encourage the other team members.
What do you want them to do? Get that picture vivid in your mind. Write it down. If it’s
not clear in your mind, you can’t clearly communicate it. So, get clear. Now, if that’s been helpful and you want to get more, subscribe to my weekly blog and my YouTube channel. And, coming in early 2020, watch for the launch of KevBurns Learning, online courses designed to help you energize safety, build teamwork and get employee buy-in.

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