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The actions we take today and our ability to be flexible enough to succeed will help to ensure that COVID-19 eventually becomes a historical footnote that those of us in the safety realm have helped our organization, employees and loved ones to overcome.
The end result of this kind of culture is, oddly enough, compliance. You have to actually create a space where a compliant culture can exist rather than just telling employees compliance is something they need to do. To create a culture of safety, we have to do what actually works — not just what we believe should work.
Sure, showing the world you are all about safety can help reduce the impact of lawsuits and make younger job seekers more interested. (Research shows that safety concerns are the top reason people under 30 years old don’t want industrial jobs.) But projecting your reputation for safety consciousness does not actually help enough to make the big difference you are looking for. Below are three things we know create a sustainable culture of safety, without the theatrics.
In the end, if you’re close by, easy to deal with and willing to make the sacrifices, you’ll be surrounded by those who are not likely to ever leave your side. In the business world, that means your employees are likely to stay with you and perform at the highest level. And in your personal life, it means that your kids will be high achievers who are going to live in your house until they’re 30!
According to Evolve Performance Group, 9 out of 10 engaged employees say that safety is a top priority every day while only two in 10 actively disengaged employees can say the same thing. Modern successful safety cultures are based in facts. People who feel valued, value safety and each other. The takeaway from these numbers cannot be overestimated.
The truth is without good relationships communication suffers; without engaged employees, awareness is lost; and, without generations supporting each other, information isn’t passed down. In the long-term, the culture doesn’t improve and may, in fact, deteriorate.
The only thing that makes your safety leadership look more ineffective than having your worst people screw up your safety record is having your best people do it.