Josh Williams

Safe Production Leadership Competency Series: Drive Thinking and Speaking

Leadership competencies


By Kelly Hamilton, Madison Hanscom, & Josh Williams

A key responsibility of leaders is creating an environment where people can do their best work. To do this well, leaders must be able to drive thinking and speaking—in other words, to foster a climate in which people feel they can speak up without fear of negative consequences, known as psychological safety. Leaders drive thinking and speaking by creating an environment of psychological safety, getting employee input for safety solutions, encouraging system thinking, and reinforcing teamwork and collaboration. Leaders who effectively create this environment increase employee engagement and decrease the likelihood of serious injuries and fatalities.
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Safe Production Leadership Competency Series: Recognize and Foster Growth

Leadership competencies


By Kelly Hamilton, Madison Hanscom, & Josh Williams

A critical skill all leaders must develop is the ability to provide high-quality feedback to their team members so they can perform their jobs well and grow and advance in their careers. When leaders do this well, it can fuel employee motivation and commitment, as well as positive safety outcomes. Read More...

Safe Production Leadership Competency Series: Build and Live the Vision

Leadership competencies


By Kelly Hamilton, Madison Hanscom, & Josh Williams

One of the most important jobs of any leader is to build and live the vision for employees. Building and living the vision means painting a picture for employees of desired performance and living and managing organizational values in everyday interactions. Providing employees with a sense of the organization’s vision and mission should inspire them to align their goals with those of the organization. Research indicates that when leaders encourage employees to strive for something beyond their individual goals, this has a positive impact on safety climate, safety compliance, and safety participation. Read More...

Safe Production Leadership Competency Series: Walk the Talk

Leadership competencies


By Kelly Hamilton, Madison Hanscom, & Josh Williams

It is not uncommon for leaders – who are pulled in many directions at once – to take shortcuts when it comes to safety. This can be detrimental, however, to safety culture and employees’ safety behaviors. In fact, research has shown that when employees perceive their leaders are not acting in ways that align with the company’s stated safety values, it leads to a decrease in safety compliance, a decrease in prioritization of avoiding accidents, and an increase in injuries.

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Safe Production Leadership Competency Series: Active Caring Promotes Positive Safety Culture

Leadership competencies



By Kelly Hamilton, Madison Hanscom, & Josh Williams

A common complaint of employees is that leadership doesn’t dedicate enough time to listen to and respond to their needs. Over time, this can lead workers to believe their leaders don’t care about them or their concerns, which can erode safety culture. Active Caring is a core leadership competency because it demonstrates organizational support and fosters a sense of support and trust among employees, leading to positive outcomes for employees, the team, and the entire organization.

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Blog Series: Five Core Safe Production Leadership Competencies that Drive Safe Production Culture

Leadership competencies

By Kelly Hamilton, Madison Hanscom, & Josh Williams

In today’s increasingly complex workplace, organizational leaders must be equipped to effectively deal with the relentless demands of daily decisions, challenges, and opportunities that impact all aspects of business, including safety. It is increasingly important to make intelligent decisions for safety in order to advance safety culture and prevent serious injuries and fatalities at work. Read More...

Speak Up for Safety: Using the Power of Conformity

care-and-speaking-up-for safety


Josh Williams, Ph.D.

Employees can prevent serious injuries and fatalities by speaking up when they see coworkers operating at-risk. Unfortunately, social norms and pressure may prevent this. Many organizations have created culture that reflect the famous Hank Williams song refrain, “Mind your own business and you won’t be minding mine.” The power of conformity, not speaking up in this case, is powerful. An illustration from social psychology demonstrates this.
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The Power of the Mind: Using Cognitive Psychology to Prevent SIFs

human-brain-and-worker

Josh Williams, Ph.D.

According to OSHA, more than 14 people die on the job every day and most of these occur in high risk work environments.1 Specifically, 21% of all workplace fatalities in the U.S. occurred with construction workers, there were more than 1500 deaths in the oil and gas industry over the last decade, and recent studies show utilities are becoming the highest risk industry for SIFs.2-4 Something needs to be done to prevent these serious injuries and fatalities from occurring.


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The “Shocking” Power of Leadership

electricity



By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

In of the most famous psychological experiments in history, Stanley Milgram set up a situation in which participants believed they were providing electric shock to a perfect stranger (who was actually a paid actor) as part of a study on memory and learning. Participants were told to shock the person, who was in another room, when he or she gave incorrect answers to various word pair questions. In some cases, the actor made a point to say he had a heart condition. Read More...

Caring vs. Compliance: The Secret Sauce to Improve Safety Culture

safety-concept

By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

Organizational leaders make two common errors when trying to improve safety performance and culture. First, they overemphasize safety statistics to the point that employees believe the safety “numbers” trump genuine caring about their well-being. Second, they stress compliance with rules to the point that employees may feel like their job is to avoid breaking any rules so they don’t get fired. Clearly, rules compliance and safety statistics are important. However, leaders should spend more time showing genuine caring for employees. This is an investment in your people as well as your culture. Increasing active caring increases the probability of safe work practices and a corresponding reduction in serious injuries and fatalities.

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Beware of Incentives: When Good Intentions Go Wrong


Icy sidewalk

By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

For years, organizational leaders have used incentives to try and motivate safety. The rationale is that providing financial rewards for not getting hurt will get employees to “try harder” to stay safe. In reality, it simply encourages non-reporting which is why OSHA now frowns upon outcome-based incentives. It can also create other problems. Read More...

Promoting a Learning Culture with After Action Reviews (AAR)

After Action Review


By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

The manner in which incident analyses are handled in organizations has a significant impact on organizational culture. Empirical research demonstrates effective information sharing and incident analysis practices are significantly related to fewer incidents and injuries (Wachter & Yorio, 2014). In healthy organizations, AARs are viewed within the context of a learning environment to prevent similar incidents in the future. This includes looking at all system factors contributing to incidents. In less healthy cultures, AARs neglect to fully address these factors and may be perceived as blame oriented by employees. Read More...

Virginia Beach Shooting: Preventing Future Tragedies

beach close up of sand

By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

VIRGINIA BEACH — The resignation email arrived in the morning, and the gunfire started in the afternoon. DeWayne Craddock, an engineer who had worked for the City of Virginia Beach for 15 years, notified his superiors on Friday that he intended to quit. Then at around 4 p.m., he embarked on a rampage in Building No. 2 of the Virginia Beach Municipal Center, turning its offices and corridors into a battleground. When it was over, 12 people lay dead and Mr. Craddock was fatally wounded.(1)
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New Year’s Day, Valentine’s Day….“Safety Break for Oregon” Day

mining

By Josh Williams, Ph.D.

We’re all accustomed to annual days meant to celebrate important people in our lives. We have Valentine’s Day tomorrow which will soon be followed by Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and (don’t forget) Secretary’s Day. Another important day to celebrate is the “Safety Break for Oregon” day on May 8. This is an annual safety day established sixteen years ago by OSHA Oregon. Basically, it’s a safety stand-down for the entire state! Read More...

Close Call Reporting: Don’t Sweep Things Under the Rug


airport from above

By Brie DeLisi and Josh Williams



Does your organization promote a culture of reporting or a fear of punishment surrounding close call events? Recently an air traffic controller in Switzerland was actually convicted in Swiss court for reporting a near miss...
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Lessons Learned from Mining, Refining and the Cleveland Browns

workers at plant_Fotor (2)


By Josh Williams

With apologies to our friends in Ohio, the Cleveland Browns professional football team has been historically bad for decades. Their record over the last 10 years is 48-122 (31st out of 32 teams in winning percentage). It was recently announced they will be looking for a new head coach to change their culture and start winning more games. Surely change is needed to reverse their losing ways, right? Read More...