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Leadership Competencies

By Josh Williams, Ph.D. and Madison Hanscom, Ph.D. Leaders are looking for direction to manage employees during COVID re-entry. Leaders need to juggle business realities, employees’ physical safety, and emerging mental health struggles that people are facing. Our leadership competency model is a useful framework to guide leadership behaviors as we begin getting back to work.  Five leadership competenciesSafety leadership competencies represent the knowledge, skills, and abilities that contribute to increased discretionary effort and improved organizational safety culture. Anchored in years of research and experience, our team has identified five core competencies to optimize safety culture: Actively Care, Walk the Talk, Build/Live the Vision, Recognize Often/Foster

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By Madison Hanscom It is the responsibility of leaders to demonstrate how to act during times of uncertainty. At its core, walking the talk involves leaders acting in ways that align with their stated values and the stated values of the company. When a leader practices what they preach, this builds trust among followers, which is the belief that leaders will act in their best interest. This in turn helps create improved safety culture, morale, and safety outcomes. Although employees always look to leaders as role models, this is particularly important during times of crisis. During difficult moments like the one

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By Madison Hanscom, Ph.D. Great leaders do not act like they are the smartest person in the room. They know the value of a team effort, and they value insight from everyone. Regardless of where employees fall in the hierarchy, it is important to get everyone thinking and speaking. This is particularly important during a time of uncertainty or crisis, when workplaces are constantly adapting to the changing environment. People will remember how leaders respond during a time of turbulence, and this includes whether employees feel safe to speak up without negative consequences. This is required if the goal is to

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By Madison Hanscom, Ph.D.It is the responsibility of leaders to demonstrate how to act during times of uncertainty. At its core, walking the talk involves leaders acting in ways that align with their stated values and the stated values of the company. When a leader practices what they preach, this builds trust among followers, which is the belief that leaders will act in their best interest. This in turn helps create improved safety culture, morale, and safety outcomes. Although employees always look to leaders as role models, this is particularly important during times of crisis. During difficult moments like the

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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.  Leaders who effectively “walk the talk” demonstrate to employees that their safety is the

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By Madison Hanscom, Ph.D. When faced with a crisis, it is up to leaders to lay out and live the vision for employees. Where you place emphasis will demonstrate what the company values during a time of uncertainty. Building and living the vision means painting a picture for employees of desired performance and including organizational values in everyday interactions. Think about what you want employees to come away with during a time of hardship and what you want this message to be: Struggle or resiliency? Panic or preparedness? Leaders play a central role in rallying employees around a common purpose or

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