Conall

Employee Engagement

By Josh Williams, Ph.D. Strong safety rules, policies and procedures are integral to incident prevention. While the topic of “rules” isn’t scintillating, it’s extremely important to get it right with procedures. It’s also easy to mess up if you’re not careful. For example, one auto manufacturing facility over-reacted to an employee eye injury by mandating safety glasses in all areas of the plant even where glasses really weren’t needed. This is sometimes called the shotgun effect. Although most employees begrudgingly wore their safety glasses, several employees got creative and popped the lenses out of their safety glasses and simply wore the

READ MORE

By Josh Williams, Ph.D. Effective and interactive pre-job briefs are an essential way to start the day and keep people safe. Unfortunately, in some organizations, these meetings are simply a “check the box” activity that is repetitive and stale. Field leaders go through the motions and read items off a piece of paper, then quickly get back to work. In other companies, pre-job briefs are robust and interactive. Hourly employees often speak up during these sessions and sometimes lead the meetings. So why do pre-job briefs matter anyway? Throughout the course of any given day, there are a number of unforeseen circumstances that

READ MORE

By Eduardo Lan Many of the clients we work with at Propulo Consulting ask us what it takes to create a robust Safety Culture where people work safely out of choice rather than obligation. Three critical elements of this are an organizational willingness to learn, an engaged workforce, and the leadership that creates such an environment. Leaders set the cultural tone Leaders are critical to this equation because they set the cultural tone of the organization. As Edgar H. Schein, former MIT professor and organizational culture guru, says: “Leaders reinforce an organization’s culture by what they pay attention to and how they choose

READ MORE

By Eduardo Lan When it comes to assessing an organization’s safety culture, we often look at the organization’s leaders, the behaviors of workers and employees, and the rules, policies and procedures. These are all important pieces of the puzzle, but they do not paint a full picture. According to Michael D. Watkins (2013), “While there is universal agreement that (1) it [organizational culture] exists, and (2) that it plays a crucial role in shaping behavior in organizations, there is little consensus on what organizational culture actually is, never mind how it influences behavior and whether it is something leaders can change.” When working

READ MORE

By Madison Hanscom, PhD Most of us know what it feels like to grind for 8 hours at work and feel drained at the end of the day. Micro-breaks are a way to keep us feeling refreshed throughout the day and avoid feeling exhausted later. There are several types of work breaks that vary in length. There are vacations, weekends, the period of time between work shifts (the evening for most people), the lunch break, and then those little breaks we take during the workday, usually in between tasks. Those small, informal breaks during the workday are what researchers call “micro-breaks”. Depending

READ MORE

By Madison Hanscom, PhD As companies plan and administer major changes or interventions to improve occupational health and safety, a participatory approach can very well determine success or failure. When employees are involved in the process, their voices shape the program into something that is a better fit for the people and the culture. There is no reason a group of leaders far removed from the average worker should be creating change initiatives in isolation. This can lead to a program that is out of touch with what is needed by the people, and it can also hurt buy-in and momentum.

READ MORE