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Culture Change

By Madison Hanscom, PhD Organizations must continually change and adapt in order to sustain improvement in this dynamic world. Without change, companies risk falling behind and losing the competitive edge. Researchers are developing a picture of what leads to successful change and what factors contribute to failure, because unsuccessful change can be disruptive and expensive. For example, it is known that having a proper diagnosis before the change, forming a clear vision, mobilizing energy, removing barriers, developing knowledge and skills for the change, setting goals, and implementing feedback are all crucial components of successful transformation. Another critical component is supportive leadership. What

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By Madison Hanscom, PhD Employees are engaged when they feel energized, dedicated to their job, and absorbed in their work (1). Engaged employees give companies a competitive advantage because they are willing to go the extra mile. Engagement researchers have found that employee engagement is associated with less burnout and absenteeism, higher job satisfaction, less turnover, stronger organizational commitment, better job performance, and an improved service climate (2). In addition to the organizational benefits, engaged employees experience health benefits such as lower levels of anxiety and depression, higher levels of perceived physical health, and quicker recovery time from work (3). Clearly, it

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By Madison Hanscom, PhD An engaged workforce has strong, positive effects on safety. Engaged employees are more willing to go the extra mile and take pride in their work, so it should be a goal for leaders to create an environment for engagement in order to promote a safer workplace. Consider the following when developing your plan to promote employee engagement in a safety context: Help employees see the value in their work. When you help employees to see how their work connects to the bigger picture, this creates meaning. It is important to show workers how their role and safety connect to

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By Madison Hanscom, PhD Employees want an active voice in your company, and leadership should be interested in what they have to say. The people are the culture, and it is in the best interest of leadership to know their perspective. Because it is often difficult to touch base with every employee, organizational surveys are a great way to listen more efficiently. Pulse surveys are brief, targeted feedback assessments that are administered frequently (e.g., quarterly, monthly) to gauge a variety of constructs like employee engagement, perceptions of change, or satisfaction with an initiative. To allow for speed and simplicity, pulse surveys usually

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By Josh Williams, Ph.D. Leaders need to get more input from employees before making decisions that impact safety. Also, leaders need to share the “why” behind safety efforts instead of simply implementing top-down mandates. When new rules are communicated, people may have legitimate concerns and questions about why the new policy is needed. Taking time to address the underlying reasons for the change increases the probability employees will follow these procedures even when no one’s looking. Many employees lament that some identified concerns aren’t dealt with quickly or are swept under the rug. This creates safety problems and bolsters perceptions that “they don’t

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By KyoungHee Choi While culture is widely recognized as an important lever to grow brands, increase productivity, improve revenue while improving safety and customer experience outcomes, many organizations still find to drive and manage something that feels intangible. In challenging times, it may seem hard to invest time and resources into something that can’t easily be measured, like “company culture”. Especially when the very survival of your company itself is at stake. However, culture is far more than an abstraction. It is critical to bringing your values to life and to driving business success. In challenging times it’s even more important

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