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Operational Performance

By Eric Michrowski and Emily Wood We often communicate to employees through trainings, weekly email updates and with posters plastering the walls, that safety must always be our number one priority. But, when our words and actions during times of high pressure emphasize production and on-time performance, the message surrounding safety is lost. It must be acknowledged that production pressure, much like the stress of completing work on time within an office, is inevitable within any industry and cannot be eliminated. However, achieving a balance between production pressure and safety by establishing standard procedures that build a resilient workforce and capture

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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

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By Josh Williams, Ph.D. There are no shortcuts to safety culture improvement. However, if there was a safety culture improvement ‘hack’ it would be getting and using more employee input for safety. One of the best ways of doing this is through safety suggestions from front-line employees. This should be done both formally (e.g., peer checks, safety committees) and informally (1-1 conversations). Many of the best and most practical safety ideas come from front-line employees. Also, getting more employee input leads to better decision-making and increased front-line discretionary effort for safety. For example, at one manufacturing facility in Southwest Virginia, the safety

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By Emily Wood With a hiatus from everyday life throughout the past year and a half, it has become evident that proficiency in skills across all aspects of one’s life, from driving to using computer software found only in the office, even our ability to socialize in-person, decreases when done less. This idea highlights people and organizations cannot pick right back up from where they left off in early 2020. Failing to understand the unintended consequence of skill erosion that emerged as people battened down the hatches for months across the world, will increase preventable accidents and incidents in one’s personal

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By Josh Williams Ph.D Background Organizational leaders are increasingly turning to Human Performance (HP) principles to improve safety culture and performance. Unlike the old “command and control” engineering approaches, HP emphasizes the importance of improving environmental contingencies to encourage safe work practices. In fact, HP philosophy holds that human error is inevitable and is a predictable outcome of human beings operating in flawed environments (Conklin, 2012). Basic HP tenants include (Williams & Roberts, 2018): Error-likely situations are predictable, manageable, and preventable. Most incidents are influenced by system factors like confusing procedures, excessive production pressure, faulty tools/equipment, insufficient personnel, and ineffective training.When SIFs occur, workers

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By KyoungHee Choi “What is the Flip side?” This is a great question, designed to get us thinking about things in a different way. Flip side leadership is looking at problems and solutions through a new lens by considering a different or opposite aspect, possibility, situation, or result. For leaders, it is a powerful catalyst for integrating creative thinking and new insights into your organization culture. Business leaders recognize the creativity gap in their organizations: While roughly 82% of companies connect creativity with strong business results, only 11% agree that their organizations implement creative thinking as a core element in their business

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