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Safety Culture

By Dr. Madison Hanscom A company’s safety culture can be described by the collection of attitudes, beliefs, norms, and values surrounding safety and risks in an organization. It also indicates the extent to which the company values people above and beyond production. So, by definition, it is most certainly related. A company with a deeply embedded culture for safety will treat COVID-19 protections and conversations as important – just like any other component of safety like fall protection or chemical handling. Safety is safety. It’s hard to imagine a company with a mature, strong safety culture that is not responding well

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By Brie DeLisi “Leadership doesn’t walk the talk” is one of the most common complaints we hear from employees during assessments with organizations that have less mature safety cultures. Many leaders need to understand a couple of critical components of their culture if they want to improve safety: 1. Employees are always watching.2. Actions speak louder than words. We understand that you want your employees to be more accountable and be responsible for safety, but they are always playing ‘follow the leader,’ which is why the culture starts with you. If you truly want to improve safety culture within your organization, it is

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By Josh Williams, Ph.D. Effective safety leaders have self-motivation styles that help them accomplish organizational goals. Four self-motivation styles (Steers & Porter, 1991) are relevant for understanding the self-motivation of safety leaders. • Need for Affiliation (nAFF) - Leaders high in nAFF are motivated by group cohesion and healthy interpersonal relationships. They often attend to the emotional needs of others and have a strong desire to be liked by individuals in their group.• Need for Achievement (nACH) - People with a high nACH take responsibility for solving problems, are often competitive, and are extremely concerned with successfully completing their tasks.• Need to

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By Madison Hanscom, PhD Sometimes work isn’t motivating. Many individuals feel dispassionate toward their job — finding it monotonous, boring, frustrating, or exhausting. Common suggestions for individuals who are unhappy with their job are to “find happiness outside of work” or “go get a new job” … but are these recommendations realistic? We spend a large portion of our lives working, so shouldn’t we at least enjoy it? Almost 20 years ago, two researchers proposed there must be a better solution (1). Wrzesniewski and Dutton proposed that workers can take matters into their own hands by shaping the tasks, relationships, and their

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By Josh Williams, Ph.D. Creating and sustaining a “learning culture” is critical for optimal safety culture and performance. Unfortunately, this can be challenging with organizations that have a history of “old school” cultures. In other cases, new leaders may legitimately need to establish a baseline of accountability to clean up messes created by overly lenient past practices. Overly lenient cultures often result in “looking the other way” and increased risk-taking behavior. However, emphasizing only compliance and regulation leads to safety performance plateaus. Promoting an open “learning culture” and infusing more positive recognition is needed to advance safety culture beyond current levels and

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By Brie DeLisi One of the main concerns we hear from our clients is that they want their employees to be accountable when it comes to safety – to follow the safety requirements, to own their mistakes, to speak up in unsafe situations, to look for opportunities for improvement, etc. Accountability and safety ownership is, after all, a sign of very mature safety cultures. In these cultures, there are typically fewer injuries and increased levels of productivity. What does it take to get your culture to drive accountability? Systems The most important aspect to drive accountability is to ensure the systems are built to

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