Reinvigorating Your BBS Program Part 2: Maintenance
By Josh Williams, Ph.D.
In Part 1 of this blog, active steps were addressed to reinvigorate your behavioral safety program with BBS 2.0. This included transitioning from lengthy (often pencil whipped) checklists and quotas to a more robust program focused on:
- Conversations over cards
- People over paper
- Quality over quantity
- High leadership and employee engagement
- Fixing problems
- Advertising improvements
- Showing appreciation for involvement
Setting up BBS 2.0 involves shortening and redesigning your card to promote better safety conversations and to address identified problems, involving employees in process design to increase discretionary effort, simplifying how cards are managed and analyzed (more focus on SIF potential), and creating or rebooting a steering team to effectively manage the process. It also entails increasing leadership accountability with the process, creating more robust means to advertise improvements from observations, and providing interesting and engaging training with a focus on good conversations and system improvements to ensure everyone goes home safely to their families.
But setting up your program is only step one. Like your personal vehicle, ongoing maintenance is required for long-term sustainment. Consider this scenario:
Your car has been making strange sounds and it doesn’t start right away on cold days. The transmission is choppy when downshifting, the air conditioner and radio quit working months ago, and it feels like your alignment is off at high speeds. Also, the crack in your side view mirror has gotten worse and the air pressure in one of your back tires is noticeably low. You can’t remember the last time you got an oil change.
Would you allow this to happen with your car? Most people would take immediate action. And yet, leaders often ride their broken-down BBS programs without getting proper care and treatment. More importantly, most drivers take their vehicles in regularly for oil changes, 5K mile check-ups, and ongoing maintenance so their cars don’t get in the sorry shape described above in the first place.
The same ongoing maintenance is needed with BBS 2.0. Senior leaders need to check in regularly with field leaders and employees to see how the process is progressing, including successes and challenges. Leaders also need to hold themselves accountable for staying engaged in the process, setting expectations for the field, and maintaining high visibility with BBS 2.0.
Following BBS 2.0 redesign and training, we work with leaders to:
- Establish a cadence of field visits to use BBS 2.0 as a coaching tool
- Conduct yearly check-ups with the steering team to assess progress, successes, challenges, and next steps
- Establish monthly or quarterly check-ins to ensure the process stays on track
- Conduct periodic interviews, focus groups, and one-on-one discussions with employees about process effectiveness
- Deploy 18-month pulse check surveys to analyze progress
- Create ongoing executive coaching to ensure the program is effectively used as a broader driver of organizational change
Treat your behavioral safety program like your vehicle with continuous care, check-ups, and ongoing maintenance. This way your program will run smoothly at 100,000 miles instead of breaking down on the side of the road in a cloud of smoke.
At Propulo, we work with leaders to establish long-term BBS 2.0 programs to drive organizational improvement and prevent SIFs.
Read more from this blog series: REINVIGORATING YOUR BBS PROGRAM PART 1: SETTING THE TABLE