finger points to two for Part 2: great safety feedback

What does great safety feedback look like? (Part 2)

By Madison Hanscom, PhD

Leaders sometimes forget how fundamental it is to provide effective feedback. Fortunately, great feedback is pretty basic.

First and foremost — it is specific.

It targets someone’s safety behavior and not who they are as a person. For instance, if you tell someone they are too quiet and withdrawn, that is picking at their character (who they are as a person = hard to change) and not at their behavior (easier to change). Instead, you might let them know specifically what behavior they need to improve (“I would really appreciate it if you would speak up in pre-job brief meetings” ). This type of feedback is much less frustrating for the person on the receiving end because they are able to change something specific in order to improve.

Second, great feedback includes details.

Great feedback includes detailson how to develop (e.g., “If you could speak up in pre-job briefs each morning, even if it is just a brief comment that you understand the hazards, didn’t see anything unusual yesterday, and do not have anything else to add”). It will include coaching that is specific and actionable for what to do in the future.

Third, the timing is right.

Great feedback doesn’t come a week after an employee does something great or poorly — it is immediate. People are more likely to change their behavior in the future if they receive feedback in close proximity to what they did that needs to change or continue. Fourth, the pace is right. It is not wise to rely on performance appraisal meetings to give feedback. This should be a more frequent process that includes both informal and formal components.

For key actions for delivering stellar safety feedback, please see the first blog or the third blog in this series

At Propulo, we work with leaders to develop micro-habits associated with effective leadership behaviors. We can help your company make safety “who we are” instead of “something we do.” Partner with us to improve the world of work using the latest insights from research. Our team has the expertise to help your business build a safer and healthier culture.


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