Leading your team to safety
Creating a safe working environment culture requires the commitment of the whole organisations and is driven by its leadership team. Leadership influences the workplace culture and is directly related to the organisation’s safety statistics. When we commence a project, one of the first things we assess is the leadership and it’s effectiveness in promoting a safety culture.
Three factors come into play:
- Understanding the leadership required to support risk controls
- Considering the leadership traits that the team requires i to feel empowered and supported
- Self awareness – many people think they are a great leader, but the reality may not reflect this
Wilson Consulting Group’s employs our Five Keys to Safety Leadership framework for our safety leadership initiatives.
The Five Keys are to:
1. Lead by example
2. Set clear expectations
3. Involve others in the development of approaches
4. Demonstrate care and commitment
5. Provide feedback
Our assessments often uncover:
- A failure by leaders to set clear expectations of safety behaviours
- Low engagement around safety initiatives because leaders have not involved team members in the development and refinement of approaches
- A lack of demonstrated care and commitment.
It is often small oversights by leaders that can dramatically impact their safety message. For example, if leaders do not use walkways or safety protection, why should the rest of the staff?
Self-awareness is extremely important. Part of our safety leadership process is to encourage leaders to perform self assessments on safety leadership behaviour using the Safety Leadership Index component of the Global Safety Index Benchmarking Tool.
This provides the opportunity for leaders to understand what their personal action plan should focus on in order to develop as a high-performing safety leader who leads by example.