Let’s start with a few questions:
- How do you move safety through your company?
- How do you get your employees involved and accountable so you can create a culture of safety?
- How do you get your employees to maintain a high level of personal awareness and still look out for each other?
The Answer? It’s all about your level of INFLUENCE. Influence + Trust + Value = SAFETY
Consider this definition of leadership: “Someone following someone because they want to and not because they have to.”
Last year, ACT’s management had the pleasure of having Garrison Wynn as the keynote speaker at a team meeting. Here’s a clip of one of Garrison’s presentations:
What we learned is that the #1 thing that all humans value is feeling valued.
People that feel valuable:
- make fewer mistakes,
- are more aware, and
- don’t make mistakes as often.
Now I want you to imagine a job where the 10-page safety inspection you prepared isn’t appreciated, your additional safety efforts go unnoticed and you feel you could be replaced in an instant. Not exactly a place you’d want to put in additional effort, is it? As a manager, this isn’t the type of environment you want to encourage – not if you want your employees to be engaged and safe, that is. One of your most important responsibilities is making your employees feel truly valued. You should let them know that without them, you would be worse off because of their expertise in specific areas of safety that bring value to the company. But how do you do that on a daily basis?
At ACT, one manager that exemplifies this ethic is Keith Munnerlyn. Check out his picture above! Several members of our team were able to celebrate Keith and his wife’s birthday last week in Portland (both their birthdays fall in April, and both work out of our Portland office). Here are a few things I have found that Keith does to make his employees feel valued:
- He is intentional with everyday conversations – he is specific and listens to people’s recommendations. Employees and managers alike are often ingrained with the idea that “everyone is replaceable.” But nothing makes an employee feel more valued than being made aware that they add something to the company that no one else can.
- He shows them that others need them too – by going out on a job to mentor his employees. Showing your team that they’re not only appreciated by you, but also by clients, co-workers and even executives can go a long way!
- He challenges them – if they do not agree with a program or policy, he will brainstorm with them to come up with a better, safer So assign your employees challenging tasks and put your trust in them!
Each one of us in a position to take these approaches and lay the foundations of a sustainable safety culture!
– Krista Wood Harsono, Director of Compliance