Last week a client said, “Our biggest safety challenge is our foremen. When it comes to safety, they’re just not that interested. We have to nag them to complete paperwork or submit safety meeting rosters. When they talk to their guys each morning, they barely mention safety. How can we get them to own safety?”
At Humanus Solutions, we use four questions to help leaders create a “roadmap” for changing attitudes and mindset about things like safety: (Pro-tip: answering these question will probably require going out to the field and talking to people!)
- What do our front-line leaders own? What are they focused on?
- How have we encouraged them to focus on these things? How do we send the message,”These are the things that matter around here“?
- What specific, visible actions do we want to see instead? What would have us say, “Wow. Something has changed. These foremen really own safety now”?
- How can we, as leaders, be seen doing these things? How can we make sure these are the first and last things we discuss whenever we talk to front-line leaders? How can we send the message, “This is what matters around here“?
Many of us feel ill-equipped to deal with “soft” issues like mindset or attitude. And yet we influence people each and every day! We are master culture-builders!
If you want to increase ownership of safety by front-line leaders, start by recognizing the ways you have created the current situation. Then, get specific: pick a few visible actions you want to see, and promote these behaviors in all you do our say.