PeopleWork Blog - Strategies To Build Personal Leadership In Safety

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The Biggest Roadblock to Safety Culture Improvement

Posted by Kevin Burns

Jun 21, 2017 9:30:00 AM

Lack of engagement is a problem in every corner of every organization. Safety has called this problem complacency.

Engagement is the biggest problem in the workplace today. The Gallup surveys tell us that 71% of employees are NOT actively engaged. You would think that a 71% level of disengagement would be cause for grave concern for companies. After all, poor safety performance and lost productivity creates a huge financial mess. Companies pay more and get less.

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Topics: safety speaker, safety leadership, kevin burns, safety culture, peoplework, safety complacency

Top 4 Character Traits Of Respected Safety Leaders

Posted by Kevin Burns

Jun 14, 2017 9:11:00 AM

If you want to become an effective and respected safety leader, work on these personality traits.

Back in 2009, when Google first launched their Project Oxygen employee survey, they were looking for a way to help their managers be better. They were also looking for ways that managers and supervisors could help engage employees better.

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Topics: safety leadership, kevin burns, safety culture, safety management, safety supervisor, peoplework

Improve Safety Motivation In 4 Easy Steps

Posted by Kevin Burns

Jun 7, 2017 9:30:00 AM

Improve an employee's motivation to do the work and you improve their motivation to do the work safely.

As a front-line safety person or supervisor, you have the greatest impact on employee motivation. The words you use, your facial expressions, and your demeanor all speak without words on how much you value the people you work with.

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Topics: safety speaker, safety leadership, kevin burns, safety culture, safety management, safety supervisor, safety motivation, peoplework

How To Build Safety Partnerships With Employees

Posted by Kevin Burns

May 31, 2017 9:00:00 AM

In order for a safety partnership to work, there has to be mutual benefit.

The television shows Shark Tank (USA) and Dragon’s Den (Canada, UK, Australia) feature a panel of investors looking for a great product or idea to get behind. The entrepreneur makes a pitch to the investors. If the pitch is successful, the venture gets backing. If the pitch misses, or if the investors deem that there is too little benefit to them, they won’t invest.

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Topics: safety speaker, safety leadership, kevin burns, safety culture, safety management, safety partnership, peoplework

A Team-Focused Approach to Safety Leadership

Posted by Kevin Burns

May 24, 2017 10:45:33 AM

Improve individual safety performance and you improve team safety numbers.

This is Part 4 of the Traits of Safety Leaders. To read the first three parts go to: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3.

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Topics: safety speaker, safety attitude, safety leadership, kevin burns, safety culture, safety management, workplace safety speaker, peoplework

6 Areas To Start Building A Better Safety Culture

Posted by Kevin Burns

May 17, 2017 8:30:00 AM

Safety improves when engagement improves. Engagement improves when supervisors and safety people make it a point to value the people that they work with.

An untrained or under-skilled supervisor or safety person tends to get the basics done. Nothing more. Get production. Stay within the safety rules. Everybody goes home safe (fingers crossed). Job done. Except, the job is not done. In fact, it could be argued that job is systematically being undone. If you’re focused on just getting it done, you may be missing the biggest part of the safety picture.

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Topics: safety leadership, kevin burns, safety culture, safety supervisor, safety engagement, peoplework

Rules Tolerance May Be Worse Than Safety Complacency

Posted by Kevin Burns

May 10, 2017 9:00:00 AM

Helping employees overcome their tolerance to safety rules paves the way for them to see their own win for buying-in to safety.

You may live in a neighborhood or community that has a few annoyance problems. Loud muffler vehicles, noisy and nosy neighbors, people who don’t clean up after their dogs all annoy you. But what are you going to do? Yeah, sure, you wish that people were more respectful and courteous. Heck, you even complain to your other neighbors about the carryings-on of the disturbers. But, you don’t have the time or the motivation to take on something that will take effort so you tolerate it. Even though you’re not alone in your annoyance, it’s too big a fight. What’re you gonna do?

Now what happens at work when similar issues arise? You’re forced to fill out paperwork safety forms that you swear no one looks at. You’re forced to sit through the same deck of boring PowerPoint slides at safety meetings. You have to endure that one supervisor who has a chip on his shoulder and a badge of authority is his hand. Heck, you even complain to your co-workers about the things you’re forced to endure. But, you don’t have the time or the motivation to take on something that will take effort so you tolerate it. Even though you’re not alone in your annoyance, it’s too big a fight. But, what’re you gonna do?

That is not complacency. That is tolerance. And tolerance should become a serious consideration for supervisors and safety people.

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Topics: safety speaker, safety leadership, kevin burns, safety buy-in, peoplework, complacency, safety tolerance

The Effects of Optimism, Respect and Happiness on Safety Leadership

Posted by Kevin Burns

May 3, 2017 7:00:00 AM

Technical skills might promote you to a supervisor, safety or management position. But, it is your soft-skills that will keep you there.

Let's explore more of the Traits of Safety Leadership as we did in Part 1 (Traits 1-3) and Part 2 (Traits 4-6). This is Part 3 (Traits 7-9).

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Topics: safety speaker, safety leadership, kevin burns, safety culture, safety management, safety supervisor, positive safety,, peoplework

Traits of Safety Leadership - Part 02

Posted by Kevin Burns

Apr 26, 2017 10:30:00 AM

Safety leadership has little to do with position or title.


Safety leadership has little to do with position or title. One needs not be in a management or in a supervisory position to be a leader. In fact, some of the best leaders are ordinary employees. They just happen tzo possess certain traits that cause others to ask their advice or input. They tend to stand a little taller than some of their fellow employees. And it’s not because they are more experienced or have greater tenure. Mostly, leadership is about the person you are and the way you carry yourself.

In this series of safety leadership posts, we are exploring personal traits. Leadership goes beyond experience and technical expertise. To become a leader requires more than years on the job or seniority in a company. Leadership is a lifelong commitment to self-improvement. Leadership is about being outward-focused; concerned about the well-being of others.

As was outlined in the first post, this is not the definitive and exhaustive list of leadership traits. There will be many. And with each post, I will offer up three traits so that you will hopefully take the time to do an honest self-assessment on each of the traits. So with that being said, let’s explore the next three traits of safety leadership:

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Topics: safety speaker, safety leadership, kevin burns, safety culture, safety manager, safety supervisor, peoplework

Traits of Safety Leadership - Part 1

Posted by Kevin Burns

Apr 12, 2017 8:31:28 PM

Do you have the traits of a safety leader? Use this post as a self-assessment tool.

Over the past couple of years, I have written much about safety leadership but not in the sense of a management or supervisory position. The safety leadership that I subscribe to is a personal one.

Leadership requires no title or position. In fact, some of the best workplace leaders are just ordinary employees who happen to possess certain traits that causes others to look up to them and to seek their advice. They are the people who tend to make the first move and ask the first questions. They do not let their ego or uncertainty stand in the way of doing the job right. They ask the questions to be certain of what is expected of them and they ensure they have right information to make good decisions, especially where their own safety is concerned.

Leaders are not managers necessarily although some management people may possess great leadership skills. Other managers, supervisors or safety people may be void of the traits of leadership but still have the authority of their positions. Having authority, a title or a position does not make you a leader. It makes you a manager. Not the same.

There is a vast difference between people seeking out your opinion based on your authority and those who might seek your counsel because of your ability to be focused on helping others to achieve better.

Do you have the traits of a safety leader? Why not use this series of posts on safety leadership as a self-assessment tool to determine how well you score? We feature just a few traits each post to allow you to determine how well you're doing. This post is not the definitive and exhaustive list of traits of safety leaders. There are many more than those listed here. Here are the first three traits of safety leaders:

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Topics: safety speaker, safety leadership, kevin burns, safety culture, positive safety,, peoplework

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