If you want to change the culture of safety within your company, start not with how you DO safety, start with how you celebrate safety.
We've all been to safety meetings that missed the mark—topics irrelevant, sessions too long, disorganization was the rule.
We’ve seen safety information forgotten as soon as the meeting was over. Your expectation is that people are coming to the safety meeting wanting to learn - but in reality, they are showing up because they are forced to be there - just like the OH&S Act forces you to conduct safety meetings. Your people show up braced-for-boredom.
Safety Meetings Run On Skinny Budgets
Safety meetings are not fun. They are not exciting. They are not lavish in their production nor the content. They are a legal requirement. Legal requirements are not allowed to be fun. After all, safety is serious. Companies treat them as something they are forced to do - giving them just enough budget to meet the legal requirement.
What could be opportunities to make the case for employees to buy-in to safety become nothing more than information-dumps. Safety meetings are not the business learning meetings that they could be even though safety is a serious part of any business and company. Safety performance has the ability to either bolster a company’s performance - or ruin it.
Take Over Annual Staff Day
Imagine an Annual Staff Day becoming the Annual Staff Safety Day. How would the inclusion of safety as the overarching theme change the culture of safety within your organization? Feel-good staff days should be replaced by feel-safe safety days where the focus is on safety, wellness, health and teamwork within a safe environment.
Safety is more than just compliance and wearing of PPE. So why haven’t you taken it upon yourself to ensure that your people actively celebrate all of safety instead of mindlessly being forced to comply with just a few parts of it?
The Location Of Your Meeting Speaks Volumes
If you want to change the culture of safety within your company, start not with how you DO safety but with how you CELEBRATE safety. Are you bringing staff to an off-site location with pleasant surroundings and a business focus (like a meetings or convention center) or are you forcing them to move aside the machinery and meet inside a dank, dirty shop? Are you going to elevate safety to the same level as leadership meetings, management meetings and business unit meetings? Is safety going to get the respect it deserves in mainstream conference centers or will it continue to huddle in the back shop area?
Safety Needs A Re-Brand
The annual safety day requires a re-brand. Stop calling them safety stand-downs. Stop using safety-related acronyms and jargon. Safety requires a new attitude. Safety deserves to be front and center in every department of every business unit of the organization. Relegating safety to the backroom ensures that safety will always struggle to win the hearts and minds of your employees.
This is a staff safety day, and as such, it should be treated like any other business meeting revolving around personal leadership skills, teambuilding or wellness days. Besides, you can’t successfully perform in safety without teamwork, leadership or wellness anyway. Stop making safety an arms-length program for guys who wear hard-hats and safety boots. Safety is more than that. Safety is a 24/7 lifestyle choice that all members of the staff must choose to buy-in to.
Shift The Safety Meetings Culture
Empowering people to choose safety for themselves is the surest way to change a culture of safety within an organization. Nothing empowers people to choose safety more than when safety goes mainstream - going big-time in a conference center instead of being forced to huddle in dank, dark shops. When the company treats safety with respect and makes an effort to raise the ideals, the employees’ hearts and minds follow.
Truthfully, staff are more willing to act safe when they feel safe - and when they feel that their safety is demonstrably valued by the company.
Having been in the meetings industry as both a vendor and a presenter for over fifteen years, I have seen safety meetings that work and safety meetings that flop. I want to help you build a safety meeting that works, engages employees and creates a desire for your people to actually enjoy themselves while learning about safety.
Helping employees to buy-in to safety for themselves is what I do. Delivering memorable safety keynote presentations at meetings is how I do it.