The one thing that will connect continuous-cash-flow, long-term investments and legacy, is safety. Without safety, everything is at risk.
The safety department complains that it’s difficult to get workers to buy-in to safety. Employees resist buying-in to a program of checks, forms and paperwork. Especially the paperwork.
Safety meetings, rewards, recognition and paperwork are important. Indeed. Each plays a role in the safety culture-building plan. But to build a successful safety program requires a foundation of employee buy-in. Without it, you will be feeding the monster (spending large amounts of money) and never achieve the desired success.
To change that, go to Leadership 101; basic values-based conversations with employees. Coach employees to see that their own long-term goals and the company’s long-term goals are the same. The values are the same. Then, show them how safety is the tool that gets them from where they are (in the present) to where they want to be (in the future). Safety is the insurance to protect the future.
Here are three compelling conversations for supervisors and safety people to have with their crews one-on-one. The purpose of these conversations is to influence better buy-in to safety:
1First, talk about short-term Desire. The Desire list is the “want” list in the present-day. This is where you find short-term gratification; the stuff your people want. It could be a new car, new house, big-screen TV, man-cave, pro-sports season tickets, etc. Seeing something in a store and having the cash to pay for it immediately is gratifying. But it requires cash. The ability to pay for the kids’ university, wedding and maybe their first home requires cash. To take a long vacation or to buy a motor-home takes cash. Impulse buying and emergency spending in the present day takes cash. The ability to pay cash without the burden of debt requires continuous cash-flow. If there is no cash-flow you need to use credit - which piles up quickly. To quench desire without credit requires continuous-cash-flow. Without continuous-cash-flow, life is expensive and options limited. Taking unnecessary risks jeopardizes continuous-cash-flow. Doing risky things off-shift is even more consequential. There's no way to claim insurance or WCB. When you’re not working, cash-flow stops dead. Choosing safety assures that the cash-flow will continue - and life is good.
2Second, talk about long-term Security. This is different than being able to buy stuff in the moment. Security is the long-term investment and future part of living. This is where you set your family up and remove worries in the future. This is where you plan for retirement, and set up reserves for the long-term. This is also where you rest easy knowing that you will never burden your spouse and kids. They will never have to struggle to make ends meet because of a mistake you made. They will always have access to skills and tools and education. They will never have to downsize or live in fear of facing large loans. Choosing safety keeps you working so that you can plan for the future of your family. Safety connects directly to security. Knowing that you are set up to weather a major financial storm gives you peace of mind. Think about it, people forced to live with money and health pressures aren’t happy. Choose safety to reduce stress. Choose safety to provide long-term security for your family.
3Third, talk about how they will build their Legacy. This is your lasting memory; how you want to be remembered. Legacy is the contribution that you make to the world. In twenty years, do you want to be giving a leadership speech about how safety made you a success? Or do you want to be the person who delivers a “how I lost my limb - don’t do what I did” speech? Leader or accident-survivor? The legacy is yours. How your life turns out is the result of the choices you make each day. Selfless people, safety leaders, don't burden others with the results from their decisions. Courtesy is the cornerstone of lasting relationships. Courtesy exits when high-stress issues show up. When you’re not overwhelmed by stress, building a legacy is easy. The longer you are alive and healthy, the greater your legacy becomes.
Traditionally, safety is promoted and communicated as a compliance program of paperwork, rules and procedures. But safety really is the vehicle that connects you to your long-term goals. The one thing that will connect continuous-cash-flow, long-term investments and legacy, is safety. Without safety, everything is at risk. Without choosing safety, by default, you allow chance to dictate your life results.
Kevin Burns has authored ten books on human performance and safety, including his most recent release, PeopleWork - The Human Touch in Workplace Safety. Buy it now on Amazon. Then, consider bringing Kevin's consulting expertise to your company or have him speak at a safety event.
©2017 ZeroSpeak Corporation and Kevin Burns.
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