Do This ONE Thing to Build Safety Teamwork

To perform at the highest levels of safety starts with a shift in mindset.

How well does your crew work as a team? Let’s think about the context of that question in relation to safety. There isn’t a safety person or supervisor that doesn’t believe deep down that their crew could be working a little better as a team in safety. The key here, is in your willingness to do something about it.

If you want your crew to be more effective in how they come together and look out for each other, then there is one thing you, as their leader, need to get them to do.

It might be only one thing, but it’s not a small thing, or an easy thing. In fact, it might be the toughest work you get them to do. But get every member of your team to do this one thing, and you will build:

  • the strongest team in your company,
  • a team that looks for each other, and,
  • a fundamental mindset shift in safety.

That one thing is this: every member of the team must focus on helping the rest of the team to win.

Every employee has to be focused on making the team more important than the individual. Get your people focused on helping each other to perform better, do better work, build better quality and look after each other better, and they will become the team that everyone else wants to be a part of.

Build a championship team.

Championship teams don’t accidentally win a championship. A championship is a team win. No one player wins a championship. It takes every member of the team to be focused on supporting their fellow team members to win.

That means that the coach (you) has to create the culture where it is, not only the standard, but the expectation for each member of the team to want to help their fellow teammates win. As the coach, the leader, the supervisor, you have to make it your personal mission to wake up every single day wanting only the very best for each member of your crew.

Make their success your priority.

And as the leader, lead. Show them the example of how to support each other and then let them do it for each other. When there is strong team support, there is no blame, no complaining, no throwing other members of the team under the bus. No one gets down when things don’t go as planned. Championship teams dig in and find a way to win.

To perform at the highest levels of safety starts with a shift in mindset. The most important thing in your day is not levels of production, or numbers, or trying to make sure you look good in the eyes of your bosses. The most important thing is your team.

Put their success ahead of your own.

PeopleWork buy now on Amazon Then, give your team the permission to do the same for their fellow teammates. That’s a championship mindset in safety – when the good of the team is put ahead of any one member of the team.

Get yourself and your team to do this one thing, and you won’t have to worry about them looking out for each other. That will become their mission.


Kevin Burns is a management consultant, internal safety communications strategist and author. His book, PeopleWork: The Human Touch in Workplace Safety, is changing how companies do safety.

Energize your company safety culture. Get employee buy-in. Build your own championship team. Start with a conversation with Kevin 

Topics: safety leadership, safety communications, safety complacency