Start thinking in ways of how you can transform your people … and, in turn, your safety culture.
Supervisors and safety people, you have a choice. You can choose to be only as good as you were last year; to allow yourself to be complacent in your learning and effectiveness. Or you can choose to supercharge your effectiveness this year. (Hint: complacency will take a whole lot less effort but won't be nearly as rewarding.)
You are looking for more effectiveness from your people this year in safety aren’t you? How are you going to accomplish that without investing in your own new skills and information? Front-line employees get better at the job when they get skills development. Same too for supervisors and safety people. They become more effective when they get new skills, ideas and strategies.
As I wrote in PeopleWork (page 194), “There’s no such thing as the status quo. You’re either moving forward or you’re falling behind. Everything is in a constant state of motion. In order to remain relevant and effective in our work, we all need to improve. We do this by learning to push our own boundaries.”
Supercharge Your Effectiveness
One key way to supercharge your effectiveness as a supervisor or safety person is to help employees to transform their skill set. Help them to improve their abilities and results. If you can be the catalyst that helps others to become more effective, you yourself become more effective. The person who is able to increase the effectiveness of others becomes very valuable to the organization.
So, how do you help others to improve themselves? It starts with your approach. Telling others how to be compliant with safety rules is one approach. But there is no guarantee that it will last. You may have to repeat yourself again tomorrow. You must be clear on what you expect your good people to do either differently, better or more effectively.
Start by asking yourself one question before engaging in any conversation: “What is the 'Transformation' that you want them to have?”
What is it exactly that you want someone else to do better or differently? In order for someone to become more effective, they are going to have to transform the results they are getting presently. So, you are going to give them input on more than rules and procedures. You are going to have to help employees to become better and more effective. You are going to have to figure out the exact transformation that you want them to have before you engage them in a conversation. You are going to have to figure out a way for them to transform themselves easily in a way that they agree with and can see the benefit in doing.
3 Ways To Do It
So here are three ways you can begin to help others have a transformation as the result of your coaching and mentoring:
1Get personal. Individual transformations won’t happen in group settings. So, stop thinking that you can simply show a few PowerPoint slides at a safety meeting and suddenly your people will all transform. Nope. It doesn’t happen that way. Each person learns differently. No two people need work on exactly the same thing. Use safety meetings to build on teamwork and motivation for safety. But, you will still need to engage employees one-on-one in the field. There is no way around this. Get out into the field and have the conversations and watch their performance begin to transform.
2Get their attention in a positive way. The number one reason that I am hired to speak at safety meetings is to help employees and management develop a new perspective on safety. It is important to help employees view safety as so much more than rules and procedures. That’s how you help improve your safety culture. Safety managers need to get the attention of their people in a positive way. They need to help establish a new perspective on safety. Once that new perspective has been set, they can then springboard with one-on-one field conversations and skills development.
3Peoplework over paperwork. There’s no doubt that the paperwork and forms are important for tracking safety performance. They're also important for helping people to focus on hazard assessments as they prepare for their next task. But people don’t engage in forms and paperwork. They engage with other people. A supervisor or safety person who can help employees to understand their value to the company will be more engaging than a form. Safety is about protecting our good people. Help make employees feel their importance. Help your people on their time. Do paperwork on your time.
Kevin Burns is a management consultant, international thought-leader in workplace safety, and a speaker based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Kevin has authored ten books on human performance and safety, including his most recent release, PeopleWork - The Human Touch in Workplace Safety.
©2017 ZeroSpeak Corporation and Kevin Burns.
No part of this post may be reproduced without the expressed consent of the author.