Do Your Employees Have These 5 Safety Traits?

Posted by Kevin Burns on Dec 11, 2019 1:15:00 PM

There are five traits that if your people have them, safety will be the easiest thing they do. What are the five? Find out.

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Safety needs a script to follow

Posted by Kevin Burns on Nov 27, 2019 1:15:00 PM

Think about the last time your company expanded or the last time you had a big round of hiring. Think about the times you’ve spent in management meetings discussing new initiatives being rolled-out or a new direction being taken. None of that happens by accident. It is all part of a large vision and executing a plan.

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Safety keeps employees loyal

Posted by Kevin Burns on Nov 13, 2019 1:15:00 PM

Sending people home safe is the least you are allowed to do by law. You’re not allowed to do less than that. So, when you celebrate sending your people home safe, you are undermining your own safety program. You send the wrong message to your people. You are suggesting that you have to work hard to be safe. But, safety isn’t supposed to be hard. So when you celebrate sending people home safe, it feels to them like you had to work hard to accomplish that.

Your people show up to work expecting that you have taken every reasonable precaution to provide them a safe place to work. When you celebrate that you’re sending them home safe, you’re celebrating the basic minimum and it contradicts your people’s expectations.

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What is your intent for safety?

Posted by Kevin Burns on Nov 6, 2019 1:15:00 PM

You look for the members of your team to deliver their best performance each day. Or at least something near to their best performance. Despite their best intentions to do that, your people can be pulled off-task by something or someone new in their workspace. Or a sudden change in the workflow. Interruption is the quickest way to mess with the flow of someone’s excellent performance.

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Safety Is A Marketing Problem

Posted by Kevin Burns on Oct 2, 2019 1:07:00 PM

Safety is not a process problem. It's a marketing problem.

For fifty years, since the creation of the Occupational Health and Safety Act, we have been trying to get our people to embrace safety through mechanical means and clumsy attempts to scare them into safety (gruesome stories, gut-wrenching videos, fear and scolding). We’ve tried punitive rules enforcement, checkbox processes and procedures, and endless streams of paperwork. We create mind-numbing, PowerPoint-laden safety meetings and still get exasperated that we can’t seem to create employee buy-in. Had any of the above been the answer, surely something would have been successful by now. But these are all mechanical means and mechanical means don't create employee buy-in.

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Safety Handouts Are Useless

Posted by Kevin Burns on Aug 21, 2019 4:00:03 PM

Have you ever cleaned out an old box of papers only to discover some old seminar handouts? Maybe one of those cheesy fill-in-the-blanks workbooks or a stack of Powerpoint slide printouts? You can see your own handwritten words in the blanks, but you can’t recall the session nor much of the information. Funny how the meetings or seminars you attend where you take your own notes, you recall much more of the session.

Handouts are useless. Qualify that: bad handouts are useless. Especially the fill-in-the-blank handouts. It’s paint-by-numbers for adults. You fill in the blanks as the seminar leader tells you to. You close the handout workbook at the end. You file it in a drawer or a box. The next time you see it, you’ll be cleaning out your desk at retirement.

Now, as a point of note, I do actually use one handout - but only for my one-hour keynote presentations. And I've been doing it for twenty years. The ten points in the keynote are written on one side of a single large poster-style postcard. These handouts have value even if you have never attended the session. In fact, some of my old handouts still hang in offices years later. Want to see it? Get a copy of "You Are A Safety Leader" handout here.

Now, unless your handouts can be posted in a single document the size of a book cover and can be relevant for years, then you may need to re-think your handouts.

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Valued People Value Safety

Posted by Kevin Burns on Aug 8, 2019 1:07:00 PM

Have you ever noticed that no matter how many times you’ve felt that you’re out of gas, out of patience, out of energy, that when someone you care about needs your help, you suddenly have the energy?

Bob Dylan said it best. “Just when you feel you have nothing left to give; you find out you were wrong.”

After the toughest days or toughest circumstances, when someone who matters needs you, you find the strength to keep going. You give it one more try. You lend one more hand. You make a difference one more time. Because you always have something left to give especially when someone needs your help.

The people you care about matter. The important people in your life deserve your best and you never want to disappoint them. So, you keep going, even when it hurts., Even when you’re tired. Even when you just want to rest.

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Buy-in Doesn't Happen on Safety Rules

Posted by Kevin Burns on Jun 26, 2019 1:07:00 PM

When rules become more important.

I read an article recently that offered this bit of wisdom: have you ever noticed that the less money you earn in your job, the more rules there are to follow? It seems that the higher up you go in an organization and the more money you earn, the fewer rules that seem to apply. A CEO appears to have to fewer rules to follow than a front-line employee.

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Hearts and Minds in Safety

Posted by Kevin Burns on Jun 12, 2019 1:07:00 PM

When the information doesn't sink in

Do you ever find yourself wondering what more you have to say to get your crews to consistently do safety right? Well, the answer might be easier than you think. Say less.

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Focus to Curb Safety Complacency

Posted by Kevin Burns on May 29, 2019 1:07:00 PM

Focus on building an elite team to beat complacency.

Let’s talk about a surefire way to make you far more effective as a leader and to reduce the chance of complacency sneaking in. Focus down. When you focus down, you concern yourself with only your team’s needs. Focus down is not a derogatory term meant to imply your team are beneath you. Focus down means “head down” and focus on the people who need you. Leaders who focus down concern themselves with only their team and making sure their team gets the leader’s full attention.

Does it matter to your front-line crew that the long-time manager in Accounting doesn't seem terribly motivated for safety? Or that the new VP of Marketing doesn't seem to share your passion for safety? No, it doesn't. Because to concern yourself with the people outside of your purview, your areas of responsibility, means you are not focused on your team. You are allowing yourself to be distracted.

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