Focus to Curb Safety Complacency

Posted by Kevin Burns on May 29, 2019 11:07:00 AM

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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Do This ONE Thing to Build Safety Teamwork

Posted by Kevin Burns on May 16, 2019 2:17:15 PM

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.

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Leadership Vision to Create Safety Buy-in

Posted by Kevin Burns on May 1, 2019 11:07:00 AM

Provide a clear and concise vision of where your crew is headed.

What's your vision for safety? And don't say "no one gets hurt." That's not a vision -  it is a hope strategy - fingers crossed that no one actually does get hurt.

Face it, if you're a supervisor, foreman, manager or executive, you're in a leadership role. You're in charge. That means the responsibility for the performance and safety of the team is yours.

As a leader, there is one thing you need to get right, and it will solve problems in so many other areas: you need to provide your people with a clear vision and direction. You need to tell them where you're headed. Every member of your team wants to know where the team is going.

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Check-in Safety Beats Check-box Safety

Posted by Kevin Burns on Apr 17, 2019 11:07:00 AM

You may cover the check-boxes but you need to ensure employees are going to give safety their attention and focus.

Is yours a check-box safety culture? Or a check-in safety culture? What’s the difference? A check-box safety culture is just what the name implies. You go through the checklists and check off the items that you have completed.

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Safety Conversations Beat Statements

Posted by Kevin Burns on Apr 3, 2019 11:18:21 AM

Have you fallen into the trap of making statements instead of asking questions?

Selling safety to crews can seem overwhelming. Getting your people to see and understand what you see and understand can be frustrating, especially when you don’t achieve the success you think you should have.

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What's Important to Employees in Safety

Posted by Kevin Burns on Feb 27, 2019 11:07:00 AM

You need to connect with employees in driving the things that are important to them.

You feel like you’re saying the right things in safety. Some days your safety performance is great. Other days, you wonder if your team was listening at all. And it frustrates you that just when you seem to be making steps forward, a dumb little incident shows up.

This is where you can change it up.

You need a safety message that resonates, at the right time, saying the right thing so that every employee is working toward common goals in safety. And the goals are not numbers. Stop pitching numbers to your people. Numbers don’t inspire better performance.

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How to Follow-up Your Safety Stand-down

Posted by Kevin Burns on Jan 16, 2019 11:07:00 AM

You need the right message, at the right time, to the right people so that every employee is working toward common goals in safety.

You’re planning a safety stand-down, safety event, safety day, whatever you want to call it. I’ll stick with stand-down. So, you’ve set aside your dates, got a budget from your senior managers and you’re busy making plans for what you are going to do for your stand-down. Now, before you plan any further, I want to pass along some advice that will make your stand-down be much more effective.

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The Tools of Safety Leaders

Posted by Kevin Burns on Jan 9, 2019 11:32:45 AM

You have got to set aside time each day for your own tools and skills development.

Let’s start by saying that I have dedicated plenty of space to identifying the “traits of safety leaders” in past Blog posts. And as important as the traits of safety leaders are, the tools they use to develop those traits is even more important.

Good safety leaders are respected. And safety leaders understand the simple premise that “staff don’t work for you, you work for them.” The point of leadership is to help other grow. So when we see inexperienced or even wrong-thinking supervisors flexing their authority muscles at employees, you wonder how long a disliked and disrespected supervisor or safety person is going to last?

Employees want to have a reason to respect the supervisor and the safety person. And, even though that supervisor might now have a lot of experience, employees will respect a supervisor who admits that they are working on it.

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6 Key Parts of Improving Safety Culture

Posted by Kevin Burns on Dec 12, 2018 11:07:00 AM

What employees want from the job can change your culture.

In my last post (When Employees Don't Give You Safety Performance), I presented an overview of what employees want from their supervisors and immediate managers. This time around, we are going to take a look at what employees want from their jobs. Because if they don’t get what they want from their job, why would you expect them to give their best effort, especially in safety?

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When Employees Don't Give You Safety Performance

Posted by Kevin Burns on Dec 5, 2018 11:07:00 AM

If they’re not giving you safety, it’s because you’re not giving them what they want.

To paraphrase a quote, the secret to getting what you want is to help enough other people get what they want. Zig Ziglar said that. He wasn’t wrong. Help enough other people get a win for themselves and they are more likely to help you get your win.

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