When you have buy-in will you even need safety speakers?

Safety buy-in happens when you engage your people, simplify the communications, figure out the prime objective, and get supervisors on board. When you have safety buy-in, do you think you will need safety speakers anymore?

Recently, I was working with a client when the safety manager jokingly introduced me as the guy who was trying to put him out of work.

Over the past year of coaching his team through the Safety Communications and Coaching for Supervisors Program, I have shared with him my personal mission: to rid the world of all safety speakers.

As funny as that may seem, it’s deadly serious.

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Look, in no other department is there a common practice that when performance drops, they hire an outside speaker to sling platitudes for an hour and hope performance improves.

When production drops, or when revenues or hiring slows down, you don’t pay an outside speaker to talk about it with front-line staff for an hour.

But safety does.

In fact, safety uses a lot of graphic images, gut-wrenching stories, and guilt to get their people to comply with safety rules.

We need to snuff out the oxygen of these ineffective scare tactics.

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Instead, let's arm companies with strategies to connect with their teams in a positive and meaningful way.

Let's make sure that supervisors have the skills and tools to communicate safety at a personal level. After all, supervisors have far more influence over employee engagement in safety than some stranger with a sad story to tell.

Let's help front-line teams become so tight together that they each know the other’s next move and can compensate for it before it happens.

Let's focus on helping safety departments create an internal movement around safety, something that causes employees to pay more attention to the work they do, the way they do it, and the people they do it with.

None of that happens by telling them sad stories for an hour.

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Buy-in happens when you engage your people, simplify the communications, figure out the prime objective, get the supervisors on board to lead the charge, and make sure employees get what they want and need from the job.

Because a satisfied employee delivers better production, more efficiently and safer.

So, yes, let’s rid the world of all safety speakers. Because when you have safety buy-in, you won’t need them anymore.

Remember, you don't need more rules and reminders in safety. You need more of your employees to buy-in. And that takes a very different approach.

Topics: safety leadership, safety culture, safety buy-in