The objective of improving workplace safety program and training to develop improved leadership skills will be reached by developing changes in behavior at all levels of the organisation from the management team to the people incurring accidents in the workplace. Typically, this will take place gradually through training and coaching.
The programme of change will be tailored specifically to the prevailing culture of the organisation and will reflect the individual differences of each site.
Firstly, a comprehensive examination of existing health and safety practices. The objective of the examination is to discover the culture of the organisation at all levels. It also serves to build relationships with the key people. This gives a good indication of workplace values and standards. Each work group responds differently to the signals sent by the management of the organisation. Measurement of existing behavior through a safety observation process will provide valuable information.
Safety Program and Organisation Culture
Considering the prevailing culture with all its variations, a programme is designed to meet the needs of that culture and to gradually introduce changes in behavior. The changes in behavior, will, over a period of time, lead to other changes in the workplace.
Once the programme is designed, there begins a series of two day structured workshops attended by all managers, supervisors, and front line leaders. The workshops deal with principles of Safety and Leadership and are experiential in nature. Soon after the workshops, the leaders, coach the participants “on-the-job.” This helps the group member to put the principles into action at work. It bridges that difficult gap between theory and practice. At this stage there will be measurement of changes in behavior.
Creating behavioral change is a careful, thoughtful and relatively gentle process. We have found that attempts to force behavioral change quickly leads to resentment with all the attendant disadvantages. The process of change is evolutionary rather than revolutionary.
When the managers, supervisors and front line leaders have attended the training program there will be a call for volunteers to train as trainers. The objective is that the organisation is self-sufficient in training design and delivery at the end of an agreed time. Again, at this time there will be further measurement in changes in behavior.
The benefits of such a program have been extraordinary, disputes have diminished, communication has increased, optimism has risen, productivity has improved, accidents in the work place have reduced dramatically. This program has also had the effect of improving leadership skills, enabled workplace changes to be installed more easily and improved general motivation.
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