Safety Change Management
By Susen Trail | 10/07/2021
Whether it is top down, bottom up, or heavily dependent on middle management or Supervisors, change is hard. People, in general, would rather remain miserable than risk change and its unknown future state. The warning signs of a failing safety culture are often missed until something really overt, obvious, happens such as a near miss or an accident.
One of the reasons for this is that the current safety metrics rely heavily on lagging indicators, such as a near miss or an accident. If you have been reading previous blogs this information is not new, nor are the list of leading indicator metrics that Simple Safety Coach tracks. So, we won’t go over plowed ground.
When a company finds it is losing customers to a different type of product, something that is easier to use or has more bells and whistles, unless they change their product to equal or exceed that other product the company is soon hemorrhaging money.
The same is true with safety. You can't set it and forget it. Previously, I've worked with client's for months and got all their safety programs and training on track and up to date. During the closing conference I would warn them that their workplace was not static, it moved and changed daily, sometimes hourly. If the safety programs and training does not equal or exceed the changes employees could soon hemorrhage, literally.
This was not welcome news. Fortunately, even then, I coached them to build in procedures that helped them not only recognize changes but to anticipate them.
So, back to resistance to change. As I mentioned, one of the biggest reasons we fight change is because we know what we are doing now, but we don't know what we will be required to do during and after the change. We fear the unknown.
That is why SSC has many coaching features that not only create transparency so that everyone in the company can see the current status, actions being taken for a safer future status, and graphs of metrics to show the positive progress being made.
You can put up a sign that exhorts employees to work safely but how are employees to know what this looks like? With Simple Safety Coach you can set employees a number of reward points they much reach over a set period of time. You set how many points for a wide variety of employee participation opportunities, such as submitting a Safety Observation, completing training, completing a form for an inspection.
The employee can see how close they are to this goal whenever they log in.
Not only does this take change from an unknown to hard numbers it also frees up the Safety Manager's time. The rewards system requires no additional work. The transparency allows him or her to delegate while still being able to track the activity being delegated in real time in a fast and easy process.
No more shuffling papers or typing data into multiple forms or spreadsheets. We get the Safety Manager out of the office and onto the floor, or home on time for a change!