Safety Leadership Orientation
It’s a simple question...
How do you demonstrate leadership in safety across your organization?
That’s an incredibly intelligent question for any leader to be asking.
Because when leaders acknowledge that the success of workplace safety begins with management advocacy, they’ve taken an important first step forward.
The transition to safety training online—if leveraged properly—can be an important cultural opportunity for any organization.
After all, you’re investing in the most important resource any organization has—its people.
And your investment signals to your workforce that you care about their safety, health, and wellbeing.
And you’re improving compliance training for the entire organization by delivering a memorable, interactive experience that places your employees in the driver’s seat.
To take full advantage of this opportunity and seize the excitement, we’ve got some helpful suggestions to share from our top performing customers and caring colleagues …
First, walk the talk and take the courses yourself; management shouldn’t be exempt from completing required safety courses.
This will serve to reinforce the concept of shared accountability for workforce safety, which is an important part of organizational safety culture—safety is everybody’s job.
Plus, you’ll learn more about safety and with improved hazard recognition and awareness, you’ll begin to notice safety-related details across the working environments you manage that maybe you could be missing now.
You’ll noticed that you see things a little differently, and that shift in perspective is good.
Also, you’ll be better prepared to talk competently about the quality of the training experience and connect with your workforce around a new shared experience.
Your safety committee, if you have one, has to be onboard from launch; encourage them to complete training as early as possible.
Consider posting management scores and certificates of completion for transparency.
Second, to build excitement, take ownership of communication around the training investment.
This means crafting key messages for your workforce. Explain why the transition to online training was made, clearly define roles and responsibilities and set expectations.
(John takes over) Naturally, you’ll want to consider communication around goal setting.
With time, the many reporting options available in the Safety Training System will provide you with meaningful data you can use to make decisions.
For now, you can revisit your core safety goals and set some simple near-term objectives to strive for, such as having all employees complete courses assignments on time in the first fiscal quarter.
At a minimum, you’ll want to encourage course completions for required topics, or compliance essentials, to stay on the right side of state and federal regulations.
Consider incentivizing performance for test scoring and rewarding your early top performers, to bring a fun, competitive aspect to your new online training experience.
Third, and concurrent with your initial communication efforts, consider creating or amending policies to mandate safety performance and training as a condition of employment.
This helps to reinforce your commitment to occupational health and safety and elevates training as a priority.
Fourth, be in touch with the data.
Identify which reports you want to receive in the early stages of adoption and consider organizing your team for review on an ongoing basis, to learn about things such as usage and trends.
This can help you course correct where necessary and improve outcomes proactively.
Leaders understand the pain of change management associated with introduction of new procedures, business software integration, and switching vendors.
At some point in your career, you’ve heard the gripes coming from the status quo and listened to the detractors about a change affecting your workforce.
Remember that safety is personal, so some people will have strong opinions about their training—that’s okay.
Feedback is a good thing, and as with any significant change, you anticipate the objections and understand that not everybody will be happy.
Consider having an employee designee respond to concerns, facilitate access, and answer questions from colleagues, as a thoughtful bridge between management and the workforce.
Finally, ask yourself: will we practice what we preach?
If we are training employees how to work safely and providing rules around safety, are supervisors, managers, and lead workers prepared to model the right behaviors?
Know that you, your management team, and your supervisors are responsible for exhibiting safe-work behaviors—employees take notice.
So match the expectation for safe work accountability.
This is a time of opportunity and we are passionate about ensuring that your organization realizes a maximum return on your investment in protecting the workforce.
If you need any assistance supporting adoption of online safety training—even special requests or ideas—we’d love to hear from you.
Thank you for caring about safety as much as we do!