D&F Blog: positive safety climate?

Posted on 5 January 2015

Businesses with committed members of staff and a good working climate perform nearly five times better financially than organisations that don’t have this in order.

Article ‘Are you missing something’. Hay Group research and consultancy agency, 2010.

Half of the job seekers in the Netherlands say they will look for another job if they don’t like the organisational culture. That is the result of a study conducted by Unique among more than 3,000 job seekers. Article ‘Study among more than 3,000 job seekers’. Employment agency Unique in collaboration with TNO, 2012

Productivity levels of happy members of staff are a staggering 12 percent higher than those of their unhappy colleagues. That is the result of a study conducted by the British University of Warwick. Article by Professor Andrew Oswald, dr. Eugenio Proto and dr. Daniel Sgroi, 2012.

D&F Consulting has been developing a new study programme for Wolters Kluwer Opleidingen in Belgium in order to create a positive safety climate. A positive safety climate is an anchor to positively influence the organisational culture as a whole. That is good for a business, as evidenced by the quotes above.

An organisation with a positive safety climate is characterised by attention for motivation and stakeholders (i.e. not just members of staff). The communication structure is open, and mutual trust and respect are important features. Members of staff are proud of the (safety) results, both in the short and the long term, and are motivated to learn and to keep improving.

Members of staff are fully committed to improving results, aimed at safety (as one of the core values), without the need for an extra financial incentive. There is a deep-seated notion in all layers of the organisation that sustainable value (safety, for instance) and economic value enhance each other. Safety is therefore regarded and treated as a core process. A number of characteristics of a positive safety climate:

Vision, mission, core values and basic behavioural principles with regard to safety are clear and meaningful to all stakeholders.

Leadership is aimed at service and coaching. Control capacity on an executive level is optimal.

Safety communication in all directions is optimal.

All stakeholders show maximum motivation.

Red tape is kept to a minimum.

The potential of members of staff on the work floor is used to the max.

We think before we act.

The self-learning abilities (learning from deviations, mistakes and incidents) are optimal.

All stakeholders fully work together on solutions.

There are some elements in this innovation course we want to tell you about:

All behaviour has a positive intention, and that includes unsafe behaviour. What are your options when you discover the positive intention behind unsafe behaviour?

Motivation in safety. Which interventions are possible in order to get members of staff on the work floor motivated and committed in terms of safety?

Catch someone doing something good. What would happen if your management were to actively seek out safe behaviour and reward it extensively?

Humour in safety. What are the changes when your people obtain a humorous insight into their own risk perceptions and powers of observation?

Proactive indicators. What positive indicators could you introduce in order to safeguard progress in safety?

What would happen is businesses start seeing safety as a core value and with that inextricably, vision, mission and strategy?

Gerd-Jan Frijters, incorporator and owner of D&F Group B.V.

This blog is also published on arbo-online.nl

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