Nov 7, 2019
When it comes to safety leadership, where does your organization fall on the journey to excellence? Does your organization know where it's going next and where it's been? Ready to find out?
How is this progress measured, exactly? What safety benchmarks and program metrics are in place beyond "feeling it out"? Yes, there are measurable metrics such as safety audits, safety training, and interpersonal communication such as meetings but do these metrics tell the whole story of the journey? Enter the concept of Safety GPS. Similar to how a GPS is used in navigation from one fixed point to another, Safety GPS measures progress in safety performance by first defining what the current status is regarding safety leadership and the desired point where your organization would like to go from here, and an implemented plan on how to get there.
The author Stephen Covey famously said to "begin with the end in mind." With that concept in place, the first question any organization needs to ask itself is what does safety leadership look like? Without a complete picture of what success looks like, your team might be predestined to fail on your safety journey. On the same subject, what does failure in safety leadership look like on your journey? If you don't know the answers to what success or failure looks like on your path to safety excellence. So let's start there? We all can agree it's important to be incident and injury-free. But does the lack of accidents mean you had good luck or increased safety leadership? Decreasing accidents is not a sustainable strategy. Principal among the factors of safety leadership is: a powerful strategy for safety and total employee engagement in that strategy. Mark success in small increments and stages, rather than an all-in-one measurement. Safety excellence is a journey, not a sprint. For example, your organizational culture will first go through a form forming stage, it is often subordinate: needing to be instructed where to go next after starting. The safety culture can then proceed to be self-supporting: identifying and acting on the necessary steps to keep the organization safe. If it continues to excellence, it becomes interdependent: team-based, collaborative and synergistic.
Terry Mathis | Nov 01, 2019 - Do you think you know where your organization is on your journey to safety excellence? Do you think you know where to go next and how to proceed? How would you like to stop thinking and start knowing?
For years our clients have told us their supposed status based on improved lagging indicators, benchmarking, program metrics and the standard “feel” for progress. Some are measuring activities such as audits, observations, meetings, training and more, seeking another metric to indicate status or progress. Some have failed to explore any metrics except lagging indicators and simply trend those metrics. It is amazing how many organizations have a chart of decreasing accidents that they believe show how successful they have been, not realizing their rate of decrease is less than the national average.