Safety culture is a fabric of organisational culture. Both organisational and safety practices guide how the workforce engage in safe work practices and respond to operational demands at any given time.
There is increasing dialogue around the volume and subsequent effectiveness of practices and procedures that have entered the safety arena with the goal of guiding workplace behaviour. Whilst a core aspect of safety revolves around a systematic process by which hazards are identified, the risks are measured and managed, this is more of a tactical approach towards providing a safe workplace, and is reliant on how the human factor and organisational procedures interact.
The expressed challenge is that procedures can become the master versus the servant, resulting in an overreliance on procedures, limiting the amount of cognitive awareness required to identify hazards and risks, and make effective risk-based decisions.
An overreliance on procedures can contribute to a culture of compliance and requires the necessary supervision and management.
Industry has and continues to dedicate time and resources training people to be safe. This is an essential requirement especially in relation to the human interface with environments of varying degrees of risk. Technical training addresses the required skills and competencies that align with safe work methods and practices and whilst it is an all-important tactical approach, it does not guarantee safety performance.
Safety initiatives are often leader directed versus self-directed. This can contribute to a dependency on leaders from team members in identifying and managing risk.
A coaching focus in safety interactions helps create self and operational awareness, cultivating open-mindedness and a capacity for new perspectives around identifying and managing risk, and in turn fosters an ‘aware’ culture.
Leaders who engage in coaching their people can generate autonomy in the form of self-governing teams with increased risk and situational awareness and a greater capacity for risk-based decision making.
Our leadership coaching program focuses on building leadership capability to engage the workforce through creating an environment for thinking, not just doing.
We develop leaders with an ‘influential’ communication skillset and augment this through practical application in the field at the social level to gain a receptiveness of ‘real time’ operations and how the human factor is interacting within the system.
An ‘aware’ culture is the ‘engine’ that builds resilience within the organisation to manage operational risks and challenges, regardless of the business climate and commercial pressures at any time.
We believe that leadership has the potential to be all encompassing, in both a safety and production context, arriving at a cohesive merger of both.