A strong safety culture can’t happen without the support of management who lead and model safety. What does it mean to lead a safety culture? Here are 5 practical ways you can build a safety mindset in your management.
1. As a company owner, share your passion for why safety matters personally.
Do you have personal experience stories? Do you know someone who lost a loved one due to a lack of safety? Share your stories — they’ll make a bigger impact than an abstract concept will.
2. Get your management involved in writing your safety mission statement.
When others contribute to writing a mission statement, they feel ownership. Set aside a day where you brainstorm ideas together and create a mind map to think through what words convey what’s important to you as a company and as a team.
3. Together, think through how the mission statement affects every aspect of your company.
Once you’ve completed the mission statement, set aside another think session to consider through how the mission statement will impact daily activities. You might want to get all your employees involved in this and ask for their input also. Have your people offer suggestions on how the mission statement can be implemented in their own individual jobs.
4. Provide the right tools.
Your management needs the tools to do the job — PPE, equipment, guidance, etc. It’s vitally important the you provide not only the safety equipment necessary, but also guidance on how to use the equipment and safety training.
5. Manage projects, but lead people.
Leadership means getting out on the battlefield with your people — take the perspective that you’re in a war together, against injury and possible death. The more you and your management view safety as an effort to overcome a common enemy, the more a safety culture will become a natural part of your company.
When management feels ownership of the culture, they’re likely to embrace it and encourage others to live by it. A safety culture ultimately comes down to buy-in and having the tools for the job. When your team is on board and has what they need to work safely, you’ll find that safety has a foundational place in your company’s culture.