♦♦  SAFETY CULTURE   &   SAFETY PERFORMANCE  ♦♦

In this series, I share with you my thoughts on Why Safety Is An Issue For Most Companies and the Things We Must Address If We Want To Improve Our Safety Performance.

Drop the weather talk and get up front and personal about safety.

Talk About Safety

to weather the blues

graphic depicting How Are You in different languages

When we meet, we greet and then we usually ask unjani (how are you). Small talk may follow. ‘The Weather’ is a popular topic. Depending on several factors (time, interest, etc.), this will be the sum total of the conversation, and we move on.

Is it enough?

With the current economic and growth situation, many companies are forced to cut back, close operations and lay off employees. As a result, a doom-and-gloom company climate develops. There’s little most of us can do about the hard numbers, even though it is of concern to us. Each one of us does, however, influence the overall mood. We can make that choice.

Instead of being part of the moaners-and-groaners chorus, or the casual ‘weather conversationist’, be the uplifting spirit. The one that asks unjani and then makes time to listen, support and understand the concerns. The one that takes action, in spite of the poor climate. Be the person that looks for opportunities to make people feel good:

  • to not feel just like another number (use names)
  • to still feel part of the team
  • to still be able to make a difference
  • to feel valued and recognised
  • to get a sense of achievement
  • to still do meaningful work
  • to say Thank You

People listen to what you as a leader talk about when making business small talk. Is it production, output, quality, costs, or … safety ?

ACTION

Use safety as a vehicle
to look for opportunities to make people feel good.

  • Make Safety, not ‘The Weather’, part of your unjani small talk.
  • Ask safety-related questions.
  • Ask How can I Help in safety-related matters.
  • Set an example by doing ‘Zero Cost’ safety[1].

[1]  RELATED READING

Look through my  Safety on a Shoestring Budget  Series, especially:

“People” and

“Pat on the Back”

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