Individuals vs. Workforces

July 20 2020
By: Terry L. Mathis

I continue to read articles on how to determine the learning style, motivational drivers, or personality types of individuals and how this helps deal with them in safety. Without denying that each person can have individual differences, safety leaders must lead the entire workforce, not each one individually. Not that individual attention is not useful; it is unrealistic! Most safety professionals have too many team members to give them completely different analysis and management style. Most safety pros are head coaches without special teams coaches to supplement them.

Individuals vs. Workforces This means that the workforce should be viewed as a team and the team safety leader should develop the right commonalities to make the team strong. Getting people to work together must supplant each worker's preferred collaboration style. Driving individuals to identify with the team rather than with their own idiosyncrasies should be the goal. Recognizing individual strengths and talents can lead to assigning the right team member to the right position, but not to treating them completely differently from the other team members.

While understanding the categories of difference is interesting and makes a good article, it is not ultimately what makes a safety leader successful.

Terry L. Mathis

Terry Mathis, Founder and retired CEO of ProAct Safety, has served as a consultant and advisor for top organizations the world over. A respected strategist and thought leader, Terry has authored five books, numerous articles, videos and blogs, and is known for his dynamic and engaging presentations. EHS Today has named him one of the '50 People Who Most Influenced EHS' four consecutive times. Business leaders and safety professionals seek Terry's practical insight and unique ability to introduce new perspectives that lead to real change.

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