Is Safety a Team Effort?

March 18 2018
By: Terry L. Mathis

With all the talk about safety culture and team effort you would think there would be more methodology developed to shape culture and grow teamwork. However, I find that most organizations do more wishing and talking than shaping. Sitting a group of people down at a conference table and calling them a team does not it so. Likewise, having leaders give lip service to culture does not move a culture toward excellence. Organizations need to look at the characteristics and capabilities that make good teamwork and culture and systematically grow them.

The lack of good metrics further acerbates this problem. Most organizations don't have metrics that reflect the level of teamwork or accurately describe the elements of excellent safety culture. Is Safety a Team Effort? Certainly, measurement is not, in and of itself, management. But it is impossible to effectively manage something that is not measured. Before you decide you have great teamwork and a good safety culture, define what those things are and begin to measure your progress toward them.

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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