Managing Perceptions

September 07 2020
By: Terry L. Mathis

Each of your employees has a perception of risks. They perceive that some risks are greater than others and they tend to allocate their attention and taking of precautions accordingly. The only thing wrong with this is the majority of these perceptions are not based on data. When I assess a company's safety culture, I analyze the historical incident data then ask workers for their perceptions of risks. They seldom match.

Managing Perceptions This means that workers are not only putting their attention in the wrong place, but that they are not necessarily aligned in their perceptions. Perceptions are largely formed by personal experience, and everyone has a slightly different experience and a different assessment of his or her own experience. Organizations need to share data to align and accurately aim perceptions toward the precautions that will prevent the most and most severe accidents.

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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