April 21 2019
By: Terry L. Mathis
I visited several sites recently that were trying to manage their BBS observation data on a spreadsheet. That's a small step above chiseling it in granite, but only a small step. Even if you are on a do-it-yourself budget, use a database. The utilization of observation data is a critical part of a BBS process. You are already gathering the data, so why not use it? Early BBS processes minimized the importance of using observation data and assumed that feedback was all that was needed to change behaviors. We have since learned that behaviors are influenced by many factors and knowing and addressing those factors is necessary for changing them. We have also verified that failing to use the observation data is a sure way to demotivate observers. Why gather data if no one is using it?
A good database will allow you to report your observation data so you can identify and isolate these influences on your workers' behaviors. A simple spreadsheet is totally inadequate for such data analysis. There are several very good software programs ready-made to help you analyze and utilize your observation data, and you may find they can be less expensive than developing your own if your organization does not have significant IT time and talent available. Whichever course you take, take it, and start getting the maximum benefits of your BBS process.
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.