The Perception of Priority

January 28 2018
By: Terry L. Mathis

I was walking down a hallway toward a conference room to meet with the board of directors of a client company. I passed no fewer than 25 production charts and one safety chart. When we started our meeting, the board members announced to me that they were instituting a new program claiming safety was their first priority. It took some work to persuade them that the volume of communication on safety versus other priorities was key to convincing workers.

The Perception of Priority

When they began to communicate safety in the right ratio, they failed to follow-up with appropriate actions to demonstrate the priority of safety. Workers perceived the entire communication as empty lip service and didn't believe management was willing to put their money where their mouth was. It is important to remember how perceptions are created and reinforced if organizations want to create strategic focus and elicit discretionary effort in safety from their workforce.

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.