Are you contemplating how to begin your journey to safety excellence to drastically improve your safety performance and enhance your culture? Let ProAct Safety, the firm behind the best-selling book, STEPS to Safety Culture ExcellenceSM support your efforts by helping you identify your starting point.
Unless you are bring people together for the first time, you are not starting from scratch. You already have a safety culture. Your challenge is not to begin or create a safety culture, it is to improve it.
Your safety efforts have a current status and determining that status is important to identify the most effective starting point to begin applying your strategy to the STEPS that will lead your culture to excellent safety performance.
An excerpt from the book, STEPS to Safety Culture Excellence:
"Almost all safety cultures have already developed some strengths which can be built upon, and it is always easier to build on existing strengths than to correct weaknesses or flaws. In fact, if you want a positive "can-do" culture, building on their strengths is often the best, fastest and most direct route to excellence. Find what your culture does well, hone those skills, and aim them at the right targets. What strengths does your current safety culture have? Can you focus on strengthening them rather than correcting their weaknesses?
The following shows the basic formula for improving a safety culture toward excellence. The way you answered the questions in this section should impact how much work it will take to accomplish each of these.
- Develop a Safety Strategy - The first S in STEPS stands for "Strategic". It is impossible to set a strategic target if you don't have a strategy. Most organizations, quite frankly, don't have a safety strategy. They have goals, wishes, programs and metrics, but all these don't really have a framework that brings them together. An effective strategy can help focus on the right, measurable goals of achieving excellence rather than avoiding failure.
- Perform an Assessment of your starting place - determine what kind of safety culture you already have, what strengths can be utilized, and what additional capabilities it needs to improve. Understand your starting point and use it as a baseline to measure further improvement.
- Create Clarity of purpose - deploy your safety strategy, organize and train the members of the culture at every level in the strategy to learn the basic definitions of safety and the improvements needed. Especially teach the culture the basic skill of targeting and accomplishing what we call STEPS. Share the rationale for improvement, how the organization will benefit and answer the WIIFM (what's in it for me?) question. Structure a Safety Excellence Team (SET) to steer the organization through the STEPS.
- Create the right safety Climate - create or improve the organizational climate in which a safety culture can grow into its personal best.
- Create the right safety Chemistry - make sure the culture has the elements necessary for safety excellence growth and that these elements are renewed as they are utilized.
- Create the Control to address the issues of Conditions and Common Practice that impact safety. Prioritize and address your safety issues one at a time.
- Your Safety Culture can now Continuously Improve safety. Re-Assess, measure and adjust - recognize progress and barriers and react appropriately and flexibly to meet the changing needs.
Each of these elements represents a milestone that you will reach on your path to Safety Culture Excellence. Each milestone has a series of STEPS that lead to reaching it. As you progress, you may find you already have some of the steps in place and can skip them without compromising your progress. It is ok to do so as long as your efforts meet the criteria of the step. Every culture is different and they each have a unique set of strengths and weaknesses. If you have a strength that helps you skip a step, you might want to recognize and/or reward that strength and use it to build motivation and momentum for your process. You will find that STEPS focuses on building strengths rather than just correcting weaknesses. This is by design. Safety cultures don't become excellent by simply being less bad. True excellence is achieved by building on existing strengths and developing new ones."
Please contact us for information on how ProAct Safety can support your efforts to leverage the STEPS methodology and help you identify your most effective starting point.