SAFETY COMMUNICATION QUIZ
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Safety Communication Inventory (SCI) Quiz
Effective communication is the cornerstone of a healthy safe production culture. This is particularly important with one-on-one conversations with employees. Employees who feel listened to and appreciated are more likely to go beyond the call of duty for safety and other organizational efforts. In other words, improving safety communication fuels discretionary effort and helps prevent serious injuries and fatalities. General guidelines for optimizing communication are provided below along with a brief Safety Communication Inventory to self-assess your own current strengths and improvement opportunities. Following these principles will improve your safety communication skills with employees. Effective communicators demonstrate genuine caring, promote psychological safety, actively listen, and provide recognition regularly.
- Active Caring: Show authentic caring for the employee beyond just safety requirements. This includes showing genuine curiosity about the employee and his/her job, asking employees about ways to improve their work environment, and discussing safety in terms of staying safe more than rule compliance.
- Psychological Safety: Foster an open environment where the employee is comfortable raising safety issues and asking questions. This includes creating a learning environment where employees are reinforced for bringing up and reporting safety issues.
- Maintain a Questioning Attitude: Ask open-ended questions to promote in-depth, collaborative discussions. Maintain a questioning attitude to gain insights, discover improvement opportunities, and demonstrate respect for employees’ beliefs and attitudes.
- Active Listening: Demonstrate effective listening skills. There should be more emphasis on employee’s feedback than leader comments. This includes maintaining an approachable demeanor, eliminating potential distractions (e.g., cell phones), and confirming understanding of employees’ comments.
- Responsiveness: Actively solicit, and respond to, suggestions from the employee to promote safe work behaviors. Ensure effective “closing the loop” with identified concerns.
- Confirmation of Engagement: Encourage employee ownership of safety improvement efforts. Discuss how they can contribute to an improved safety culture.
- Make it Personal: Ask employee about their personal “why” for staying safe and their personal attitudes and behaviors to achieve this goal.
- Recognize, Recognize, Recognize. Leaders should provide more recognition for positive safety attitudes and actions. Praise should be specific, one-on-one, sincere and given more often. Increasing recognition increases the likelihood of positive safety actions in the future and creates a safer, more enjoyable place to work.
How strong are your safety communication skills? Take the quiz below to find out.
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Meet The Expert
Dr. Josh Williams
Partner, Propulo Consulting
Dr. Josh Williams is a Partner with Propulo Consulting, a global management consulting firm delivering significant and sustainable improvements in organizational performance. For over 20 years Josh has partnered with clients around the world to drive increased discretionary effort and improved strategic execution. He’s the author of Keeping People Safe: The Human Dynamics of Injury Prevention and received the Cambridge Center National First Prize for his research on behavioral safety feedback.