I am asked, "How you would most like to work with a client, their leaders and employees?" In a perfect situation, I like to speak to the leaders of a company, the safety teams, and the safety leaders first. This sets the stage for speaking to the employees. It allows the leaders to ensure their people attend the employee presentations and allows them to fit them into their busy schedule.
For one client, I did a three-hour session called, "Would You Watch Out For My Safety? For Effective Leaders" In the weeks to follow, I would be teaching a three-hour session entitled, "Would You Watch Out for My Safety?" The question was, which material from the leader's presentation would I carry over to the employee sessions? At the end of the leader's portion, the client wanted me to share the same presentation with the employees. I realized they were right! It was a perfect fit for what they wanted to accomplish, which was making it easy and natural for employees to approach each other about safety issues and concerns.
The opening of the "Leader's Session" begins with a discussion of safety as a value. We both know it is equally important for employees and leaders to hold safety as a value. I also point out how leaders set the standard for safety. People know how important safety is by what leaders do, say and hold themselves and others accountable for.
If you know anything about peer pressure you understand one way in which employees are leaders. How often have you heard from someone after an incident as they explain why they weren't following the safety procedures they were taught, "Well, that's the way everyone does it." The employees around them became their leaders and set the safety standard so low they were injured.
When everyone follows the newest and best safety procedures fewer injuries occur. When everyone holds safety as a value they would never think of taking a shortcut. As I point out in my presentation, "Safety as a Value," values are who we are. If you want to find out what your personal values are ask yourself the following question. "What's most important to me in life?" The answer will give you the values and beliefs that determine the choices you make in life. If you asked me, I would tell you my highest value is my relationship with God, so spirituality would be a value. Next, love, helping others, honesty, integrity, safety… and the list goes on. If safety is truly a value of yours it governs your thoughts, beliefs and actions. Make sure you spend time instilling safety as a personal value in your employees as well as your leaders.