When I started my career, I quickly realized that safety is a big priority for a lot of companies. They invest in a safe environment and practices, which of course is important in achieving safety compliance. In fact, it’s absolutely necessary. But when it comes to investing in your safety culture, you see, this will only take you so far…
My mind was blown when I started working for a safety company and discovered that the main discours about safety did not mention one thing about the science of behavior. So I asked this question: how can you increase safe behavior without understanding the science of behavior? The brain is the source of all behavior. So it is essential to understand how the brain works in order to have an impact on behavior.
Having that knowledge on how you truly empower people to take responsibility for their behavior, this gave me a whole other view on safety: I am convinced that to truly shift your safety culture, you must invest in your people. Having covered the right equipment, systems and processes, you must understand the science of behavior to be able to foster genuine ownership of safety across all levels of your business.
Understanding the brain, its limitations and its impact on safety in the workplace is key to breaking through the safety performance plateau.
And that is where neuroleadership comes in. To continue to realise performance gains in safety, organisations must look beyond engineeringbased control, behavioural and attitudinal solutions, and towards leadership.
Leaders at all levels have a critical role to play in building a positive safe work culture, influencing improvements and creating a healthy and productive environment where employees thrive. Not only supervisors but also executives, senior leaders, HSE managers are key change makers towards a safety culture. It’s their behaviours that truly have an impact on your worker’s safety habits.
This all comes down to the impact of behavioral role modelling. Leading by example. Your workers aren’t consciously doing it, but they’re unintentionally copying the behaviors of their peers and superiors in the workplace. The more respect and authority they perceive a given leader to have, the higher the likelihood of them copying that individual’s behaviors.
“Studies into the impact of leadership behaviors on workplace safety attitudes reinforce the importance of this, evidencing a strong link between the behaviour of leaders and the levels of safety participation across an organisation” (Kapp, 2012).
So, the real question is: as a manager or a frontline leader, how can you become an effective safety role-model?
So I challenge you to think differently about safety and start focusing on leadership. Because the demand for safer workplaces from regulatory bodies has never been more intense and businesses are seeking more than just short-term interventions. In order to establish effective and lasting organisational change and to break through the safety plateau, we need to look differently at what we are doing and turn to the most resourceful of our protective equipment—the human brain.
Neuropsychology, the science of mind and brain, holds the answers. The marketplace demands change and this is where the solution lies.
With neuroleadership you can drive your leaders to becoming a safety role-model and unleash their full human potential. Curious to know more? Invite me for an inspiring talk about this subject or find out what I can do for you here.
From my mind to yours,
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