Articles

We regularly publish articles and content aimed to inspire, educate and inform our clients and the broader community.

Our current Articles are listed below. We are adding to these all the time. If you would like to see articles on a particular topic please Contact Us. If you would like to contribute to the conversation you can join us over at the Care Factor Community.

 

At Last! A way to objectively measure your safety culture

By Clive Lloyd
Principal Consultant at GYST Consulting Pty Ltd
Developer of the Care Factor Program

 

How Mature is your Safety Culture?

Measuring and Operationalising the "Care Factor" across Hudson's Safety Maturity Dimensions

 

"All models are wrong, but some are useful"

- George Box, Statistician (1976) 

Of the myriad models seeking to clarify or explain workplace injuries and safety culture, I have found Hudson's model of Safety Culture Maturity to be one of the more useful for generating meaningful discussion with leaders and (particularly) work teams about gaining insight into an organisation's safety culture and performance.

The model is fairly intuitive, and I find that team members (when discussing the model in an atmosphere of genuine enquiry and confidentiality) find it reasonably straightforward to assess where their own team and the organisation as a whole sit on the continuum, and often with very high inter-rater reliability.

Similarly, leaders are generally open, honest and courageous when assessing their own organisations (although interestingly leaders invariably rank the organisation as more mature than do their teams). Due to such discrepancies and the inherent subjectivity of qualitative data, we have received frequent requests to conduct a more meaningful, robust and quantitative survey (rather than informal discussions) whereby organisations can objectively assess their safety culture maturity levels across all strata and the various departments within the business.

As well as being able to benchmark their performance against the model, other similar organisations and industry leaders, our clients want clear, relevant and meaningful recommendations on how to progress to the next level(s). Historically, practical suggestions regarding the way forward have been sparse in the literature, but a robust analysis of safety culture maturity gives insight into the logical next steps in safety culture development. 

To provide such a reliable, valid and research-based survey, GYST Consulting partnered with Blue Provident - a company highly regarded for their work in organisational culture assessment and development. The result is an outstanding survey tool organisations use to get a current fix on their safety culture maturity level.

Typically, the survey is conducted site-wide prior to a rollout of the Care Factor Program. The subsequent survey report outlines clear pathways for a client to pursue in order to progress to the next levels. These recommendations are addressed during the Care Factor Program rollout, and when the program is complete, a follow-up survey objectively tracks the company's progress.

Survey Components

Hudson's original model describes increasing trust levels as a core aspect of maturing cultures, and for good reason.

 

"... the evidence is that safe behaviour programs do not work when the workforce mistrusts its management.

Where such beliefs prevail, employers must first win the trust of their workforce by tackling some of the issues they see as affecting safety"

- Professor Andrew Hopkins, (Melbourne, 2005)  

Why Trust?

In the last decade, there has been a plethora of studies pointing to trust as a key predictor of safety performance and an essential component of effective safety cultures (e.g., Burns et al., 2006; Eid et al., 2011; O’Dea & Flin, 2001). 

Findings from these studies show that trust in management can increase employee engagement in safety behaviors and reduce rates of accidents (Zacharatos et al., 2005). Conversely, other studies noted that distrust is negatively associated with personal responsibility for safety (Jeffcott et al., 2006) and positively related to injury rates (Conchie & Donald, 2006, cited in Conchie et al., 2011).

Furthermore, in a recent Australian study focussed on the mining industry, Gunningham and Sinclair (2012) found that “ … unless the mistrust of the workforce can be overcome then even the most well-intentioned and sophisticated management initiatives will be treated with cynicism and undermined.”

Clearly employee distrust is a major risk factor in terms of physical injury, but also in terms of the wider organisational culture, and employee well being. 

Trust – A Working Model

One of the most frequently cited models of trust (particularly in the safety literature) was posited by Mayer et al. (1995). This integrated model suggests that trust is based on perceptions about three key factors:

Ability (Perceived Competence)

Benevolence (Perceived degree of Care shown)

Integrity (Perceived honesty and openness)

Subsequent research has demonstrated that all three factors are important in building trust and overcoming mistrust. For example, a leader may be viewed as highly competent, open and honest, however, if he/she is perceived as uncaring then trust cannot be built nor sustained, and any existing mistrust will not be overcome. 

Interestingly, in terms of building trust, the Integrity factor has emerged as the most significant, while the Care Factor has been found to be the most powerful component in terms of overcoming mistrust and assisting an organisation to progress to higher levels of safety culture maturity. In fact, Blue Provident’s foundation research into safety culture showed that employees typically don’t support the systems designed to keep them safe unless they first believe the organisation cares for their wellbeing. 

While the level of trust is a central tenet for progression through Hudson's levels, trust and its core element of benevolence (care) is given scant attention in the literature in terms of providing a clear understanding about how these key variables fit into the measurement and subsequent identification of specific actions required for level progression.

Rather, the historical focus has been on ensuring systems are in place and that people are compliant with them. Little wonder many companies languish around levels 2 and 3 - having put systems in place yet they remain seemingly helpless regarding stubbornly low levels of workforce buy-in and people using reporting systems as intended. 

"Unless these trust-related cultural aspects are attended to, an organisation simply cannot progress to the higher levels,

regardless of the quality of safety management systems in place." 

Assessing the Care Factor

The survey assesses the entire workforce’s perceptions about key aspects of the organisation’s safety culture. The model underpinning the Care Factor Safety Culture Assessment is based on three foundations:

  1. A revision of the Energy Institute’s Hearts and Minds culture maturity ladder toolkit, which was designed to facilitate cultural change within organisations. This framework has been around for several decades and been refined based on usage in different industries and contexts, thus providing benchmarking opportunities.
  2. Hudson’s Model of Safety Culture maturity, including correlates of demonstrated care.
  3. Research into the areas of High-Reliability Organisations (HROs), situational leadership, emotional intelligence, and organisation development (note, for further information regarding the research-base for the survey, please contact Blue Provident).

Understanding Safety Culture within a Care-Based Maturity Framework offers the following benefits:

  • Identification of meaningful opportunities for improvement,
  • Evidence-based decisions about when and where to act on risks,
  • Development of clear actions to move to the next logical stage of safety culture maturity,
  • Targeted application of time, resources and effort in undertaking these actions – an evidence-based approach enables better use of resources on a targeted basis rather than expensive group-wide initiatives that can be ‘hit and miss’,
  • Active tracking of improvement efforts to establish the desired safety culture, and development of lead indicators for the success of the Care Factor Program and other interventions aimed at improving safety outcomes.

Safety improvement strategies take time, effort and investment. Aligning improvement initiatives to the current level of maturity is a sure way to maximise the relevance and effectiveness of those initiatives. The Care Factor Safety Culture Survey will enable and encourage active development of the safety culture along the following continuum of maturity.

Conceptualising the model in this way provides highly intuitive language that the workforce can immediately grasp, and hence, readily identify where they believe their team and organisation currently operate from. 

As well as assessing perceptions around more traditional variables (systems, processes etc.) the survey digs deeply into human factors that have previously lacked rigour in measurement and subsequent specific actions to drive change. The holistic approach to assessment provided by the Care Factor Safety Culture Survey provides a deeper insight and a more specific roadmap for the journey to higher levels of cultural maturity.

 

Bibliography

Burns, C., Mearns, K., and McGeorge, P. (2006). Explicit and implicit trust within safety culture. Risk Analysis, 26(5), 1139-1150. 

Conchie, S.M., Taylor, P.J., & Charlton, A., (2011). Trust and distrust in safety leadership: Mirror reflections? Safety Science 49, 1208–1214

Eid J, Mearns, K., Larsson G., Laberg, J., and Johnsen, B. (2011). Leadership, psychological capital and safety research: Conceptual issues and future research questions. Safety Science. 

Hudson, P. (2007). Implementing a safety culture in a major multi-national. Safety Science 45, 697–722 

Mayer, R.C., Davis, J.H., and Schoorman, F.D., (1995). An integrative model of organisational trust. Academy of Management Review 20, 709–734.

O’Dea, and Flin, R. (2001). Site managers and safety leadership in the offshore oil and gas industry. Safety Science 37, 39-57 

O’Dell, (1998). California Management Review. Volume: 40, Issue: 3, Publisher: California Management Review, Pages: 154-174 

Zacharatos, A., Barling, J., and Iverson, R.D., (2005). High performance work systems and occupational safety. Journal of Applied Psychology 90, 77–93.


Clive Lloyd is an Australian psychologist specialising in Psychological Safety, well-being and mentally- healthy workplaces. He is the director of GYST Consulting Pty Ltd, and developer of the acclaimed Care Factor Program.

How to Ask Really Great Questions! Helping leaders one question at a time

By Clive Lloyd
Principal Consultant at GYST Consulting Pty Ltd
Developer of the Care Factor Program

 

Is there such a thing as a dumb question?   A Leader's guide to using questions effectively

 

The phrase “there is no such thing as a dumb question” is often used in public forums to create a trusting environment such that anyone can ask anything without fear of ridicule or criticism. This makes sense, and indeed, as leaders we should always be striving to create psychological safety so that our people ask questions when unsure and otherwise speak up when challenges are identified.

That being said, some questions are better than others, and there are certain types of questions that should never be used – especially by leaders!

“Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers.” -Voltaire

 

After 20+ years working as a psychologist, I am convinced that one of the most powerful influencing tools we have at our disposal is the effective use of questions, yet developing this skill set has not necessarily received the attention it deserves in leadership development programs.

While most leaders have been schooled about the vagaries of basic ‘open’ and ‘closed’ questions, there are far more powerful techniques that can be explored and mastered relatively quickly that can dramatically impact team culture and performance.

This article will provide some brief insights into how leaders can quickly develop their use of effective questions. It is far from exhaustive, and the interested reader is invited to get in touch with us to discuss how our question-specific Care Factor Program modules can rapidly build mastery in this area within your leadership team.

But first, a brief experiment …

Please DO NOT answer the following question!

What is 2 plus 2?

So what happened? If you are like most people your brain automatically answered the question for you (despite the instruction asking you NOT to). You became conscious of the number 4.

 

Questions are powerful because they switch the conscious brain on, and our brains are hard-wired to seek answers to questions. It becomes very important then, that leaders are mindful of the questions they ask. For example, consider the following two questions:

1. “Who is to blame?”

2. “What is just one thing we can do to move forward?”

Question 1 will result in the creation of fear and defensiveness, whereas question 2 is more likely to lead to a solution focus.

As leaders, becoming more conscious about the types of questions we ask can quickly result in more helpful and productive responses from the teams we lead, as well as positively impacting upon the prevailing culture.

 

Assumptive Questions

Again, consider the following questions.

1. “Are there any questions?”

2. “What questions do you have?”

Question 1 is commonly asked by rookie facilitators or trainers at the end of (or prior to a break in) a training session. The question is non-assumptive, and a clear response option to the question is simply “no” (usually evidenced by the group sitting silently in front of the facilitator and wondering if they can leave now!).

In stark contrast, question 2 assumes there are questions, and is more likely to elicit responses from the group.

 

Other assumptive and powerful questions for the above scenario include:

  • “So, we have now covered the following (xxxx). What is the main question you have, based on what we’ve covered so far?”
  • “At this point in the session, what do you reckon is the most frequently asked question?”

Assumptive questions such as the above are extremely powerful, and much more likely to elicit responses than passive questions such as “are there any questions?”.

 

Internally Locussed (“Above the Line”) Questions

For a number of important reasons it is desirable for leaders to encourage an internally-locussed (often colloquially referred to as “Above the Line”) mindset within their teams. Internally-locussed teams tend to perceive more control and are likely to take responsibility for their choices (for more on the importance of creating an internally locussed team click here).

The types of questions leaders habitually ask their teams can have a dramatic impact (positive or negative) on the locus of control within their teams. The basic rule here is that internally-locussed questions will tend to elicit internally-locussed answers. Equally, externally-locussed questions will encourage externally-locussed answers.

 

Examples of Externally Locussed (Below the Line) Questions

  • “Who is to blame?”
  • “Why are we so unlucky?”
  • “Can’t you get anything right?”
  • “Why do they keep picking on us?”
  • Etc.

Such questions can be very damaging to relationships and the team culture in general. They serve little (if any) useful purpose and tend to put the team’s focus on blame, fear, negativity and mistrust. 

Examples of Internally-Locussed (Above the Line) Questions

  • “What are we learning from this?”
  • “What will we do differently next time?”
  • “How do you think we can best move forward with this?”
  • “What are your thoughts on how we can improve this?”
  • Etc.

Such questions - especially when used consistently - build a solution-focus as well as a sense of responsibility and control. Over time, trust levels increase and the team are likely to adopt the use of such questions for themselves.

 

Advanced Questions

Some questions can be extremely powerful for uncovering blind spots within individual leaders and the wider organisational culture. These are often referred to as “courageous questions” – for good reason! They include questions such as:

  • “What are we pretending not to know?”
  • “If I could only ask one question to best understand the Company’s current challenges, what would it be?”

Such questions can elicit very powerful information, and as such they may be best left for professional coaches/facilitators to ask the brave leadership team. These advanced questions will be covered in a separate article to be published in the near future.

I hope this brief introduction to effective questions has been helpful. Please let us know if you would like to further explore this important area of leadership.

In the meantime, what are some of your favourite questions?


Clive Lloyd is an Australian psychologist specialising in Psychological Safety, well-being and mentally- healthy workplaces. He is the director of GYST Consulting Pty Ltd, and developer of the acclaimed Care Factor Program.

Who has more workplace incidents and what can we do about it?

By Clive Lloyd
Principal Consultant at GYST Consulting Pty Ltd
Developer of the Care Factor Program

 

 

Who has more workplace incidents - internals or externals?

The role of Locus of Control in Organisational Safety

 

        

 

Few, if any areas of social psychology have enjoyed the longevity or research attention lavished upon Locus of Control. Since Julian Rotter first developed the personality concept in 1954, thousands of studies have assessed the role of Locus of Control in areas as diverse as health, political affiliation, sporting achievements and workplace safety.

In personality psychology, Locus of Control is the degree to which people believe that they have control over the outcome of events in their lives, as opposed to external forces beyond their control. A person's "loci" (plural of "locus", Latin for "place" or "location") are conceptualised as internal (a belief that certain aspects of our life can be controlled) or external (a belief that life is controlled by outside factors which they cannot influence, such as luck, fate, chance etc.).

Accordingly, individuals with a strong internal locus of control believe events in their life derive primarily from their own actions: for example, when receiving exam results, people with an internal locus of control tend to praise (or blame) themselves and their effort or abilities. People with a strong external locus of control tend to blame external factors such as the lecturer, the exam or bad luck.

 

Locus of Control and Workplace Incidents

In 1985, Jones and Wuebker developed and validated a safety-specific locus of control scale. Subsequent research has consistently demonstrated that externally-oriented individuals exhibit higher accident rates (e.g., Hansen, 1988; Arthur, Barrett, & Alexander, 1991). Across a variety of occupations, Locus of Control has been found to predict the number of reported accidents, and accident severity (Wuebker, 1986).

Transport related incidents are frequent, and Roy and Choudhary (1985) found that "externals" were more likely to be involved in driving-related accidents. Moreover, Jones and Wuebker (1993) found that individuals with an external Locus of Control had average accident related medical costs over 2.6 times higher than their internally-oriented counterparts (cited in O’Connell and Reeder, 2017).

What can be done about it?

Can an individual's Safety Locus of Control change? What about the Safety Locus of Control of a work team, or a whole organisation? - Absolutely!

It has been recognised for decades that specific training and education can contribute to a more internal safety locus of control orientation among individuals and work teams (Jones & Wuebker, 1993).

Simply "blaming the worker" for having an external Locus of Control makes no practical sense, particularly when leaders exert such strong potential influence on the prevailing Locus of Control of their teams. We have seen the negative impact that externally-locussed leaders can have on their teams, and we have consistently found that training leaders how to model internally-locussed language, questions and behaviours can have a dramatic positive impact on their teams.

 

Asking the right questions

Consider the following questions:

  • "Why does this always happen to us?"
  • "Why do you keep letting me down?"
  • "How do they expect us to get this done on time?"

The above questions are all externally-locussed, and externally-locussed questions will get externally-locussed answers! If leaders consistently communicate in these ways, over time it is likely they will negatively influence their team's locus of control. Instead, we assist leaders to make a shift toward internally-locussed questions. For example:

  • "What are we learning from this?"
  • "What's just one thing we could do to move forward?"
  • "How can we get this done - safely?"

Leaders that consistently ask such solution-focused questions are actually helping to influence their teams in positive ways by encouraging them to frame challenges in internally-locussed ways.

Several of our Care Factor Program modules specifically target Locus of Control, both with leaders and their teams, to create a strong Internal Safety Locus of Control within the organisation.

 

Bibliography

Arthur, W. J., Barrett, G. V., and Alexander, R. A. (1991). Prediction of vehicular accident involvement: A metaanalysis. Human Performance, 4, 89-105.

Colquitt, J. A., LePine, J. A., & Wesson, M. J. (2015). Organizational behavior: Improving performance and commitment in the workplace (4th ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Education. 

Hansen, C. P. (1988). Personality characteristics of the accident involved employee. Journal of Business and Psychology, 20, 345-365.

Jones, J. W., and Wuebker, L. J. (1993). Safety locus of control and employees’ accidents. Journal of Business and Psychology, 7, 449-457.

O’Connell, M., and Reeder, M.C., (2017). Selecting Safer Employees: Looking at individual characteristics as predictors of workplace safety. Select International Safety White paper.

Rotter, J. B. (1954). Social learning and clinical psychology. New York: Prentice-Hall.

Roy, G.S. & Choudhary, R.K. (1985). Driver control as a factor in road safety. Asian Journal of Psychology and Education, 16, 33-37.

Wuebker, L. J. (1986). Safety locus of control as a predictor of industrial accidents and injuries. Journal of Business and Psychology, 1, 19-30.


Clive Lloyd is an Australian psychologist specialising in Psychological Safety, well-being and mentally- healthy workplaces. He is the director of GYST Consulting Pty Ltd, and developer of the acclaimed Care Factor Program.

Without Trust "Zero Harm" is a Pipe Dream

By Clive Lloyd
Principal Consultant at GYST Consulting Pty Ltd
Developer of the Care Factor Program

 

“Three things are needed for government: weapons, food and trust.

If a ruler can't hold on to all three, he should give up the weapons first and the food next.

Trust should be guarded to the end: without trust we cannot stand” - Confucius 

 

Debate continues to rage about whether or not the “Zero Harm” goal (or aspiration) is achievable, helpful or even moral. Frankly I’m bored with it. Call me a pragmatist, but I’m much more interested in putting my attention on what actually works.

Despite widespread anecdotal ‘evidence’ advocating both for and against the “Zero” stance, there is not a shred of peer-reviewed research anywhere (at least that I can find) that demonstrates that the presence (or indeed absence) of the goal increases safety performance or outcomes.

In the meantime a wealth of empirical data has amassed that points to powerful variables that actually do predict positive safety performance and culture, and at the front of the pack is trust. By all means aspire to “Zero Harm”, but just know that the goal itself will not improve safety performance, in fact, if you don’t attend to any existing mistrust in your organisation, then “Zero Harm” (or even reduced harm) will remain a pipe dream.

 

"... the evidence is that safe behaviour programs do not work when the workforce mistrusts its management.

Where such beliefs prevail, employers must first win the trust of their workforce by tackling some

of the issues they see as affecting safety" - Professor Andrew Hopkins, (Melbourne, 2005) 

 

Why Trust?

In the last decade, there has been a plethora of studies pointing to trust as a key predictor of safety performance and an essential component of effective safety cultures (e.g., Burns et al., 2006; Eid et al., 2011; O’Dea & Flin, 2001). 

Findings from these studies show that trust in management can increase employee engagement in safety behaviors and reduce rates of accidents (Zacharatos et al., 2005). Conversely, other studies noted that distrust is negatively associated with personal responsibility for safety (Jeffcott et al., 2006) and positively related to injury rates (Conchie & Donald, 2006, cited in Conchie et al., 2011).

Furthermore, in a recent Australian study focussed on the mining industry, Gunningham and Sinclair (2012) found that “ … unless the mistrust of the workforce can be overcome then even the most well-intentioned and sophisticated management initiatives will be treated with cynicism and undermined.”

Clearly employee distrust is a major risk factor in terms of physical injury, but also in terms of the wider organisational culture, and employee well being. 

 

Trust – A Working Model

One of the most frequently cited models of trust (particularly in the safety literature) was posited by Mayer et al. (1995). This integrated model suggests that trust is based on perceptions about three key factors:

Ability (Perceived Competence)

Benevolence (Perceived degree of Care shown)

Integrity (Perceived honesty and openness)

Subsequent research has demonstrated that all three factors are important in building trust and overcoming mistrust. For example, a leader may be viewed as highly competent, open and honest, however, if he/she is perceived as uncaring then trust cannot be built nor sustained, and any existing mistrust will not be overcome. 

 

“ … Thus, in order for the employee to stop the job/challenge his workmate, he must trust both his workmate and

the management's commitment to safety.

This example shows quite poignantly that in order to cultivate a culture of safety, trust must exist in different levels of the organisation.

It is not in itself sufficient for members of the workforce to trust each other and not trust the management,

or even for members of the workforce to trust the management but not each other to foster positive safety behaviours.”

The Role of Trust in Safety Management - Rhona Flin and Calvin Burns;

University of Aberdeen & University of Strathclyde, UK

 

Interestingly, in terms of building trust, the Integrity factor has emerged as the most significant, while the Care Factor has been found to be the most powerful component in terms of overcoming mistrust (Conchie et al., 2011).

 

"Trust is the most important foundation of a successful reporting program,

and it must be actively protected, even after many years of successful operation.

A single case of a reporter being disciplined as the result of a report could undermine trust

and stop the flow of useful reports" - O'Leary and Chappell"

 

Discussion

I am still baffled about why so many safety “thought leaders”, global safety consultancies, organisations and managers spend so much time advocating slogans, platitudes and “doing what the others are doing” instead of focusing on tangible and actionable factors that research has shown to be highly impactful on safety performance. 

Perhaps part of the reason is that producing yet more policies, procedures, rules and systems (etc.) is seen as easier than focusing on trust and care (“soft skills are hard!”). 

 

“Contrary to popular belief, cultivating a high-trust culture is not a “soft” skill — it’s a hard necessity.

Put another way, it’s the foundational element of high- performing organisations” - Stephen M. R. Covey 

 

Surely though, leaders owe it to their teams to do what works in terms of keeping them safe rather than doing what is easy or comfortable?

 

"People don't care how much you know - until they know how much you care” - Theodore Roosevelt 

 

When we formed our psychological consultancy we chose three core values (Care, Competence & Character) that consistently guide us toward creating trust within our clients. Now into our 7th year, the vast majority of our work is repeat business or results from “word of mouth” recommendations. 

Any organisation serious about reducing, minimising or even eliminating harm needs to be values-based in order to create the trust required for such lofty and laudable goals. More policies, procedures, rules and slogans simply won’t do it.

Our safety, well-being and cultural development workshops are evidence based, and we settled on the name Care Factor Program (given the research cited above, the reason for choosing that name is no doubt obvious). 

An added bonus for our consultancy is that the Care Factor Program branding tends to result in the self-selection of clients who are ready for the program, with a few would-be clients viewing the key word (Care) as too “soft” for their workforce (and we know this has happened in a small number of cases). 

Imagine that! A senior leader (or leadership team) decides that their workforce is not ready to experience a change program with the word “care” in the title. While we know from experience that the workforce (as the program unfolded and they understood the context) would disagree with their leaders, this mindset tends to suggest that the leadership team is projecting its own limiting beliefs onto the workforce. 

Moreover, it points to a leadership team that lacks the emotional maturity to really get behind a care-based program, so there would be little point moving forward. The sad irony is that some of these companies zealously emphasise their goal of “Zero Harm”, and in such cases it becomes obvious to observers (and indeed the workforce) that the aspiration is a meaningless platitude more likely to create cynicism than any intrinsic motivation to buy into the goal.

That such thinking still exists in a country where eight people per day take their own life, and around 200 people per year die as a result of workplace incidents is alarming. It raises questions on how such immature cultures can possibly deal effectively with any emerging mental health challenges among their workers when they view the word “care” as outside their comfort zone. 

To a degree I can understand this discomfort. Many such organisations are in traditionally male-dominated and “macho” industries. Moreover, young males in Australia tend to receive early childhood messages such as “big boys don’t cry”, “harden up” (etc.) so to actually show vulnerability or demonstrate care can be a daunting proposition for Australian males (in particular).

Nevertheless, leaders need to lead! It is time for senior staff and their respective organisations to (psychologically) grow up and gain the emotional maturity required to genuinely promote a safe, well and mentally healthy workplace.

Conversely (and thankfully), many of our clients choose to roll out our programs because they focus on care and trust, and invariably they are the companies that end up referring us to other organisations based on their own successes and positive gains.

As well as “Zero Harm”, another often-used phrase in organisations is “Your safety is our highest priority”. If that is true - if the phrase is to be more than a mere platitude, then senior staff need to start leading based on values rather than fickle priorities and glib slogans. They would do well to follow the examples of more mature organisations by doing what has been shown to be valid and evidence-based rather than what is easy or comfortable.  

 

References

Burns, C., Mearns, K., and McGeorge, P. (2006). Explicit and implicit trust within safety culture. Risk Analysis, 26(5), 1139-1150. 

Conchie, S.M., Taylor, P.J., & Charlton, A., (2011). Trust and distrust in safety leadership: Mirror reflections? Safety Science 49, 1208–1214

Eid J, Mearns, K., Larsson G., Laberg, J., and Johnsen, B. (2011). Leadership, psychological capital and safety research: Conceptual issues and future research questions. Safety Science. 

Mayer, R.C., Davis, J.H., and Schoorman, F.D., (1995). An integrative model of organisational trust. Academy of Management Review 20, 709–734.

O’Dea, and Flin, R. (2001). Site managers and safety leadership in the offshore oil and gas industry. Safety Science 37, 39-57 

O’Dell, (1998). California Management Review. Volume: 40, Issue: 3, Publisher: California Management Review, Pages: 154-174 

Zacharatos, A., Barling, J., and Iverson, R.D., (2005). High performance work systems and occupational safety. Journal of Applied Psychology 90, 77–93.


Clive Lloyd is an Australian psychologist specialising in Psychological Safety, well-being and mentally- healthy workplaces. He is the director of GYST Consulting Pty Ltd, and developer of the acclaimed Care Factor Program.

Care Factor: From Zero to Hero

By Clive Lloyd
Principal Consultant at GYST Consulting Pty Ltd
Developer of the Care Factor Program

 

"A reflective reading of history will show that no man ever rose to military greatness who could not convince his troops that he put them first, above all else" - Gen. Maxwell Taylor

During a recent panel discussion I was asked, hypothetically, if it were possible to distill the myriad variables associated with positive organisational cultures into one key theme, what would it be? Given my decades of experience in the area of culture development my response was immediate – the key theme would be the Care Factor.

Care is a correlate of trust, engagement and discretionary effort. It is associated with increased staff retention, increased willingness to speak up, higher morale and improved safety performance. Despite these patently desirable potential outcomes, in my experience, genuine care in organisations is a rare commodity. Why?

Care is both a noun and a verb, and leaders would do well to understand the difference. 

Care (noun):

  1. The provision of what is necessary for the health, welfare, maintenance, and protection of someone or something
  2. Serious attention or consideration applied to doing something correctly or to avoid damage or risk
  3. Care (verb): Feel concern or interest; attach importance to something
  4. Look after and provide for the needs of

While some may find the difference between the noun and verb definitions of care to be pedantic, understanding the difference can have a profound effect on leadership and culture.

Care, as a noun tends to focus on transactional elements. At home this may be taking out life insurance, regular health checks, putting plastic protectors over electrical outlets etc. At work, care as a noun could be ensuring a safe working environment, having effective safety systems and processes, providing personal protective equipment (PPE) and risk-assessment tools.

While important, the potential harm-mitigating outcomes of the above will be diluted if care as a verb is not present.

 

“They may forget what you said, they may forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” - Carl W. Buecher

 

What use are company values, safety systems and toolbox talks if people do not “buy into” them? All too often I have seen companies believe they have demonstrated care merely by providing systems, tools and procedures. This is transactional care rather than Active Care.

Active care requires something more of us than transactional care. It may require us to become vulnerable, share something of ourselves, risk being around the emotional responses of others and challenge our assumptions and stereotypes.

Active care is effortful, and frankly it is easier, less emotionally demanding and time-consuming to default to transactional care. Active care also requires empathy, and that is a difficult state to obtain while we remain remote from others at an authentic emotional level.

 

“People don’t mind being challenged to do better if they know the request is coming from a caring heart.” - Ken Blanchard

 

Empathy is the ability and willingness to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes. When we can actually feel other people’s distress or concerns, we are more likely to engage in active caring. As long as we remain remote, we can avoid emotional discomfort and feel justified in doing nothing other than completing the tick-sheet associated with transactional care.

Harm Minimisation models tend to be based on empathy and are more likely to result in active caring, whereas Zero Tolerance approaches tend to be transactional and usually end up demonising particular groups or individuals.

For example, the Zero Tolerance approach to drug addiction emphasises criminal aspects of the disease. Imprisoning addicts only compounds the very reasons they took drugs in the first place, so on release they are likely to resume their drug use and so the cycle continues, causing further physical and psychological harm to the individual, as well as social and financial harm to society in general.

By contrast, Harm Minimisation approaches are empathic, and tend to view addiction as a medical, psychological and social dis-ease. The focus is more upon treatment, rehabilitation and active care, benefiting the individual patient as well as the wider community.

Other examples of a lack of empathy include the widely publicised scandals in Australia’s financial sectors, and the Nation’s despicable treatment of asylum seekers. It would be a lot less likely people would engage in such harmful behaviours if they would actually put themselves in the shoes of the victims.

The Zero Tolerance approach is also prevalent in the approach many organisations take to workplace safety. The focus on “Zero” actually erodes empathy, trust and active care while amplifying fear. Hence, people are less likely to speak up and report incidents or near misses.

To progress to more mature cultures, a Harm Minimisation approach is required, building trust and engagement through active care.

For many, again, this approach may seem to be just too hard, too time consuming - perhaps impossible!

 

"People don't care how much you know--until they know how much you care" - John C. Maxwell

 

Care-based Harm minimisation takes committed, empathic and knowledgeable leaders, and a values-based approach throughout your organisation.

We have assisted many organisations from diverse backgrounds (e.g., financial management, Government bodies, Mining, Construction, NGOs etc.) to successfully implement Harm Minimisation approaches and create a genuine Care Factor throughout their businesses.

If you would like to add to this conversation head to the Care Factor Community


Clive Lloyd is an Australian psychologist specialising in Psychological Safety, well-being and mentally- healthy workplaces. He is the director of GYST Consulting Pty Ltd, and developer of the acclaimed Care Factor Program.

We need less safety platitudes and more Authentic Safety Leadership

By Clive Lloyd
Principal Consultant at GYST Consulting Pty Ltd
Developer of the Care Factor Program

After spending the last decade as a psychologist specialising in the development of effective safety cultures, I am heartened by the earnest efforts of researchers who have clearly identified key predictors of safety culture excellence.

I am also perturbed by the apparent reluctance of many industry leaders to put such tangible evidence-based findings into practice.

Most of my work has been in the mining, oil & gas and construction sectors, and invariably organisations in these industries espouse the “Zero Harm” objective. While a laudable goal, too many safety leaders recite these words as their mantra, yet fail to operate in the very ways required to even approach such a lofty aspiration. The inevitable result of such inconsistency is a cynical workforce that comes to view “Zero Harm” as a mere slogan – a safety platitude. Worse yet is the resulting loss of trust.

Trust has been consistently demonstrated to be a leading predictor of safety performance. For example, in a recent Australian study focussed on the mining industry, Gunningham and Sinclair (2012) found that “ … unless the mistrust of the workforce can be overcome then even the most well-intentioned and sophisticated management initiatives will be treated with cynicism and undermined.”

Read et al. (2010) eloquently outlined the key approaches to safety in the energy sectors. I have summarised and condensed their excellent descriptions below and refer the interested reader to their full article for greater depth.

There are two fundamental approaches to achieving sustainable improvements in safety performance. The most common of these approaches in the energy sectors are those referred to as Behavioural Based Safety (BBS) Programs. These programs are grounded in the operant learning principles that were first articulated by B. F. Skinner (Read et al, 2010).

A second approach is Values Based Safety; this approach draws on research and theories rooted in expectancy and attribution theories, first developed by Julian Rotter (1973) and then extended by Albert Bandura (1997) and most recently by Martin Seligman (2002).

While engaging individuals and working to create and encourage safe behaviours are essential parts of any approach to safety, BBS programs often fail to do this. The reasons for this stem from a fundamental flaw about the nature of human behaviour (Read et al, 2010).

The first reason such programs fail is that human behaviour is not controlled by consequences but by the individual’s expectations, which is a belief that something will (or will not) occur. In other words, behaviour is not externally controlled by consequences but is internally controlled by a person’s beliefs about the antecedent. If the person believes that something will happen when he encounters a given antecedent, then he will act in accordance with that belief, regardless of the consequence. This is why people regularly do things that, to an observer, are clearly self-defeating (Read et al, 2010). Programs based on external control create compliance but not commitment and as soon as the external control is relaxed, so too is the level of compliance. These programs are not sustainable.

A second reason has to do with the way people respond to external rules. The average person is, after a while, very likely to break safety rules because this is the way their minds work – people seek to improve something or make it easier. This is why systems built on the premise of informed compliance to a set of rules generally fail in the long run (Read et al, 2010).

A third reason behavioural based programs don’t work as expected is that they are based on an inherent assumption of the operant approach that safety improvement is a management problem. From the management perspective, safety can be engineered into the design and operations of any system. This turns out not to be the case, because as Read et al (2010) have pointed out, behaviour cannot be externally controlled.

Wise managers understand that having an inherently safe design and procedures to enable the safe operation of the equipment is just the start. Managers need to engage people so that they consistently operate the equipment within its design envelope and as per established procedures.

The message here is that people are not robots and one size does not fit all. The problem invariably is that managers implementing a typical behaviour based program think that if a particular antecedent is present you will get a particular behaviour. An antecedent will lead to behaviour, but the behaviour may be different from one individual to the next. Every individual in a sense chooses how they react to an antecedent. Their choice may be to act in a particular way or to do nothing; not reacting or not taking any action is still behaviour. The individual controls this, not the manager (Read et al, 2010).

Finally, BBS programs can often be perceived in a negative way. They can be seen as focusing on failures, or catching people doing something wrong, or seen as a “dobbing on your mate”. They can focus on blaming the worker involved as being the root cause of the problem.

 

The way forward - Values-Based safety leadership

While there may be no one single model of HSE leadership best practice, there are key themes supported by the literature to guide the aspiring safety leader. One finding is crystal clear - The “command-Control” approach of yesteryear is the antithesis of what is known to create effective safety cultures. Such overly directive approaches simply cannot create the levels of trust necessary for people to freely report safety concerns. O’Dea and Flin (2001) found that directive leaders overestimate their abilities to motivate and influence the workforce. This, combined with the above limitations of the BBS approach, has been the driver for more innovative safety leaders to explore more democratic values-based models such as Authentic Leadership.

Authentic Leadership is developing as a model to go beyond transformational leadership and has trust as a core component (Mearns, 2008). Moreover, the goals and overall approach of Authentic Leadership promote many of the key characteristics of High Reliability Organisations (HROs) including commitment to a shared purpose and respectful interactions.

Along with key HRO traits such as resilience and mindfulness, the concept of Authentic Leadership comes from the Positive Psychology movement. Positive psychology focuses attention on the positive attributes people have that enhance life rather than what is wrong with people. The basic assumptions of the approach are that people are motivated and seek commitment, responsibility and enjoyment from their work.

This move towards positive psychology is exemplified in Luthans and Avolio’s (2003) description of Positive Organisational Behaviour (POB): “the study and application of positively oriented human resource strengths and psychological capacities that can be measured, developed, and effectively managed for performance improvement in today’s workplace.” (p. 59).

The core states of POBs are Confidence, Hope, Optimism and Resilience. Luthans and Avolio (2003) relate POB to the full-range/multi-factor leadership model and recent developments in moral/ethical leadership to develop the concept of Authentic Leadership. Authentic Leadership is defined as: “a process that draws from both positive psychological capacities and a highly developed organizational context, which results in both greater self-awareness and self-regulated positive behaviours on the part of leaders and associates, fostering positive self-development.”p.243.

Authentic leaders are characterised as: confident, hopeful, optimistic, resilient, transparent, moral/ethical, future oriented and give priority to developing associates to become leaders.

In their model of the authentic leadership process, Avolio et al. (2004) identify hope, trust, positive emotions and optimism as key intervening variables in leaders’ influence on followers’ attitudes and behaviours. This recognition of the role of trust in leadership revisits notions stated earlier regarding the full-range model of leadership and safety. Given the key role that trust has in safety, Authentic Leadership appears particularly suited to an examination of the influence of leadership in relation to safety (Mearns, 2008).

Current research (Nielsen et al, 2013) has indeed confirmed a link between Authentic Leadership and safety performance with the authors concluding, “SCOs should consider recruiting and developing authentic leaders to foster positive safety climates and risk management.”

Einstein once alluded to insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result”. It is hoped that the more mature safety leader will realize that mindlessly offering safety platitudes simply cannot build an effective safety culture, no matter how laudable the goal. Rather, leaders need to put in the conscious effort to build trust through authentic safety leadership.

Take a look at our Care Factor Safety Program and contact us for more information

 


Bibliography

Avolio et al. (2004), Unlocking the mask: A look at the process by which authentic leaders impact follower attitudes and behaviours, Gallup Leadership Institute, Department of Management, College of Business of Administration, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, United States, The Leadership Quarterly, www.sciencedirect.com
Bandura, A. (1997). Self-Efficacy: The Exercise of Control, New York: NY. Freeman.
Burns, C., Mearns, K., and McGeorge, P. (2006). Explicit and implicit trust within safety culture. Risk Analysis, 26(5), 1139-1150.
Eid J, Mearns, K., Larsson G., Laberg, J., and Johnsen, B. (2011). Leadership, psychological capital and safety research: Conceptual issues and future research questions. Safety Science.
Hopkins A, (2009). Learning from High Reliability Organisations, CCH Australia Limited Sydney
Hopkins A, (2012). Disastrous Decisions: The Human and Organisational Causes of the Gulf of Mexico Blowout CCH Australia Limited Sydney
Luthans, F., & Avolio, B. J. (2003). “Authentic leadership development.” In K. S. Cameron, J. E. Dutton & R. E. Quinn (Eds.), Positive organizational scholarship (pp. 241-261). San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler.
Nielsen, M.B., Eid, J., Mearns, K., & Larsson, G. (2013) "Authentic leadership and its relationship with risk perception and safety climate", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 34 Iss: 4, pp.308 - 325
O’Dea, And Flin, R. (2001). Site managers and safety leadership in the offshore oil and gas industry. Safety Science 37, 39-57
O’Dell, (1998). California Management Review. Volume: 40, Issue: 3, Publisher: California Management Review, Pages: 154-174
Perrow, C. (1984). Normal Accidents: Living with High-Risk Technologies. Basic Books.
Reason J, (1997) Managing The Risks of Organizational Accidents, Ashgate Publishers.
Read, B.R., Zartl-Klik, A., Veit, C., Samhaber, R., & Zepic, H. (2010). Safety Leadership that Engages the Workforce to Create Sustainable HSE. Paper presented at the SPE International Conference on Health, Safety and Environment in Oil and Gas Exploration and Production held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 12–14 April 2010.
Rotter, J. (1973). Internal locus of control scale. In P. Robinson and R. F. Shaver (Eds) Measures of Social Psychology Attitudes. Ann Arobor, MI. Institute for Social Psychology, 53.
Seligman, M. (2002). Authentic Happiness: Using the New Positive Psychology to Realize Your Potential for Lasting Fulfillment. New York: Simon & Schuster.
Smith S. (2007), Behaviour Based Safety? Myth or Magic, EHS Today, http://ehstoday.com/safety/ehs imp 75429/
Weick, K., and Sutcliffe K. (2001). Managing the Unexpected: Assuring High Performance in an age of complexity. Jossey-Bass. San Francisco, CA.
Weick, K., and Sutcliffe K (2007), Managing the unexpected: Resilient Performance in an Age of Uncertainty Jossey-Bass. San Francisco, CA.
Weick, K., Sutliffe, K. and Obstfeld. D. (1999) Organizing for High Reliability: Processes of Collective Mindfulness Source: R.S. Sutton and B.M. Staw (eds), Research in Organizational Behavior, Volume 1 (Stanford: Jai Press), pp. 81–123.


Clive Lloyd is an Australian psychologist specialising in Psychological Safety, well-being and mentally- healthy workplaces. He is the director of GYST Consulting Pty Ltd, and developer of the acclaimed Care Factor Program.

Building Engagement and Facilitation skills in your Leaders

By Clive Lloyd
Principal Consultant at GYST Consulting Pty Ltd
Developer of the Care Factor Program

 

“Highly engaged employees make the customer experience. Disengaged employees break it.” –Timothy R. Clark 

 

Whether it is a manager seeking to create enthusiasm for significant organisational change, a trainer with a goal of educating the workforce, or a supervisor running a toolbox talk, sound engagement and facilitation skills are vital if a message is to heard, accepted and internalised.

 

As a company that assists our client organisations to create psychological safety, well being and mentally healthy workplaces, our people have to be able to create engagement and rapport in a relatively short time, and have mastery over facilitation skills to ensure the learnings are internalised, and to help deal with resistance. However, we have noted (as have many of our clients) that not all leaders possess such high levels of engagement and facilitation skills.

This situation sometimes arises because staff members are often elevated to supervisory roles because they were "good on the tools" or otherwise highly skilled and competent on the job, however, this does not automatically mean they will also possess the skills necessary to engage their teams. This becomes particularly problematic when such supervisors or leaders are conducting important sessions related to safety and well being in the workplace.

"You can lead a horse to water, but is it thirsty?" 

Because the above scenarios are far from uncommon, we are increasingly being requested to provide skills-based training with our clients' leaders and supervisors that provide them with tools to better engage their teams. A core module of the Care Factor Program (Leaders) is devoted to these vital skill sets.

The following are excerpts from our Care Factor Facilitation and EngagementModule, and will provide the reader with some fundamental concepts that are used by highly skilled facilitators.

Previewing the Session Components

This involves giving your team a "head's up" about what is to follow in order to increase a thirst for learning. The usual shorthand for this approach is "tell them what your going to tell them - tell them - tell them what you told them". 

Provide the "why"

Provide a meaningful context about the information to be shared (this goes some way to satisfying the "what's in it for me?" aspect of human nature). If your audience understands why the information is of value to them they are far more likely to be engaged.

Example: “By the end of today's session you will be able to facilitate toolbox talks that your people actually enjoy attending - it also means they will be more aware of the risks they face out in the field”

Stories

Our brains are hard-wired to respond to stories. A great way to start a session and build engagement is with a relevant case study or story, particularly if you have a story of your own that is relevant

Using "Universals"

Universals are statements that tend to be true for everyone. They are useful for building rapport and for encouraging engagement from the whole audience. (Example: “We all want to go home safely, so …”)

Reinforcing participation

Acknowledging or even praising (where the praise is genuine and appropriate) input from the team (example: “Excellent point! You’ve touched on something I think is an important issue that we need to communicate to our new people”)

"Tell me more"

Asking for additional information encourages participants to share more of their ideas with the team (example: “Great point! Can you tell me some more about that”)

Using Questions

Questions switch the conscious mind on – do less “telling” and more asking (examples: "What are you hoping this session will cover?”, "Why would that be important to you?")

Tapping into the group's wisdom (bouncing back to the group)

Encourages introspection and allows the facilitator to deal effectively with potentially challenging topics. Participants are often more successfully challenged by one another than by the facilitator (example: “That’s a really interesting question - does anyone have any other thoughts about that?”)

Surveying Activities

Whenever possible, include activities that require the participants to get involved. Surveying is a way of collecting useful information by asking participants to indicate their own beliefs and perceptions (example: “OK, so within your small groups, discuss what you believe are the top 3 things the company could do to improve the flow of information?”)

Clarifying

Summarising or reflecting something that a participant has said to check for accurate understanding (example: “So, it sounds like you believe that what the company should focus on first is … is that right?”)

Punchlines

Memorable summaries of important information can be used to help ensure key material is internalised (example: “If you were to take away just one thing from this workshop, what would it be? …”)

Summarising

Regular summarising helps both the facilitator and the audience to keep track of information and embed key points (example: “So, the four main areas we have covered so far have been ..."

 

“Dispirited, unmotivated, unappreciated workers cannot compete in a highly competitive world.” –Francis Hesselbein 

 

Take a look at the Care Factor Group Engagement and Facilitation Skills Module or Do you have something to add? Join the conversation! 


Clive Lloyd is an Australian psychologist specialising in Psychological Safety, well-being and mentally- healthy workplaces. He is the director of GYST Consulting Pty Ltd, and developer of the acclaimed Care Factor Program.

How to facilitate Redundancy meetings well

By Clive Lloyd
Principal Consultant at GYST Consulting Pty Ltd
Developer of the Care Factor Program

 

Guidelines for individual redundancy meetings

The catalyst for writing this article was a request to design and deliver a training program for managers who were to be making a number of their workforce redundant (prior to a move towards a more contractor-based workforce). This proved to be a very astute move by the client as there are a number of factors (not least legal and reputation-based) to consider when managers are tasked with these challenging conversations.

Managers are not always equipped with the skills required to deal effectively with the range of intense emotions that can be elicited in such meetings. However, a failure to conduct these sessions well and with genuine care can have a major impact on those leaving the company as well as those who remain in terms of trust levels, morale and discretionary effort.

 

It is likely that anyone in a leadership role will be required to have such a conversation during his or her career. The following is a guide to facilitating the redundancy meeting well – with care, professionalism and empathy.

 

There are a number of comprehensive guides available to the interested reader online that I have drawn from and acknowledged in this article, and for ease of access they are cited in the bibliography section.

 

Preparation is Key

Letting people go is a difficult and often emotionally charged event for leaders as well as the affected staff member(s). For the person whose role is being made redundant, his/her world suddenly and significantly changes, and can send him/her into a spin of emotions, challenges, fears and high degrees of stress.

Preparation is essential - particularly when breaking news that needs to be delivered tactfully and backed up by facts. Your HR and legal representatives will need to furnish leaders with all requisite documentation so those managers conducting the meeting can cover these items during the interview. However, much of the difficulty behind a conversation lies in reacting to the person’s emotional response and dealing with potential conflict – areas that long-term coaching and working on emotional intelligence can support (LCP, 2012).

It is important to provide genuine care and emotional support (EAP or counsellor) during and after redundancy announcements. Managers need to take a professional, respectful and compassionate stance because this is likely to be a traumatic event for the impacted staff member. Spend some time trying to predict how the individual will react. Remember, people do not always react as we would expect.

 

Some common reactions to redundancy notifications include:

  • Total Disbelief – the person says nothing and is in shock. Keep the conversation going, elicit a reaction through open questions and dialogue.
  • Escapist - wants to get out of the office immediately. Try and explain why their position was affected and allow the individual to air their feelings.
  • Extreme Anger - including verbal abuse. Allow the person to vent their feelings, ask questions (“Can you tell me what is happening for you right now?”), do not get defensive - they are angry at the situation, listen and don’t make any promises.
  • Crying – First normalise the behaviour: “I know it’s a shock. It’s OK to cry.” Pass tissues. Say: “We will pause for a while, until you are OK to go on”. Sit calmly and wait. Don’t look at them directly at this time (e.g., look down at the desk with a quiet, calm expression). When they show signs that the crying is letting up, say: “I know it’s difficult. Are you OK to go on now?” If the crying continues, tell them you will give them some time by themselves and then leave the room.

 

Tips

1.   Handle the meetings and the individual with dignity, respect, empathy, compassion and confidentiality.

2.   Don’t pretend the news is anything else. Acknowledge the emotion and the uncertainty that redundancy creates. Be open and honest.

3.   Follow the process to ensure a good outcome. Provide details (e.g., legal requirements, financial payouts, notification periods).

4.   Be compassionate. Actively listen. Acknowledge their thoughts and emotions and that they are understandable (Empathy goes a long way).

5.   Acknowledge their emotions. Do not worry if you label the emotion incorrectly. They will correct you and this introspection helps them clarify for themselves  what they are feeling (e.g. Manager: “I can see you are upset.” Staff member: “I am not upset, I am disappointed and hurt. After all I have done for xxxx over the years!”).

6.   Be clear that it is the position (not the person) that has been made redundant and be careful with your language. Keep it as neutral as possible. Rather than saying: “You have been made redundant”, say: “Your role has been made redundant”.

7.   Prepare for your meetings with the impacted staff and follow a plan. Have as much information as you can.

8.   Ensure that all redundancy paperwork is correct prior to passing it on to the employee.

9.   Keep the message consistent. Do not deviate.

10. Explain the process and next steps twice as people may be in shock and won’t necessarily hear your message completely.

11. Always keep it individual. Focus on the individual: discuss their role and entitlements. Tailor the conversation for them and don’t talk about other roles affected, just focus on theirs.

12. Check in with impacted staff within 24 hours after individual meetings (follow-up meetings are vital, as frequently people have more questions after they have had time to properly digest the information).

13. Acknowledge the strengths people have brought to the workplace and show appreciation for their efforts.

14. Remind them of your company's EAP services – have the phone number saved in your mobile contacts so you can give this to them.

15. Take care of yourself, as delivering the message can be exhausting, draining and emotional.

14. Plan for supporting the ‘survivors’ who may feel guilty that they have been retained or they may feel paralysed by fear that they are next to go. Rebuild their confidence by informing them that they are seen as key people who will be able to take the business through this challenging period.

 

Managing high emotions

1. Listen, paraphrase and summarise.

2. Use appropriately assertive language (not aggressive nor defensive language).

3. Validate both the emotion and the issue (naming the emotion is vital for the person to feel they have been ‘heard’).

4. Use their name to refocus them … but don’t overdo it!

5. Ask questions to understand, don’t advocate your own point of view.

6. Be aware of your own prejudices and/or judgements and put these to one side. Come from a neutral position – after all, you don’t know the person’s full situation.

7. Once emotions and issues have been fully aired, ask them if they have an idea at this stage about how they would like to proceed. If they have an idea, listen and respond. If not, ask if you may offer a suggestion. By getting their permission to proceed, you are more likely to have them ‘buy into’ a possible solution.

 

If the employee remains angry

  • Be clear that you are willing to discuss the problem but not to engage in a fight or be intimidated.
  • Repeat the statement in a calm voice (e.g., “I am prepared to work with you to find a way forward, but I am not prepared to trade insults or be yelled at”).
  • Terminate the discussion if the other person remains angry: “We don’t seem to be getting anywhere at the moment because the issues are making us both emotional.”
  • Don’t blame them for this. It is a mutual problem.
  • Make a commitment to follow up when they are calmer and make a time.(Acknowledgement UWA, 2012)

 

Strategies for dealing with different emotional responses

  • Employee who passively agrees to everything you say or decide (DENIAL)
  • Allow some time to develop a relaxed atmosphere.
  • Ensure that they do some of their own thinking. Question them on their thoughts, rationale or feelings.
  • Ask them for their conclusions.
  • Don’t be afraid of silence, give them time to think.
  • State your rationale clearly and check their understanding.
  • Keep to the facts.
  • Actively seek and constructively include their comments.

 

Employee who will not agree to evidence(RESISTANCE)

  1. Ask for their reasons.
  2. Listen with an open mind.
  3. Acknowledge their right to a viewpoint. 
  4. Be determined about your facts.
  5. Restate your decision.
  6. Explore possibilities and potential.

 

Employee who defends, blames or attacks (RESISTANCE)

  • Listen
  • Identify the source of frustration
  • Don’t defend, blame or attack in return
  • Restate the objective of the meeting
  • Don’t dismiss complaints but agree to discuss their implications at another time and close the meeting

 

Employee who is impatient or tries to side-track the meeting (RESISTANCE)

  1. Clarify the agenda for the meeting
  2. Listen and note particular points to address later
  3. Don’t get side-tracked yourself
  4. Refine choices or options
  5. Make a firm commitment to discuss the priority issue for the individual at a later date

 

Employee who talks too much (RESISTANCE)

  1. Allow enough time
  2. Don’t respond too quickly – allow them time to talk
  3. Restate the purpose of the meeting and the agenda
  4. Keep them to the agenda by referring to what they have said and asking relevant questions
  5. Narrow down choices and focus them. (Acknowledgement UWA, 2012)

 

Challenging conversations: Strategies for dealing with anger

Anger is a normal human emotion that warns us something is wrong. But it is also an uncomfortable emotion, especially when expressed at work when you are delivering a difficult message. Fortunately, anger can be managed in these situations.

  1. Acknowledge the person’s anger up front.
  2. Anger brushed aside adds ‘more fuel to the fire’.
  3. Anger is often a symptom of a greater problem so make it clear immediately that you realise the person is upset: “I can see that this is important to you so let’s talk it through.”
  4. The message you send is that you are interested in helping them to find a solution and that you are not going to combat rage with rage.
  5. Your supportive comments do not condone the anger, rather they redirect that the issue needs to be dealt with constructively.

 

Be calm and confident

  • It is essential when confronted with an angry person that you remain calm, dignified, express confidence in your verbal and non-verbal communication and to speak in a steady voice that says you are concerned but not intimidated.
  • It is vital that you don’t respond aggressively to another’s anger.
  • If faced with shouting and extreme aggression, draw the line: “I have no intention of raising my voice during this discussion and I ask you to extend the same courtesy to me.”
  • No one can win with an angry exchange of words.

 

Provide a non-threatening environment

Any topic that has the potential to give rise to anger must be discussed in a non-threatening, private environment.

Try to have the person seated as it’s more difficult to continue an outburst from a sitting position.

 

Listen and ask questions

If the person is remaining angry, maintain eye contact and listen actively without saying anything and they will run out of steam much sooner – it’s not easy to maintain anger with someone who is not responding.

As the anger subsides, help the person move back into an objective rather than a subjective phase by using correct questions and techniques.

 

Work towards a solution

If the person has calmed down enough then talk rationally about the issue and explore the various options (this might depend on what is being discussed) to arrive at a fair and workable solution.

However if the person remains angry then it may be best to postpone the discussion to allow the person to reflect and gain composure. (Acknowledgement UWA, 2012)

 

Common redundancy questions

The following are some "frequently Asked Questions" in redundancy meetings. Leaders would do well to have answers or appropriate responses at hand during the meeting.

  • Why me?
  • Are the terms negotiable?
  • Payment – when and how?
  • Do I have the right to appeal?
  • I intend to take this further!
  • What about my benefits?
  • Why wasn’t I given any warning?
  • What help will you give me to find a new job?
  • Are there alternate jobs I could do?
  • Can I apply for/will you consider me for future vacancies?
  • Can I bring my Union Rep/support person with me to the next meeting?
  • Can I work my notice/leave early?
  • Who is going to do my work?
  • I think this is totally unfair especially given my service and ability!
  • Who else is affected?
  • Can I return to the office?
  • What have my colleagues been told?
  • Can I tell my staff?
  • When does this come into effect?

 

What not to say

  • “I know how you feel…” (No you don’t, you’re not them!)
  • “This is difficult for me too” (They may not care and you might inflame the situation)
  • “Your attitude is all wrong” (What does that mean? Be specific)
  • “If I was you I’d…” (You’re still not them!)
  • “Here’s what you should do …”(Sometimes it’s better to help people find solutions which work for them instead of telling them what to do)
  • “First let me tell you what I think ...” (It’s often best to let them tell you their side first so you can understand their position before you leap in)
  • “I don’t really know much about this but …” (You need to. Do the research. Get your facts straight before you start) (McDonald, J., in LCP, 2012)

 

Practising challenging conversations

As part of your meeting preparation it can be useful to ask yourselves the following questions and rehearse responses to the various scenarios:

  1. What emotional responses are you expecting?
  2. What is your natural style under stress (fight/flight/freeze)?
  3. Given that, focusing now on your script:
  • How will you approach the introduction? Is there anything particular you need to say or add
  • How will you cope with a passive/aggressive person to help them take-in the information? How are you going to phrase it?
  • What if the person yells, says nothing, etc? Think of possible reactions and your reactions to their emotions?

 

Final Thoughts

It is worth repeating the fact that follow-up meetings are essential. Sometimes the sheer shock of the news prohibits the employees from identifying questions they may have in that moment. Schedule a follow-up meeting (usually within 24 hours) during the initial session. Often when employees return to the follow-up meeting they have far more in the way of questions to ask - be prepared!

Further information can be accessed through the bibliography section, particularly LCP (2012) and UWA (2012) which I cited liberally in this article.

If you would like any further information on our range of Care Factor Programs that assist leaders in promoting safety, well-being and facilitating difficult conversations in the workplace, please contact us here.

 

Bibliography

CIPD, (24/1/2012). Employee Outlook: Winter 2011-12 (online) Available at: http://www.cipd.co.uk/hr-resources/surveyreports/employee-outlook-winter-2011-12.aspx.

Covey, Stephen R., (2004). The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. London: Simon & Schuster.

Crum, T. F., (1988). The Magic of Conflict: Thinking a Life of Work into a Work of Art. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Eccleston, J. (2012). CIPD warns of most difficult labour market since recession (online) Available at: http://www.personneltoday.com/articles/2012/02/13/58340/cipd-warns-of-most-difficult-labour-market-sincerecession.html.

Learning Consultancy Partnership [LCP] (2012). Handling difficult Conversations at work: Survey results and guide. (online) Available at http://lcp.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Difficult_conversations_at_work_survey_results_and_guide.pdf

Russell, J. (2009). Surviving a difficult conversation (online) Available at:http://www.russellconsultinginc.com/docs/PDF/Diff_Con_PPT.pdf.

Scott, S. (2002). Fierce conversations: Achieving success at work & in life, one conversation at a time. New York, N.Y: Viking.

Stone, D., Patton, B. & Heen, S. (1999). Difficult Conversations: How to discuss what matters most. New York: Penguin.

University of Western Australia [UWA] (2012). Managing Conversations about Renewal, Redundancy and Redeployment: Participant Workbook. (online) Available at:https://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&ved=0ahUKEwiEgtS9i9_UAhXJlZQKHSM0AmUQFggrMAA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.hr.uwa.edu.au%2F__data%2Fassets%2Fword_doc%2F0012%2F2874855%2FWorkbookv3.docx&usg=AFQjCNEvEjfG-uCPJtfFb8g0pbpbcpMiTg


Clive Lloyd is an Australian psychologist specialising in Psychological Safety, well-being and mentally- healthy workplaces. He is the director of GYST Consulting Pty Ltd, and developer of the acclaimed Care Factor Program.

What's your story? Creating trust in a fearful world

By Clive Lloyd
Principal Consultant at GYST Consulting Pty Ltd
Developer of the Care Factor Program

 

I remember meeting “Phil” for the first time, and the instant dislike I took to him. I had just joined the clinical team in a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center, and Phil was one of the counselors. He seemed sneering and angry, constantly sarcastic to peers and patients, yet sucked up to the management and seemed to have an endless stream of stories to relay to them about his accomplishments. 

My instant dislike was intensified and generalised by the “halo effect” (the tendency for an impression created in one area to influence opinion in another area) and very soon Phil could do nothing right in my eyes.

Of course, my negative judgements about Phil became a self-fulfilling prophecy, and in an alarmingly short time, he and I were members of a mutual loathing society. This unhelpful relationship impacted negatively upon my work, the organisation’s culture, and worst of all the patients.

Then something very simple but profound occurred. As part of the clinical team’s group supervision process, we were all invited to share our stories – our life journey to that point. Phil shared incredibly authentically and courageously, about the abuse and neglect he experienced throughout his formative years – how his older siblings were treated differently, and how his parents seemed aloof and dismissive of any of Phil’s achievements. 

Phil’s sharing enabled me to make sense of some of his current behaviours. He was still seeking approval from authority figures, and was threatened by his peers, so he was dismissive towards them. After his sharing, it was easy (indeed automatic) for me to approach him and hug him, and to thank him for his courage and honesty. 

We all have a story. We have walked through different parks and kneeled at different graves, and our stories shape who we are. Few of us had perfect childhoods, and where our fundamental needs were not met, we adapt our behaviours as coping mechanisms.

Our lazy brains’ preference for System 1 thinking (fast, automatic, frequent, emotional, stereotypic, subconscious) over System 2 thinking (slow, effortful, infrequent, logical, calculating, conscious) means that we form opinions about people very quickly, particularly when we don’t know the background story.

 

Steven Covey illustrates this point brilliantly in his classic work, The 7 habits of highly effective people.

I remember a mini-Paradigm Shift I experienced one Sunday morning on a subway in New York. People were sitting quietly -- some reading newspapers, some lost in thought, some resting with their eyes closed. It was a calm, peaceful scene. Then suddenly, a man and his children entered the subway car. The children were so loud and rambunctious that instantly the whole climate changed.

The man sat down next to me and closed his eyes, apparently oblivious to the situation. The children were yelling back and forth, throwing things, even grabbing people's papers. It was very disturbing. And yet, the man sitting next to me did nothing. 

It was difficult not to feel irritated. I could not believe that he could be so insensitive to let his children run wild like that and do nothing about it, taking no responsibility at all. It was easy to see that everyone else on the subway felt irritated, too. So finally, with what I felt was unusual patience and restraint, I turned to him and said, "Sir, your children are really disturbing a lot of people. I wonder if you couldn't control them a little more?"

The man lifted his gaze as if to come to a consciousness of the situation for the first time and said softly, 'Oh, you're right. I guess I should do something about it. We just came from the hospital where their mother died about an hour ago. I don't know what to think, and I guess they don't know how to handle it either.' 

Can you imagine what I felt at that moment? My paradigm shifted. Suddenly I saw things differently, I felt differently, I behaved differently. My irritation vanished. I didn't have to worry about controlling my attitude or my behavior; my heart was filled with the man's pain. Feelings of sympathy and compassion flowed freely. "Your wife just died? Oh, I'm so sorry. Can you tell me about it? What can I do to help?" Everything changed in an instant.

It seems to me of late that political expediency is served by focussing on division and creating fear among the electorate, with a subsequent reduction in trust and empathy that, in turn, discourages the use of system 2 thinking. If we could move past assumptions, and seek to understand why people act as they do, we could reverse this toxic trend.

Similarly, trust in business leaders is declining, with the subsequent damage to engagement levels and company culture becoming all too evident. As leaders, think what sharing our own stories could do for the culture of our teams.

 

What’s your story? 

 

Our Care Factor Psychological Safety & Well-being Module can help with understanding yourself, other people and how to create care in the workplace 

 

References

Covey, S. R. (2004). The 7 habits of highly effective people: Restoring the character ethic. New York: Free Press.

Kahneman, D. (25 October 2011). Thinking fast and slow: Macmillan


Clive Lloyd is an Australian psychologist specialising in Psychological Safety, well-being and mentally- healthy workplaces. He is the director of GYST Consulting Pty Ltd, and developer of the acclaimed Care Factor Program.

Are your Company Values working for you? Try this test

Are your Company Vaules working for you? Try this test

"Your core values and purpose, if properly conceived, remain fixed. Everything else—your practices, strategies, structures, systems, policies, and procedures—should be open for change. Values are a fixed stake in the ground. You get it right once, and the rest of the work consists of tinkering with the organization. Typically, executives devote a tiny percentage of their time and effort to gaining understanding, a tiny percentage to creating alignment, and the vast majority to documenting and writing a statement. In fact, the distribution of time and effort should be nearly the opposite. You should spend a significant percentage of time actually trying to gain understanding, a tiny percentage documenting that understanding, and the vast majority of your time creating alignment. In short, worry about what you do as an organization, not what you say.” - Jim Collins

I work a lot with Companies who are seeking to improve their organisational culture, and a key starting point in the Care Factor approach is to look at a Company’s values, and ask some hard questions.

Are these espoused or in-use values?

How would you know?

What would your people say about the values? (Do they even know what they are?).

Gaining clarity around these questions can assist an organisation to understand whether their values are contributing positively to the culture, or actually undermining it.

If company values are well known and understood, then used as decision-making tools to steer consistent leadership behaviours then it is likely that trust and engagement will be created and sustained.

However, if the values are merely words that look good on posters or the Company’s website, but are barely known or utilised, then the end result is likely to be a cynical and disengaged workforce.

What are your Core Values?

Identifying core values that your team can buy into is essential if the organisation is to use the values as intended and positively influence the culture.

Jim Collins has put forward a series of questions to assist courageous leaders in identifying their Company's core values – have a read through the below questions and answer authentically (ideally with other members of your leadership team).

If you find yourself saying “no” to one or more of the questions (as applied to each of your Company’s espoused values), then they are unlikely to be genuine core values,and (of course) it will be much less likely that your leadership team will base decision-making on them.

If you were to start a new organisation, would you build it around this core value regardless of the industry?

Would you want your organisation to continue to stand for this core value 100 years into the future, no matter what changes occur in the outside world?

Would you want your organisation to hold this core value, even if at some point in time it became a competitive disadvantage—even if in some instances the environment penalized the organisation for living this core value?

Do you believe that those who do not share this core value—those who breach it consistently—simply do not belong in your organisation?

Would you personally continue to hold this core value even if you were not rewarded for holding it?

Would you change jobs before giving up this core value?

If you awoke tomorrow with more than enough money to retire comfortably for the rest of your life, would you continue to apply this core value to your productive activities?

Care Factor Vision and Values Alignment Module  


Clive Lloyd is an Australian psychologist specialising in Psychological Safety, well-being and mentally- healthy workplaces. He is the director of GYST Consulting Pty Ltd, and developer of the acclaimed Care Factor Program.

You can lead a horse to water, but is it thirsty?

You can lead a horse to water, but is it thirsty?

If your company is like most mining, oil & gas, construction and resource organisations, your safety team probably espouse (at least publicly) and use Behaviour-Based Safety (BBS) tools such as Take 5s.

If you are realistic and in touch with your teams you may also have realised that (in all likelihood) your peoples' view of such tools is not particularly favourable. Indeed, I would bet the majority of your people (depending on the prevailing safety culture) would see these tools as "a tick and flick exercise", "an arse-covering exercise by management", "a waste of time" or similar.

Accordingly, such beliefs tend to become self-fulfilling prophecies, and the Take 5s are completed unconsciously or (in some cases) in the crib room.

Without providing the "why" behind the use of such tools, and building trust and engagement, such tools, in my opinion, provide little benefit.

A couple of questions:

Do you believe your teams use these tools as intended? What is the evidence for your response?

What can be done to build engagement, trust and motivation for using such tools? What has worked for you?

 

The Care Factor Program - Teams Engagement Workshop is designed to ensure your teams use BBS tools as intended  


Lloyd is an Australian psychologist specialising in Psychological Safety, well-being and mentally- healthy workplaces. He is the director of GYST Consulting Pty Ltd, and developer of the acclaimed Care Factor Program.

What stops your people from doing safety interventions?

Given the recent findings (below), what do we need to do as leaders to encourage more of these potentially life-saving conversations?

 

The two primary reasons that respondents gave for not intervening when they see something unsafe –

(1) the other person would become defensive or angry, and

(2) it would not make a difference

– indicate a common, underlying problem. Namely, a large number of employees do not intervene when they see something unsafe because they either are or believe themselves to be incapable of doing so effectively.

They do not believe that they can intervene in a way that stops and sustainably changes the other person’s unsafe behavior, while also preserving a respectful working relationship.

 

Looking to Create an Intervention Culture?


Clive Lloyd is an Australian psychologist specialising in Psychological Safety, well-being and mentally- healthy workplaces. He is the director of GYST Consulting Pty Ltd, and developer of the acclaimed Care Factor Program.

 

Pre-Start Meetings: You snooze, you lose!

By Clive Lloyd
Principal Consultant at GYST Consulting Pty Ltd
Developer of the Care Factor Program

 

I was recently coaching a supervisor in the Oil & Gas sector who was bemoaning the fact that his team was just not engaged during the pre-start meetings. “I’m so over them – they just look at their boots and then leave” he wailed.

I attended his pre-start meeting the very next day, and within 5 minutes I was looking at my boots too! Boring just doesn’t cut it … this was verbal anaesthetic!

When I ask the workforce in general to describe pre-start meetings in one word, the most frequent adjective I receive is “boring” – this is not limited to one or two companies – I would suggest this is the norm in the mining, oil & gas and construction sectors.

So here we are – one of the most important safety meetings of the day/shift, and a large proportion of the workforce have mentally and emotionally checked out! It appears many organisations are either blissfully unaware of this fact, or are simply epitomising Einstein’s definition of insanity – that is, doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different result … it will never happen!

Those readers with even a rudimentary understanding of how the brain works will realise that repetition in a pre-start meeting is the enemy of attention and engagement. The more repetitive elements there are within a meeting, the more likely it is that people will simply switch off … from (arguably) the most important safety meeting of the day. Yet, consider this: Most pre-starts are run in the same location, at the same time, by the same person, covering the same key topics and asking the same lame questions (e.g., “so was yesterday a safe day?”) – are you asleep yet?

Combine this with the fact that many supervisors were elevated to that role because they were great on the tools – the fact that they don’t necessarily possess good people or engagement skills seemed to matter little at the time of promotion, yet now managers wonder why the quality of pre-starts is so poor, as day after day the long-suffering supervisor reads a lame and irrelevant “safety moment” he’s pulled straight off the printer to a team that is thinking about doughnuts.

If we are serious about running effective pre-start meetings – and we should be – then we need to provide our supervisors with at least a basic skill-set that enables them to generate engagement.

We also need to move away from putting people on the spot by insisting on forced safety moments at every meeting (which leads to endless repetition of weak and irrelevant driving or kitchen stories), instead giving a variety of people adequate time to prepare high-impact stories that have a point and actually engage people.

The structure of pre-start meetings needs to be changed regularly to diminish repetition. There should be less “telling” and much more frequent use of open and genuine questions.

While some of these solutions would seem to fall into the category of “the bleedin’ obvious” I am still stunned by how many global resource companies don’t actually implement them.

On a brighter note – I have been exposed to some exceptionally good pre-start meetings, as I’m sure many readers have. What (in your experience) are the key ingredients of a high-impact engaging and useful pre-start meeting?  Join the conversation live and take a look at Care Factor Group Facilitation & Engagement Module 


Lloyd is an Australian psychologist specialising in Psychological Safety, well-being and mentally- healthy workplaces. He is the director of GYST Consulting Pty Ltd, and developer of the acclaimed Care Factor Program.

3 Ways to build workforce support for Personal Risk Assessments

By Clive Lloyd
Principal Consultant at GYST Consulting Pty Ltd
Developer of the Care Factor Program

 

If you work in the mining, oil & gas or associated industries, there’s a very good chance your company utilises Personal Risk Assessments (PRAs), most commonly tools such as 5x5s, Take 5s etc.

There is also a very good chance that your workforce views such tools with a high degree of cynicism and (essentially) as an “arse-covering exercise by management”, and/or just another annoying thing they have to do before every job.

In some organisations (not many, but they are out there), the majority of the workforce actually embraces PRAs, and hence, tend to use them as intended.

So which is it? Tick and Flick farce or useful safety tool?

Well, both (or either)! However, the central observation above – that is, in some organisations the tools are used effectively, whereas others struggle to gain any genuine benefits – really demonstrates that the success or otherwise of a PRA has little to do with the tools themselves. What makes all the difference is how the workforce thinks and feels about the tool, and subsequently what they do with them!

The critical mass of workforce opinion about PRAs is fundamentally influenced by how leaders have introduced the tools, by the ways they “police” their use, whether or not the use of such tools is at workers’ discretion or compulsory, if there are metrics involved (e.g., “you need to do 5 per day and hand them in”) etc. In short, leaders strongly influence the degree to which PRAs become a useful safety tool, or a “tick and flick” farce.

The following are some strategies that can lead to greater workforce engagement with BBS tools such as PRAs – I’m sure readers of this article can add to the list – please do so.

1. Provide the “why”
Leaders frequently outline the “what” and the “how” around the use of PRAs, yet often seem to miss the crucial “why” aspect. Human motivation is largely driven by the “what’s in it for me?” mindset. In short, if people don’t understand why they are being asked (or forced) to perform a given task (and what they’ll get out of it) they will tend to do it in the quickest, easiest way (e.g., fill them in while in the crib room). We find that helping the workforce to understand how the brain works - for example, how it is hard-wired to be complacent - goes a long way to providing a sound rationalisation for the effective use of a PRA.

2. Ownership
Companies I have worked with that see the greatest workforce engagement around PRAs are those that have actually included the workforce in the design of the tools. Asking the workforce to contribute to the design also has the advantage of making the tool more relevant to particular work areas. More to the point, if people have been involved in the process, they will take ownership of the tool and will be more likely to use it as intended. Conversely, if a generic tool is merely imposed upon them, they are less likely to be motivated to use them in helpful ways, especially if they don’t understand the “why” behind their use.

3. Beware Metrics
Finally, I’m not a fan of putting metrics on the use of PRAs. Many companies insist that their people hand in 3 or 5 completed PRAs per day. Given that few companies do anything meaningful with the data, the workforce tend to (rightly) assume that the reason they have to hand in the stated amount of completed PRAs is because their leaders don't trust them! Given that trust is a strong predictor of safety culture and performance, such an approach is actually likely to do more harm than good.

In summary, help people understand the “why” behind the use of PRAs, get the workforce involved in the design of the tools as much as is practicable (this will give them a sense of ownership), and finally, really think through the pros and cons of attaching metrics to the use of PRAs – at the very least, if you are going to demand your people hand in 3 a day, then at least do something with the data, otherwise you are simply screaming “we don’t trust you” – and then we wonder why the workforce is cynical!

What other strategies have you seen that increase engagement around PRAs?   Be part of the conversation over at the Care Factor Community also Take a look at the Care Factor Safety Program


Clive Lloyd is an Australian psychologist specialising in Psychological Safety, well-being and mentally- healthy workplaces. He is the director of GYST Consulting Pty Ltd, and developer of the acclaimed Care Factor Program.

PARTICIPANT TESTIMONIAL

“This workshop very cleverly explains human nature and how it affects safety. I believe this course has completely changed my outlook on safety, as ultimately safety is your own responsibility. It has changed the way I manage myself in pressure situations and stopped me getting upset with things I cannot control. The course was excellent...”

Miner
XSTRATA

"Clive is a highly motivated and dynamic trainer. He has a deep understanding of his subject and delivers a very powerful message in an incredibly short space of time. This is probably the best training session I have ever attended and I would highly recommend Clive and GYST Consulting."

Business Manager
HIMA AUSTRALIA

"The Care Factor Program has enabled me to be conscious of taking responsibility and understanding the how/what/why my thinking is built on. Also, that to change culture, I must empower others by asking questions and not being afraid to intervene"

Mining Engineer  
BMA

published on June 23, 2017

Clive Lloyd introducing the Care Factor program

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