Building Inclusive Workplaces.
Struggling to realise your DEIB strategy?
It seems like we are continuing to put more and more in and getting less and less out. The more we focus on the deficit, the larger it seems to be. There is a growing feeling that the way safety is being managed can create a drain on overall performance, sometimes even making safety worse.
Most current approaches to safety focus on eliminating negatives. Why-Based Safety is a positive and inspiring approach. It evokes change in safety leadership, focusing on harvesting what is going right and building on it. It connects with people in a very human and personal way, understanding what really matters most to them, what challenges they face and building from there.
Keeping Safety Connected with the organisation’s Higher Purpose It’s cause or belief and the very reason it exists. This naturally unleashes passion, innovation and care. It is still popular around the world to say, safety is not the top priority or the single most important thing that organisations pay attention to every single day. Safety is an enabler of the company’s purpose, which is always rooted in serving others and to fulfil on the organisation’s beliefs. It is inconsistent to be in service of and contributing positively to others including your customers and the public, whilst harming your own people. When we lose this perspective and try to make safety the centre of the world of work, we make work unproductive and paradoxically less safe. When people are viscerally connected to the company’s Higher Purpose, they experience a great sense of fulfilment and accomplishment and become more productive and safer.
Let People Be the Solution, not a problem to be solved or managed. Connecting with people, creating a genuine condition of trust and care, people will naturally choose to follow policies and procedures. When provided with the right support, we all adapt, learn and grow to become safer and more productive in our work. The reverse of this idea, which is all too common, is the perspective that people are unable to work safely on their own, needing rules and procedures, to keep them under control. When something goes wrong, it’s blamed on someone not following the rules. The compulsion to create more control, following an incident, leads to more rules and procedures added on top of the existing ones. Creating the potential for work to become unworkable. WhyNot believes there is a better way where policies and procedures are fully in service of enabling people to work safer rather than restricting or trying to control them.
Build on Strengths in most high-risk work environments, safety is still measured by the absence of negatives, a sum of the total days missed from work or recordable injuries. Playing to people’s natural strengths of noticing when things don’t feel right or being aware of when policies and procedures no longer fully cover the changing conditions and then intervening, are key for us all to stay safe.
At their best, people are highly innovative and resilient, we believe that increasing these capabilities is the key to the next generation of safety. From the perspective of Why- Based Safety, safety is the presence of positives, people doing more of the right things.
We’re interested in your views as to how safety is positioned in your organisation. Is it primarily focused on stopping bad things happening or enabling more of the good things we all want?