23 Jun Having a moment…
If COVID-19 has sharpened everyone’s focus on risk, how can we harness this and reflect the learnings into a better and safer culture for the future?
This was the topic of a fascinating panel discussion that we held last week, with contributions from safety leaders representing Biffa, Nokia, Openreach, United Living and Deloitte.
Here are some highlights from the session – you can listen to the full discussion by downloading the podcast here.
Adapting to Change with Pace
One of the clear positives is around people ‘owning’ safety. What could have taken years of work to get people to take ownership of safety, has been done in three months. This illustrates a real shift in people stepping up, engaging in safety and offering opinions and ideas.
What this proves is that cultural change can be delivered almost immediately, if the situation being faced is identified and understood by everyone. The COVID-19 message is emotive because it touches us all. The consequences are front of mind for everyone – it just goes to show the power of good communications! But can we harness the same passion for other safety risks in the workplace?
Due to the nature of this crisis, business leaders have been telling stories and sharing their personal experiences. This level of personal interaction shows leaders off in a more authentic light – and that breeds better trust. Inspirational storytelling is something that Tribe has been advocating for many years.
Brave New Tech World
We are embracing technology to help bridge the gap created by social distancing and to keep us connected. We’ve put energy and innovation into making these online connections just as engaging as face-to-face. In the most part it’s worked well – after all, younger workers are naturally adept at building and maintaining relationships and support networks online. This has always been their normal!
Wellbeing in the Spotlight
With the seismic shift to home working for many of us, a daily stream of video conferencing has invited us into each other’s home lives – we are meeting our colleagues’ kids, partners and even pets. This is driving more personal interactions and seems to be having a positive effect on the way teams work together.
“How are you?” is now being asked more often. We’re getting more honest answers, we’re listening better and using what we learn to improve things. Many leaders are now seeing the clear link between good employee wellbeing and a more productive workforce. It’s something that wellbeing experts have been shouting about for years but it’s taken a pandemic to shine the light on it.
Harnessing the Energy
Despite the positive green shoots, safety leaders were quick to point out that this new more positive risk mindset could be a short-term phenomenon. They are already seeing slippage. After a good start, incidents and accidents are on the increase again.
It’s becoming clear that safety leaders need to act with pace to harness the positive swing in risk attitude, so that people don’t slip back into “normal” rather than a “new normal.”
It would seem, therefore, that while wellbeing and safety is having a ‘moment’ it’s important to seize this opportunity to make a long-term difference. There may never have been a better time to re-energise your culture programme.
Download the latest version of our
Crisis Culture Insight
At the start of the Covid-19 crisis, Tribe Culture Change carried out research with over 120 individuals from across organisations to write their ‘Crisis Culture Insight.’ The key issues raised fell into four categories – Trust, Risk Mindset, Resilience and Engagement.
“The challenge from a health, safety and wellbeing perspective is to make sure that the culture either remains strong or continues to develop so that those behaviours are the right ones throughout the crisis period. The risk is that because the crisis is creating significant distraction for the organisation and those who work for it, there is an increase in potential for negative health, safety and wellbeing outcomes.”
Tribe Crisis Culture Insight, 2020