“No One Disagrees With His Own Ideas”: Turning Employees into Owners in Safety Culture Development

“No One Disagrees With His Own Ideas”: Turning Employees into Owners in Safety Culture DevelopmentThe problem with much of what passes for safety culture development these days is the “mandate” feel it carries with it. People are essentially coerced into whatever change is being made. Certainly there has to be a mandate if change is going to happen, and that mandate has to be driven by leadership. But the way it is driven matters. If my approach to safety culture development is primarily coercive, I may very well get people to comply, but that’s not the same as getting them on board. It can result in a fear-based compliance, and that’s never a good foundation for building a sustainable safety culture.

About the Author

Eric Svendsen
Eric Svendsen, Ph.D., is Principal and lead change agent for safetyBUILT-IN, a safety-leadership learning and development organization. He has over 20 years experience in creating and executing outcomes-based leadership development and culture change initiatives aligned to organizational goals, and he personally led the safety-culture initiatives of a number of client organizations that resulted in “best ever safety performance” years for those companies.