How to Build and Lead a Sustainable Safety Culture (Part 7)

Think of a safety behavior or safety performance issue with someone in your organization that you probably need to address sometime soon. How will you go about handling that situation? What approach do you plan to use? And what do you think the outcome will be? On a percentage basis what’s the likelihood this behavior or performance level won’t happen again? [content_protector password=”coach-00″ identifier=”coach-00″]

That’s what coaching safety engagements is all about. Safety coaching culture is useful for accomplishing a number of goals, including:

  • Raising Performance Levels
  • Correcting Wrong Behaviors
  • Reinforcing Right Behaviors
  • Developing Skills
  • Building Relationships
  • Setting Expectations for Further Growth

But for safety culture coaching to yield sustainable results it has to comply with a set of criteria that we call SMORE. SMORE stands for Specific, Measurable, Observable, Repeatable, and Expectations-based.

First of all it has to be Specific. Whatever behavior or performance I’m coaching has to be clearly defined and not left vague or open-ended.

Second it has to be Measurable. I have to be able to measure it against a goal or yardstick of performance or behavioral standards that leads to that goal.

Third, it has to be Observable. I can’t coach something I or a trusted member of my team hasn’t personally witnessed or observed.

Fourth, it has to be Repeatable. I want to make sure this is a pattern with this person, and not simply an isolated incident.

Finally, it has to be Expectations-based. Coaching is based on established goals, and it assumes I’ve already set down the expectations and the person knows and understands what those expectations are. If I haven’t done that already, then I want to do that first.FCTC Online

Well there you have it. If you want behavior and performance improvements to stick they’ve got to be coached. And if you want coaching to work it’s got to be S.M.O.R.E.

Well, that’s all for this edition of Recordable Insights. But be sure to catch us next week when we’ll continue with ways to coach safety performance and behaviors. Until then, be sure all your safety initiatives are built-in, not bolted on.



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.