Developing Your Bench: The ABCs of Safety Leadership

developing your safety-leadership bench playersIn our last Recordable INSIGHTS we talked about how to manage and motivate your A players.  Remember, these are your champions in a safety leadership culture, so it’s important to bring them on board and develop their skills.  But it’s your B players who will finally settle the culture.  

B players make up the majority of the workforce and the organization’s culture is usually defined by them.  That’s not a bad thing since your B players are both strong performers and solid contributors, and are the heart and soul of the organization.  As such they are an indispensable asset to you, and a great supporting cast to the drivers of the safety culture.

Collectively, they are critical to success, because once they’re on board they’ll act as your primary force for cultural stability and longevity.  Be sure to reinforce their safety-leadership skills and reward any leadership initiative they might take in driving that safety culture.  If you take the time to recognize and reward the discretionary effort and time they spend in helping you drive the culture, you’ll be amazed at their willingness to help out even more.

One of those rewards should be in the form of tailored development opportunities targeted to their natural talents and passions so as to build engagement, instead of the usual cookie-cutter development track.  These are your bench players, and by developing and reinforcing your bench in terms of their safety-leadership strength and depth you’ll all but guarantee the longevity of the culture.

That’s all the time we have for this edition of Recordable INSIGHTS. Until next time, be sure all your safety initiatives are built-in, not bolted on.


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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.