What About Your C Players (part 3)? The ABCs of Safety Leadership

What About Your C Players (part 3)?`Last issue we looked at the common reasons managers tend to turn a blind eye to C players they may have on their team, and the common barriers to removing a C player.  And as we noted, there are really only three things you can do about C players: (1) develop them into B players, (2) move them to another role where they can become B players or where the consequence of their being a C player is mitigated, or (3) manage them out of the organization.  There are many good reasons for taking one of these actions once you’ve identified a C player.

First, every C player fills a role that could be filled by someone who is actually on board with and enthused about your safety-leadership culture.  The C player stands in the way of higher performance as a team.

10 things you must know about safety coachingSecond, C players tend to be undesirable role models for younger employees or new hires because they set a bad example of what you’re looking for in terms of behaviors and performance.

Third, C players tend to have a negative impact on the overall morale of a team–including your A players!  Remember, your A players are your high performers, and your B players are strong performers–and both of these groups are watching what you do as a leader.  If they detect that you make no distinction in the treatment of the workforce based on performance, they’ll do one of two things.  They’ll either begin to pull back the reigns on their own performance–after all, what does it matter; or they’ll become frustrated and move on to another opportunity.

The final reason that you must act when you identify a C player is because C players by virtue of their behaviors and performance automatically put everyone else at risk. Your primary job a a safety leader is to do all you can to prevent that opportunity from taking shape in the first place.

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Well there you have it; the ABCs of safety leadership workforce management.  That’s it 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.