Safety Meetings Must ENGAGE

safety meetings must engageEngagement can mean a lot of different things; but in the context of a safety meeting it means primarily that you’ve succeeded in creating a situation in which your audience is fully vested in the topic, views the topic as wholly relevant to them, gives undivided attention to you and your message, and actively participates in the meeting.  In short, engagement happens when you have captured your audience’s full attention. [content_protector password=”meeting-enagage-01″ identifier=”meeting-enagage-01″]

Conducting a safety meeting without engagement is kind of like trying to drive a vehicle while in neutral.  I can throttle the engine, but unless I put it in gear, the vehicle goes nowhere.  I have to fully engage the transmission before the engine can move the vehicle in the way it was designed. We have to do something very similar in our safety meetings.  Our communication around safety has to engage their minds and their thinking, as well as their hearts and their attitudes if we hope to get anywhere with that meeting.  Otherwise we end up revving our engines but not getting very far.

So how do we make these meetings more engaging? Well, here’s a segment of a video from a past workshop I held on this topic.  This is just an overview, and we’ll be fleshing all this out in upcoming issues of Recordable INSIGHTS.  But let’s look in as I give some tips for making safety meetings more engaging (video below).

Engagement Overview
(These will be fleshed out in detail in upcoming issues!)

1. Ask, Don’t Tell:  Get out of the habit of lecturing.  Never tell them something they can tell you.  This is key to engagement.

2. Lead It, Don’t Read It:  We’ve covered this before.  Safety meeting should be led, not read.

3. Make Eye Contact:  This helps establish rapport, sincerity, and relationships of trust

4. Close Proximity:  Minimize the distance between you and your audience.  Get up close and personal.

5. Eliminate Distractions:  Never let an outside source of noise compete with a safety discussion.

6. Project Your Voice:  A strong voice commands attention

7. Position the Group:  Be sure everyone is within line of sight and within earshot.

8. Use a Prop:  Props not only dramatically increase someone’s ability to understand the point you are making, but they also increase their ability to remember that point long term.

9. Rotate Meeting Leaders:  Share leadership and ownership for safety by rotating the responsibility to lead these meetings.

Well there you have it; nine tips for making your safety meetings more engaging.  Once again, we will revisit many of these points as we work our way through this series.  But that’s all the time we have for this edition of Recordable INSIGHTS. Until next time be sure all your safety talks 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.