Safety Culture: Make the Most of Your Leadership Walkthrough

leadership-walkthroughsThere are various names for it; sometimes they’re called site visits, sometimes management walk-arounds, sometimes leadership walk-throughs, sometimes supervisor engagements, sometimes something else.  Whatever you call them, and whether the context of your supervision is “in the field” or “on the floor” (or even someplace else!), it’s imperative for purposes of leadership and relationship-building that you spend a significant amount of time with your workforce in their environment to ensure a safety culture is present. [content_protector password=”sl-walkthrough-01″ identifier=”sl-walkthrough-01″]

But just visiting the plant, the line, the work site, or a field location in a random and unplanned way often results in missed opportunities to lead both personal safety and process safety.  A better way of doing this is to plan and prepare ourselves for those visits ahead of time, to focus on building relationships of trust when we’re out there, and to ask intelligence-gathering questions that simultaneously verify required competencies and ensure that process-safety practices are sound.

Now, I’ve already mentioned the various names that these site visits go by; but we refer to them as leadership walk-throughs, and I’m going to encourage you to do the same.  There are fundamental differences in both mindset and approach between conducting these visits as a manager or supervisor, and conducting them as a leader–differences we’ll elaborate on in our next issue.

But that’s it for this edition of Recordable INSIGHTS.  Until next time 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.