A Three-Step Process for Better Safety Leadership Walkthroughs (Pt 2)

safety-leadership dialogueIn our last issue we looked at step #1 of a three-step process for conducting safety leadership walkthroughs, and that’s to prepare for the walkthrough ahead of time.  The second step is equally important, and that’s to engage them in conversation.

Remember, the three-step safety-leadership walkthrough process is: [content_protector password=”build-08″ identifier=”build-08″]

Step 1: Prepare

Step 2: Engage

Step 3: Verify

Keep in mind that engagement means we’re taking the time to have meaningful dialogue with them, and not just small talk.  Everything we’ve already covered about using open-ended questions and avoiding leading or closed-ended questions to get the most value out of our safety-leadership walkarounds applies here as well.

But the primary goal for this step is to build relationships of trust with them so that they give us the information we need, readily, automatically, and without hesitation, when we ask them about it.

To do that effectively we have to rid ourselves of the notion that when we’re out there doing our walkthroughs we’re getting in the way, or we’re distracting them from doing their job, or we’re interfering, or slowing down production.

Refuse to limit your time on the job site based on perceived notions of interfering.  And don’t forget about your on-call or late-shift employees.  Be sure to include them in this process as well. We’ll address the final step in this process in our next article.  But that’s it for this edition of Recordable INSIGHTS.  See you next time.

~ES

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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.