“Setting the Pace” for Your Safety Management Plan

occupational health and safety courses, safety management planEver wish all of your employees or peers were as energetic and on top of their game as you are?  Ever been disappointed that you had to slow things down to get someone else up to speed that you thought (after all) was fully competent to help lead a safety culture and safety management plan?  We’ve been looking at safety-leadership styles over the past few weeks, and if you’ve found yourself thinking those thoughts on a regular basis, you may have a “Pace Setting” safety-leadership style. [content_protector password=”sls-04″ identifier=”sls-04″]

Recall that there are six safety-leadership styles. They are: Coercive >> Authoritative >> Affiliative >> Democratic >> Pace-setting >> Coaching

How Your Pace-Setting Style May Impact Your Safety Management Plan

A Pace Setter believes in being as efficient as possible when leading people and raising performance levels.  Their approach is, “Watch me do it; You learn the process (quickly); Now it’s yours–you do it.”  The objective is high performance.  They model what they want to see in others, and they expect them to pick it up quickly and perform at high levels quickly.

Hence, in the context of leading a safety culture, if a Pace Setter encounters an employee who refuses to progress beyond the basics of the required occupational health and safety courses they’ve taken (“I’m wearing all my PPE–so what’s the problem?”), the Pace Setter’s natural tendency is to hand that person off to someone else to remediate.

If that particular employee is at a supervisor level, and is leading other employees, the problem is intensified for the Pace Setter.  In their view, if someone is charged with leading a safety culture change and fails at promoting the associated safety management plan, that’s three strikes already.

The Pace-Setting style is really only effective when working with highly competent, independent-minded employees who naturally perform at high levels.  And it’s a mutually beneficial style for this type of employee because high performers rarely want to be hand-held or micro-managed.

However, it’s not very effective when dealing with high-maintenance employees who need training, development or even a little remediation.  They just assume someone knows what they’re doing with a task or a process until it’s proven otherwise.  And when they see incompetence or low performance, they react because they have very little patience for such things.

Be sure to view the video below for more information about the Pace Setter.  And stay tuned as we delve into the next and final safety-leadership style in our next issue in this series.  But that’s it for this edition of Recordable INSIGHTS. Until next time.



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.