Charting the Way Forward: Coaching Safety-Performance Improvements

Developing the Way Forward: Getting a Commitment for ImprovementsSo far we’ve looked at the first three steps of our coaching model for safety culture improvements. The first step is to establish the GOAL. The second step it to determine the current state REALITY. The third step is to generate OPTIONS for improvements. The final step is to develop a Way Forward based on the top options generated in the previous step.

The Way Forward

The final step in the G.R.O.W. coaching process is to piece together a plan of action based on the best options you decided upon with the person you are coaching. As always, the plan of action should consist primarily of the ideas of the “coachee.” Remember, “no one disagrees with his/her own ideas.”

The plan of action is a simple process of paring down the options to the top two or three, and setting expectations based on those options, complete with time frames for putting them into practice.

So, returning to the case of my employee, Tom, I might wrap things up by saying:

“Tom, it looks like we’ve come up with a long list of options here. Tell you what, why don’t you pick the one you want to work on first. I’ll pick one, too, so you’ll have two options to work on.”

Once we’ve decided on a couple of options, then I might say …

“As I understand it, Tom, starting tomorrow you plan to start doing things differently in these two areas. Did I get that right? Did I miss anything?”

To make sure this doesn’t fall through the cracks, I’ll want to put a time parameter around it:

“Tom, one of the options we agreed on is your leadership in our safety meetings. Our next safety meeting is next Tuesday. Why you go ahead and plan to lead that meeting. Let’s get together an hour before that meeting to talk about how you plan to deliver the message and engage the audience. Then let’s meet right after that meeting to discuss how things went.”

Follow-up and follow-through is key to this process. So be sure you’re not the one dropping the ball!

Well there you have it. The four-step G.R.O.W. process for coaching safety performance and behaviors. That’s it for this edition of Recordable INSIGHTS. Be sure to view the associated video below to learn more about this final step in the coaching process. 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.