Create A “No Matter What” Attitude
Guest Contributor: Rob Chvatal
At the end of the day, achieving outstanding safety performance requires employees who are willing to do the “right thing”. The “right thing” could look like: taking the time to get the proper tool, wearing those uncomfortable goggles, asking for help or helping others we don’t get along with, or taking the time to plan or explain something. Unfortunately, this is not always the way we choose to do things.
In my training, I talk about the attitudes and beliefs required to perform safely. Recently, it seems that more and more employees are telling me that they understand the need for a positive attitude about doing the right thing. They also admit that at times there are barriers to doing what they know they “should” do. Barriers, or barrier thinking, like “I am in a hurry”, “it’s the way we have always done it”, “he wouldn’t help me”, etc., etc.
Recently, I had an employee say that he felt he needed to help others be safe NO MATTER WHAT. He worked among a very diverse workforce with a lot of history together, and much of it not very constructive. There were many individuals and groups that did not get along. It was an atmosphere where shortcuts and animosity were common. And now here is this employee standing up in class and expressed that there is way too much at stake not to do the right thing when it came to safety. Everyone in the room knew what the right thing was – and he was challenging himself and others to do it!
“Someone asks for help, I help them – no matter what. I need a tool that is at the other side of the plant, I go get it – no matter what. I am not exactly clear how to do a task safely, I ask for guidance from someone else – no matter what. I just experienced a severe near miss, I share the situation with others so we can all learn from it – no matter what. Regardless of who is involved, what time of day it is, the amount of extra work involved, what supervisor asked me to do it, etc. – I need to do it safety NO MATTER WHAT.
It’s not easy to perform in a no matter what manner, so much is in the way just urging us to take the quicker, easier, more comfortable route. But I believe if we started to make no matter what our mantra, at work and at home, significant and sustainable safety performance would be made.
Moment to moment safety performance is rooted in our attitude – no matter what is an important habitual thought pattern to engrain into our way of thinking. Do you have it? How can you drive it into you and others?
Rob Chvatal is the President and Organizational Consultant with Catalyst For Change, Inc., Minneapolis, MN. He works with organizations to improve communication, establish behavioral norms and drive cultural change. He email is linked here: Rob Chvatal