There’s A Glimmer Of Hope …..

For Improving Human Performance.

What a wonderful day!  Today I had two important pieces of information come my way.  One was from my friend, Ron Tolsma who is the safety director for the Schwan Food Company, and the other was from an article in the Minneapolis newspaper by Harvey MacKay, successful business owner, author and noted motivational speaker.

Ron and I were discussing a project that I’m working on related to automated onboard sensing devices in vehicles and how they can be utilized more effectively.  He needed to weigh in on that!

He said, “The overriding issue here is that there are still Safety Professionals out there who are looking for the allusive “silver bullet”. My fear is that others (peers and clients) will be so impressed by the technology that they’ll forget that leadership is getting elbow deep in the human condition.  It’s not the technology alone that’s the issue.  It’s the “fire and forget” mentality.  We are the microwave popcorn generation.  We want to put it in, punch a few buttons and let the technology give us the results.  Doesn’t work that way in my opinion.

Principles of Human Performance

If you accept a Human Performance Improvement approach to safety execution, the technology of these onboard devices is only one piece of one “slice of cheese”.  Ron felt that if more managers understood and practiced the Principles of Human Performance, the likelihood of success would be far greater.  Thank you Ron for sharing theses principles from the DOE.

  1. People are fallible, and even the best people make mistakes.
  2. Error-likely situations are predictable, manageable, and preventable.
  3. Individual behavior is influenced by organizational processes and values.
  4. People achieve high levels of performance because of the encouragement and reinforcement received from leaders, peers, and subordinates.
  5. Events can be avoided through an  understanding of the reasons mistakes occur and application of the lessons learned from pst events (or errors).

Reinforce Workers’ Success

Then there was the article by Mr. MacKay.  He offered 10 pointers for the boss, provided by their employees.  I only want to share two:

  1. Offer Feedback.  It’s a gift, a timesaver, a clarifier, a compliment, a motivator and a course correction.
  2. Trust your employees.  Trust that your workers are honest and will do good work when given positive feedback.  Bosses who  response will not be successful.  Ken Blanchard and other professionals in the field say that much better results come from finding the good.

Great information that really made my day.  I appreciate good thinkers who care.  I hope you can use this information and put it to “good” work!