Welcome to Safeti School, were we crunch down Environment, Health and Safety learning into simple, bite-size snippets that you can use for your business.
In this Episode, we outline how to get more engagement from your HSE communications. Do you feel like you are talking into an echo chamber? Or that your not getting enough feedback to help you push forward? Listen to this one for a quick example of what good looks like.
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Safety Communication Breakdown Transcript
[00:00:04] Welcome to Safeti school where we crunch down health safety and the environment learning into simple bitesize snippets that you can use for your business. Helping you improve your knowledge, boost your performance and maybe even providing some inspiration. Let’s get started.
[00:00:22] Hi there, in this episode we’re gonna look at a little example as to how you can go about increasing and improving your engagement with your communications to your team.
When we learn something new whether that be an improvement to safety practice, how to improve sustainability in our operations or if we’ve come across a new well-being hack for our workforce that we want to share. We naturally feel motivated and excited about communicating with people and sharing it because we care about them and we want to improve our performance and make a positive difference. Whether you be an HSE professional or a manager/supervisor, it doesn’t really matter.
Most of the time whenever we deliver or implement a communication piece we’re not really sure how impactful or effective it’s actually been.
Have you ever delivered a message or sent the communication out and felt like it’s been ignored or that you’re talking into an echo chamber. There’s been no feedback and you’re just really heading and hoping without knowing how effective it actually is.
Most of us have an experience of this and of course that’s not the outcome we want or doesn’t give us any reassurance that what we’re doing actually has a positive impact. So let’s take a look at an example of how we can improve our levels of engagement with our messaging.
Imagine you’re a site manager and you’re delivering an important safety communications to your team. There’s recently been a serious near miss where someone could have been severely injured or killed on your site involving a crane. The next morning after the event you want to make sure that your workers know that you’ve taken the incident seriously and you pulled some information from the internet on crane safety that you want to communicate to them.
So you start into your chat about the 10 Rules of crane safety. Talking and reading from the information that you got online. As you’re doing it you start realizing that people are looking at the floor, their eyes are glazed over and they are turning their heads & checking their phones. Some of them are even starting to chat amongst themselves.
Understandably you’re starting to get really frustrated at their lack of attention toward something that’s really serious. Should you accept that? Maybe you’re thinking it’s just the way they are. They don’t care. Can you change that outcome.? Why don’t you challenge them?
Maybe you don’t feel confident in what you’re trying to communicate to them. How does that make you feel? You know the message isn’t getting through. That you failed in your task and you had good intentions at the start but you’ve lost all engagement with your audience.
Not to be outdone and still wanting to make sure that you get a message across to your staff, later that evening you go away and think about what might have caused that poor reaction from them. Rather than blaming the workers, you reflect on how you’ve actually communicated the message and think about how you could do things a little bit better.
The next day you decide to do something drastic and follow up on what you’ve already done. You can’t go through the humiliation of what happened the day before again. This time you bring the team together and you open up the conversation in a completely different way.
Firstly ask the team if any of them have ever been involved in such an accident or the consequences of one before and you let them share it with the group, if they are happy to. Once you ask that question a couple of the team raise their hands and start sharing some of their experiences from previous companies they worked for.
Then they tell everyone about the impact that it had on them and their colleagues. Now that you think you’ve got everyone’s attention. You start to go through details of what had actually happened earlier in the week with the near miss. You split the group into two for a five minute brainstorm on their own to discuss and consider how they would avoid the same thing happening in the future.
You also don’t forget to remind them very briefly about the guidance you discussed the day before. After the quick five minute brainstorming session you bring the groups together and get different members of the group to share the actions that they’ve come up with together.
You manage to get some really interesting insights as to what is actually going on atr site and some of the challenges that the workers are actually facing. Along with some useful action suggestions to help remove the problems.
Unlike yesterday, the team is now absolutely engaged and bought into the process of continuous improvement that you’re trying to drive and learning from each other. But also, contributing to solutions together.
As you can see, from creating a narrative around what has happened with the near miss. Then asking questions about personal experiences and making it relatable before allowing the team to actually become part of the solution. Resulted in a much higher levels of engagement and positivity than the approach that was taken the day before. Getting people’s attention, making it relatable and allowing them to be part of the solution results in much better outcomes.
[00:05:07] That’s it for this episode of Safeti school. We hope this was helpful. If so please remember to review and subscribe to this podcast on iTunes Google podcasts or Spotify. And remember, for more health safety and environment help you can visit us at safeti.com. Until next time, take care.