by Sam Clark, President
All high performing safety programs have an outstanding company culture at their core. The main ingredients of a great culture are communication, dedication to excellence, and leadership that cares about the well-being of their employees. These are the components of a great culture.
- Employees understand the company’s goals.
- Everyone knows their part in reaching the company’s goals.
- The company receives productive feedback from employees.
- The company appropriately responds to employee feedback.
- Team members know that safety comes first by actions of leadership.
DEDICATION TO EXCELLENCE
A dedication to excellence starts with a core of communication to create an engaged team.
- The company’s goals are benchmarked with leaders in the industry.
- Leaders are humble, show vulnerability, listen, and are responsive to change.
- Desire to hire and develop the best people for the job.
- Commitment to doing the right thing.
- Praise is consistently given for good work.
- Have a clear mission and strategic plan that is well communicated.
- Team members know their part in the success of the company.
- Have strong values and live by them.
- Provide coaching, mentoring, and development needed to promote employee growth.
CARING ABOUT THE WELL-BEING OF OUR PEOPLE
Care is built upon a foundation of trust stemming from communication and a dedication to excellence. Caring is the most crucial component of culture.
- Emphasizing that safety comes first.
- Promoting a healthy work-life balance.
- Employees feel they have friends and a support network at work.
- Employee benefits include excellent healthcare, flexible work hours, option to telecommute, maternity leave, and more.
- Value diversity and inclusion.
- No tolerance policies for bullying, hazing, or those who create uncomfortable work environments.
- Recognize people enduring difficult times and provide them support.
DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
Caring about the well-being of people is so critical to the culture and safety of a company, therefore supporting diversity and inclusion are absolutely crucial. Why is diversity and inclusion so important to promote safety? Companies that embrace diversity and inclusion, and provide exposure to different life experiences, statistically have better outcomes for not only the company, but the overall team (refer to statistics on the following page).
When we discuss diversity, we primarily mean:
- Sexual orientation
- Age and generational
- Persons with disabilities
- Socioeconomic differences
People that identify with being in any of these classifications bring diverse knowledge and experiences that can provide enormous value when it is supported by people who care. A team that lacks inclusion and diversity cannot achieve an understanding of what makes true excellence. If diversity is not valued and nurtured, communication suffers, performance suffers, and the team develops mistrust.
Supporting diversity is the first step, but without inclusion your team does not benefit from what diversity has to offer. When we talk about inclusion, we mean an environment where all employees are:
- Treated fairly and respectfully.
- Provided equal access to opportunities and resources.
- Welcomed and valued.
- Heard and understood.
- Appreciated for their unique contributions.
- Able to contribute to the company’s success.
We are human beings and our brains tend to operate on autopilot. Our experiences shape the world we see. Therefore, we may inappropriately value things that are familiar, and discard things that are foreign to us. To combat this way of thinking, it is critical to understand how our subconscious biases can create a fertile ground for problems, resulting in an environment where inclusion cannot exist.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO SUPPORT SAFETY THROUGH DIVERSITY & INCLUSION?
There are many resources to better understand what biases we have, and how they impact our lives through our subconscious thoughts.
- Be curious and learn more about diversity and inclusion.
- Understand that we all have biases.
- Understand we all have work to do to understand one another.
- Do not tolerate bullying when you see it.
- Support your teammates that are mistreated or unheard.
- Speak up!
Help us build the best, and the safest place to work. Start your journey today, and embrace diversity and inclusion. You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain. Your safety may depend on it.
TED TALK: Roscio Lorezo: How Diversity Makes Teams More Innovative