Develop Leadership, communication and support
Culture is the shared beliefs, values and attitudes within a company. Companies can have either good or bad cultures. A bad culture can lead to many issues including:
- A high number of accidents.
- High absenteeism.
- High staff turnover.
- High sickness rates.
- Low level of compliance level with safety rules and procedures.
- Complaints about working conditions.
Culture can be turned from negative to positive but this often takes time with the biggest influence in the change being management. If management are not seen to be adhering to the rules and not taking health and safety seriously then neither will the employees.
Leadership is vital here, managers and directors need to show that they take issues seriously and lead by example.
Management actions that can improve culture include:
- Actively listening to front-line employee needs.
- Encouraging employees to contribute ideas for improvements.
- Communicate freely and often about initiatives, strategies and goals.
- Confront poor performance or counter-culture.
- Support and reward positive employee behaviours.
Leading by example and actively involving staff in long-term strategies to improve the working environment benefits everyone, inspiring motivation and a standard for everyone to follow. A weak company culture won’t change overnight but with the right direction, teamwork and perseverance any workplace can be transformed into a synergised powerhouse.
Learn how to manage safely with IOSH training.
By Emma Wiles