We have recently delivered in-house training to a business, covering managers, supervisors, team leaders and key workers. One of the issues the Health and Safety manager asked us to explore was the attitude to the way health and safety issues are managed across the business and the perception at different levels within the organisation.
Part of this concern was in response to an employee survey that the business had undertaken, which identified a difference in attitude towards the effectiveness of management in relation to health and safety issues. What we needed to look at was; are all parties talking the same language and why gaps in perception might exist.
Over a period of 4 days it was clear that a large part of the problem was down to how managers responded to the production pressures applied by the business. The key workers were concerned that the business was too production focused and that, at times, management paid lip service to health and safety. On the managers part they believed in most instances that they were sending the right messages out about the importance of health and safety to the business.
Clearly there was a gap and in truth we found that there was substance to what each group was telling us. The problem seemed to be that either the message was not being communicated effectively or the message was not be listened to or maybe believed by the workforce.
Those 4 days of training did help each of the groups to air their concerns and start to think differently about what they might be able to change to improve the situation. It was clear to me that what the business lacked before was providing an opportunity to sit down and air each other’s views on how health and safety issues were being managed. Obviously, the business has got a primary focus on its production output but not at the expense of health and safety – and this was discussed in depth.
So is this a potential issue your business may face? If so, why not look at finding a way to address training as we found that it has greatly helped with the perception and attitude towards health and safety at this client.