Are you talking or walking?

When it comes to workplace safety do you just talk about it or are you doing something about it? If you want your program to be successful, you better walk the walk. Otherwise you’re sending mixed messages; the wrong messages to your employees. And maybe they’re not getting the message at all. Statistics from the Statistic Brain Research Institute show that in 2015 the average attention span is 8.25 seconds. The attention of a goldfish is 9 seconds! So if you are relying on your monthly safety speech as a conduit for your “safety in the workplace message” you may want to rethink it.

Besides, good leaders lead by example. They lead with their actions. People follow by example. It’s just what we do. So it all works out – or not. Did you ever have someone tell you one thing and then do something else or not do anything at all? Sure you have. We all have. So what happened to that person’s credibility? It probably took a big swan dive.

We all know that there is so much more to a safety program than monthly speeches. Safety programs should be comprehensive in nature; combining a number of elements like training, manuals, drills, meetings, posters – whatever it takes to reinforce the important of a safe workplace. What I’m saying is don’t just give it lip service and expect to achieve the goal.

Employees have an expectation that their workplace is safe. That requires a group effort and the group requires a leader. Leading by example is the behavior that will have the most powerful impact on them and your workplace.

As the old Chinese proverb says, “Talk doesn’t cook rice.”

Posted by MJ Thomas

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