I recently worked with a client in a program that we call Safety Leaders University™. We work with their safety leaders to develop their leadership skills so they can lead their safety teams and achieve their goals.
We determined well over 30 characteristics for a safety leader, and then we defined three that really jump out at you
Number one, great safety leaders are great communicators. They need to be able to explain to those people on their team what’s important, the steps that they need to follow, what’s happening in the organization, what’s working and what’s not. Good communication is important because everyone on the team needs to know what’s going on in the safety environment.
The second characteristic of a great safety leader is the ability to set goals and create a vision. By setting goals and creating a vision, they get others on their safety team to buy in and if the vision is strong enough, everyone wants to be a part of the vision. Ultimately, in most safety organizations, our vision is to drive for zero. We want zero incidents. We want to eliminate safety as a problem in every workforce. So we must have a clear stated goal and vision.
And the third characteristic of a great safety leader is accountability. Safety leaders understand what it is that they are accountable for and they apply their accountability on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. They understand that they’re accountable to do the right things consistently, that they’re accountable to establish the correct and right expectations and ultimately, that they’re accountable to contribute to the relationships to the people around them. They do that by not only assisting those individuals, but by helping them achieve their personal goals. Because when we help others achieve their goals, they will want to come on board and help us achieve our goals, achieve our strategic intent and ultimately, we achieve the vision that we have set for our self.
These three traits apply to any organizational leaders but when we teach this skills to our safety leaders they help lead the charge for a workplace safety record that moves to zero!