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Holiday Special – The Top 10 from 2020: Key Insights from the Safety Guru

The Safety Guru_Holidy Special



A year in review. The Safety Guru’s Top 10 themes and ideas from our 2020 season! Get caught up with the ideas that will help you leave a legacy in 2021! Happy Holidays! 


Real leaders leave a legacy. They capture the hearts and minds of their teams. Their origin story puts the safety and well-being of their people first. Great companies ubiquitously have safe yet productive operations. For those companies, safety is an investment, not a cost for the C-Suite. It’s a real topic of daily focus. This is The Safety Guru with your host, Eric Michrowski, a globally recognized Ops and The Safety Guru public speaker and author. Are you ready to leave a safety legacy? Your legacy success story begins now.

Hi and welcome to The Safety Guru, I’m your host, Eric Michrowski. It’s hard to believe it, but 2020 is almost coming to a close. Our show started broadcasting this year, this tumultuous year in 2020 as a passion project to improve the world of work. I wanted to bring ideas to leaders and executives who are committed to making a difference. Ideas from a diverse set of thought. Leaders from academia and from real world practical application does not speak technical safety, not push a set of ideologies not to pitch something, but rather to bring a collective of insights from inside and outside the traditional world of safety.

That’s why we’re live here on C-Suite Radio, the largest business network in the world, and their listenership keeps growing. I have two awesome episodes to cap off this year. Today, I will share a reflection of the top 10 ideas I heard from my guests on this podcast. In 2020, the next episode on December 31st, we will ring in the New Year with safety is twenty-one four 2021. The top twenty-one ideas to shape your safety strategy for 2020.

One must listen to episode with one of our top guests. None other than Dr. Josh Williams. So now let’s start with a year in Review 10 inspiring ideas for safety leaders. Number 10. It would be hard to end 2020 without talking about mental health in the workplace. We had two great schisms insights on this important topic. First, Dr. Madison Hanscom introduces the impact of mental health in the workplace. She shares an alarming stat, including the disproportionate impact mental health is having on a younger generation and the impact on safety. She highlighted strategies for leaders to speak about mental health and remove the stigma. The second guess we had was Kathleen Dobson, who talk more specifically about the disproportionate impact on the construction industry. She talked about the importance of checking in with people. Kudos for the work in trying to increase a dialog on mental health in construction as she presented a World Mental Health Day topic number nine, Dr. Stephanie came to talk to us about some research that was being done in the health care space, particularly as covid-19 hit the industry at an alarming rate, an industry where the focus was dominated by focus on patient outcomes but didn’t often speak about safety from a worker’s standpoint. She talked about the huge toll, the exhaustion within health care workers as a number of health care workers were often being reduced despite the huge impact of covid-19 in most wars, some truly alarming and considered concerning data points. And we’ll try to check in with her in 2021 to see an update on her research. Next, we go to number eight. As the world was marking Distracted Driving Awareness Month, we spoke to Brian, who spoke about his book The Long Blink, which tells the story of a driver shuttling a truck across Ohio and having a long blink with a cocktail of meds after a first shift, falling a short night’s sleep and permalink altering the life of a family, he shares the quest of the father and taken to try to legislate more, focusing on safety and how, unfortunately, given the nature of the industry, it’s unlikely safety will truly improve with a greater focus on legislation.

Food for thought as you travel across the interstates. While some progress has been made, too many people continue to die on the roads unnecessarily every year, and it’s time for safety to really drive into the driver’s world. Number seven. And speaking of distracted driving, in a long blink, we had Rebecca present top ideas to proof sleep and to improve safety outcomes, a topic we heard a lot of in 2020 as work life boundaries got stretched and people were having trouble sleeping. She shared some tangible ideas from her research in the space of sleep and strategies to get more of it. Yes, less alcohol, less computers before bed, and of course, many more ideas. And also, the importance of leaders speaking about this topic to reduce injuries, i.e., the person who got evicted the night before. I mean, the conversation I had with the leader recently, and it was only uncovered because the leader showed active care. Can you imagine if that worker was using some heavy piece of equipment?

Could have been very easily a. Kudos for that organization for having had that leader actually killed. Then we go to number six, we have to talk about safety. Communication is such an important topic that we even dedicated two episodes to too many businesses. Just mail it in regard to safety communications. First, we had Dr. Josh Williams speak to the importance of one on one with employees, how employees who feel listened to put in more discretionary effort. And he also speaks that he created a free quiz with no catch to help leaders see how they’re doing at Zero Harm Leadership Dotcom.

A self-assessment to help think about how are you doing and how could you get better at safety communication? Well, we also had Dr. Archana, who speaks about the importance of upwards communication, the lateral communication. In other words, how do you get ideas from key members to leaders? How do you get them to collaborate more with each other to prove the rule of safety? So, so critical key things. And we go to number five. Chris came to talk to you about making safety personal while I’m staying safe, both at the frontline level and the leadership level, introducing themes like pictures of loved ones, introducing a personal conversation from leaders on the importance of safety. Such a simple idea, but something I’ve been passionate about and advocating for a very, very long time. I wish more people helped make safety real for everyone. We need the discretion for people to stay safe. We need to stop blame, stop getting people to just mail in their safety. We need one hundred percent from each team member and an extra hundred percent from the company. So that were 200 percent in for safety. Then we go to team number four.

We are back with Dr. Josh Williams, who came with another great set of ideas around safety incentives for year organize. For years, organizational leaders have used safety incentives to try and motivate safety. The rationale was that providing financial rewards for not getting hurt might motivate employees to try harder, quote unquote, for safety. In reality, this often this current encourages non-reporting. Plus, people are already motivated and should be motivated to avoid injuries. Effective incentives should be focused on proactive safety behaviors and efforts.

Rewards should be symbolic and safety. Feel genuine appreciation. Recognition trumps every other incentive and remains the most important. And yet, here’s another free quiz. No cash, no gimmick. Human Performance leader Dotcom, which explores this theme of safety incentives with self-reflection in terms of how are you doing and what you can do to drive improvement, then we go on to theme number three with Bryce Griffler, who spoke to the importance of diversity in safety, how diversity and inclusion is about, bring different perspectives and opinions to the table, starting with maybe a union leader to non-traditional leader that came from a different part of the company, maybe in it to the person that has a completely different background.

Imagine the power of ideas, the most innovative company in the world powered inside your business to improving safety by tapping into diverse and inclusive group and increasing the diversity and inclusion within your safety team. I wish more people spoke about spoke about this. Then we go to theme number two. Now, this was powerful breathily a couple of weeks ago, shared some tangible, sorry, articulate a tangible leadership equation for safety. Wow, what a story.

Two leaders, one had a two point four and another one of zero point five. The first one had only improved by fifty three percent over a few years, the other one by eighty six percent. So, one was a wow success story. The other one was OK. What was the difference between those two leaders? Three key themes. The first one is the wow leader had sixteen items that were articulate with tangible themes and objectives for the team members, things like inspections, corrective action, safety projects and the way rated at twenty percent.

The not so wild leader only had four themes only we did have five percent NEC’s. The commitment theme of leaders. The leader that wow spent 15 hours per week speaking about safety on the shop floor, reinforcing safety, interacting with team members in safety talks four times more than the leader that did. Wow. That leader only spent four hours per week. They were mailing in. A third theme is one leader showed up at seven a.m., six a.m. Stanishev meeting.

So showed up after the starter shift meeting. That was, of course, the non-wild leader versus the wow safety leader showed up at five thirty-eight y five thirty because they started each day. Thirty minutes with our leadership team to talk about safety operations, and then she joined the start of shift meetings to be present. At that point, three key items showing true leadership have been met with real results when it comes to safety. And then we go to number one theme for this year.

I absolutely love the name to Dr. Josh and bring brought to the table. He called it BeHOP: the Integration of behavior. Behavior safety, human performance. Essentially, too many safety leaders have a dogmatic approach to safety, very strong ideology. Who cares? The world at business need results, not ideologies that are fighting with each other for airtime. It’s time to stop fighting, stop fighting between BeHOP and cognitive psychology and any other tool that helps safety.

There is no silver bullet. If there was, we wouldn’t have a show here saying that behaviors don’t matter, and people have no free will makes no sense. Yet some people say that to articulate that our ideas make more sense, he brings some very pragmatic ideas about pushing through a plateau and safety performance and bring ideas from some of the key performance tools to reduce if to behavior-based safety. Some cognitive ideas really bringing different themes from different perspectives to give you real results.

Wow, I love his pragmatic approach to making a difference in safety. What a great set of ideas. Those are my top ten for twenty. Listen in on December 31st as we look forward to the top twenty-one for twenty-one. The top twenty-one safety ideas to make a real difference in twenty twenty-one. Are you ready to leave a legacy? Join us in 20 or 21 as I have another phenomenal lineup of guests and ideas for you.

Hey, and if you know somebody that should be on the show, let me know. Let’s make safety fun, simple and useful for executives and leaders. Let’s make a real difference. Happy holidays from The Safety Guru. Thank you. Happy holidays.

Thank you for listening to The Safety Guru on C-Suite radio. Leave a legacy, distinguish yourself from the pack, grow your success, capture the hearts and minds of your team. Fuel your future. come back in two weeks for the next episode or listen to our sister show with the Ops guru, Eric Michrowski.

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