challenge change organizational cultures is enormous. It is by far the most difficult changes to bring and keep because it can not take place without a radical change in thinking and subsequent changes in behavior at all levels. This process often creates casualties as it shows people who can not or will not readily change. This has been observed in the last 30 years developing, training and leading cultural and behavioral changes in many organizations on the practical level.
- In our experience, the creation of an effective safety culture requires: Improved practical leadership at every level. This means that each manager and supervisor within the hierarchy needs to improve leadership abilities in a relatively short time.
- powerful commitment to change, both personal and organizational. This is a real challenge because there is a huge temptation to pay only “lip service” to change if they are outside the comfort zone of the individual.
- A clear understanding of the science of human behavior and the consequences of change. We spend so much money to teach people about the financial aspects of the business and still totally neglecting the science of human behavior. This is arguably much more important because the results are the outcome of the collective behavior of the staff.
- much greater requirements of individual training and development that is designed to change workplace behavior. No longer will it be acceptable for the training to take place without measurable change in workplace behavior.
- Establishment and maintenance of a deep trust between hierarchy organization, employees and union. This is a tough one to ask because it has to unravel and replace the relationships that are built up in recent years. As this trust is developed and will be recognized for its fragility.
- The creation of goals and behavioral standards with equal imports from the management, staff and unions. Again this requires division habit of a lifetime so that procedures can be designed and approved by the three groups of people. Again, this can be far outside the comfort zones of many managers because it is a collaborative approach rather than the traditional opponents approach.
- An uncompromising mutual respect for individuals who work for the company. This mutual respect will take time to build but is an essential ingredient in the process of creating a workplace safety culture that is active.
Any one of these factors is a challenge in itself and contain a variety of potential problems. They are not to be made lightly and requires considerable thought and planning before attempting to employees or trade unions.