safety communication best practice
safety communication best practice

How to communicate and implement best safety practices

In safety communication, sharing best practices is evidence of that efforts matters and that things can be improved. Here are a couple of things to consider and a link to our tool to communicating best practices.

Sharing best practices is about value documentation and exemplifying what works well, provide knowledge, and showcase collaboration. Moreover, it is an important addition to the continual improvement approach, e.g. LEAN, focused on identifying and solving problems.

But what works the best, when communicating best safety practices? And how do we in our communication drive local engagement and adoption? Let’s have a look.

Learning from failures or successes?
In safety communication, it is definitely a balance between learning from failures and near-misses or from successes. There is no doubt that there are learnings to be made from failures and near misses, but in most cases (especially in storytelling), we are proponents for focusing on the positive – that things can be different, safer.

A single-minded focus on problems may be demoralizing because it illustrates failures in people actions. While initiatives promoting what people are doing right, raise morale by demonstrating that achieving e.g. target ZERO is possible.

This can be referred to what is called ‘social proof’ which is a psychological phenomenon where people when in doubt on how to behave look around and mirror their behavior to what they see, hear, or read. That is why it is important to clearly communicate the good example and requirements through tools, safety talks, role-model stories, and local leadership.

What defines best and how to support implementation/adaptation?
The perceptions of a best practice variates from organization to organization, but as a minimum, a best practice must:

  • Be innovative and/or an improvement and/or to set a precedent.
  • Demonstrate evidence of success and sustainable impact.
  • Have the potential to be replicated or adapted to other settings.

There is of cause more to the practice sharing than a catchy title and a positive approach to storytelling. You will also need:

  • People to facilitate identification and sharing.
  • Processes and tools that are designed to share knowledge.
  • A commitment to take the time needed to identify, prepare, communicate, adapt, and to supervise.

Having the check list in place, you now need to drive engagement and adoption in the organization. To succeed your need to be strategic in your communication, and the six steps in the Roadmap below can be a help to get started. Enjoy!