Are you aware that a front-line supervisor has more influence on safety performance than senior management? On this episode, we're going to discuss how front-line safety leaders can harness that influence to improve safety culture.
The front-line supervisor, as the name would imply, lives at the front-line. And as a result, the front-line supervisor has more frequent contact with front-line employees - far more contact than anyone in a senior management position. That affords them the opportunity to have more influence in the safety culture at the front-line than senior management ever would.
For the supervisor, it’s imperative that they understand that authority and influence are two very different things. Anyone can be the boss and throw their authority weight around. That takes no skill or talent ... or even confidence when you think about. Influence, though, takes a lot of skill and the right mindset. So, what comes first? Skill or mindset? I would say mindset because it will determine how you acquire your skills.
Here are three strategies to adjust your mindset so that you, as a front-line supervisor or safety person, a safety leader, can develop better influence.
Kevin Burns is a management consultant, safety speaker and author of "PeopleWork: The Human Touch in Workplace Safety." He is an expert in how to engage people in safety and believes that the best place to work is always the safest place to work. Kevin helps organizations integrate caring for and valuing employees through their safety programs.