Everyone has heard that creating a good safety culture in your organization is important and that engaging employees at all levels in the safety process is essential to achieving World Class Safety. We’ve read about what a good safety culture looks like, but what does the leader that helps achieve a safe environment look like? A transformational leader is needed to make workplace safety thrive. When a transformational leader is in place better safety results and other critical business outputs can be achieved. An article in EHS Today describes the differences between a transactional leader and a transformational leader.
According to the article a transactional leader is only focused on work. He or she frequently relies on disciplinary actions, is task oriented and focused on regulatory compliance and preserves the existing culture, practices and conditions. On the other hand a transformational leader is personally engaged with the worker and cares about them, focuses on the work and worker, aligns values with the workers values which prompts results, goes beyond their own self interest and in order to engage the worker in the work process and helps maximize the contribution of the employee.
How does a transactional leader become a transformational leader? What characteristics does a leader have to have or demonstrate in order to achieve the results listed above? The article states:
1.) Listening and Communication: Listening, really listening, not just “hearing” what your employees have to say is important. Being able to communicate with employees on every level must be achieved.
2.) Caring: Transformational leaders visibly demonstrate they care about the health and safety of their employees. You must be able to communicate with all levels of an organization.
3.) Collegiality: Important characteristics like showing empathy and sympathy at all levels, relating at all levels, the ability to speak in front of large audiences and supporting subordinates are important.
4.) Engaging: Being able to get the entire workforce engaged and aligning the workers needs with the company’s mission is a must.
If a transformational leader is in place, that workplace should be well on its way to achieving world-class safety. Making sure that high quality safety products like SLIPNOT safety flooring are in place is an efficient way to ensure that floors remain safe at all times. Non slip floor plate, grating, perforated plate and expanded metal can be fabricated into countless applications and can be used in virtually every work place environment.
Fulwiler, Richard Dr. “Transformational Leadership: The Key to World Class Safety.” www.ehstoday.com June 1, 2011. May 28, 2013. <http://ehstoday.com/safety/key-worldclass-safety-0601>