culture and behaviours
In this article, SHP speaks to Jules Reed, Head of Behavioural Science at Tended, which has recently launched a revolutionary safety culture solution and was recently named as one of the 10 Rising Stars in UK Tech by Tech Nation, the UK government body for technology.
How important do you feel it is for a company to have strong safety culture and how hard is that to create, or change, within a business?
Jules Reed (JR): “Most organisations have strong safety management systems (SMS), which have been reviewed, audited, and assured over many years. They are as mature as they can be, but this is only half of health and safety management. Safety culture makes up the other half and is incredibly important as it determines the way people engage with the safety systems. Without people following the SMS, it is redundant. Unfortunately, most safety cultures are immature in comparison, despite being the highest factor in accidents and incidents.
“I think organisations struggle to visualise their safety culture because it isn’t obvious what to look for. Leaders need to have a simple tool that gives them data about their culture in much the same way as they see health and safety statistics. They need a method of ‘reading’ it through charts that can be mapped across to the SMS to give a whole picture of health and safety management.”
When making change to an organisation’s culture, how important is it to gather actionable insights and how can you best utilise those insights to implement change?
(JR): “Safety culture change programmes lack some essential insights; most use climate questions that are only a snapshot. However, knowing the history of the company is important, because often cultures are based on past experiences. In addition, there has to be a future. I have asked of many behavioural safety programmes, “what will excellence look like” and the answers have been vague. Every change programme needs to have a vision that is conveyed as a story that creates a picture in the mind’s eye.
“When you have the whole insights (past, present and future), then you are in a position to …….