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As more organisations recognise that world-class HSE performance is now a critical business imperative, a Zero Harm ambition has helped them to change from just trying to prevent workplace hazards to achieving a true cultural shift in HSE behaviours.
For successful organisations, it’s no longer about the push, “this is how you must behave”, it’s now much more about the pull “this is how we want to do things here”. It’s about creating an environment where HSE culture is created and shaped by your people. One where everyone has been involved in discussing and agreeing the cultural aspiration for HSE and understanding what it means for their role. An environment where the day-to-day conversations are as likely to be about HSE as they are about productivity, operations and quality.
Creating that environment doesn’t mean a wholesale shift away from the traditional ‘push’ mechanisms for developing and reinforcing HSE culture though. In fact, active leadership, effective top-down communications, training, reward and recognition are all still essential ingredients for ensuring effective HSE performance.
Pull is about building on the solid foundation that these ingredients create. It’s about providing space, permission and connectivity to enable champion networks and peer-to-peer engagement to thrive; encouraging immediate learning from incidents; enabling rich day-to-day conversations about HSE at every level; and, most importantly of all, involving everyone in deciding what your HSE cultural aspiration should and could be. Ultimately, it’s about creating a culture where leaders and employees are accountable for HSE.