Leaders always have a full plate managing multiple projects and teams. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day, looking at the next step and the long term. But effective leadership isn’t an accident. Good leaders know they need to spend time brushing up on their skills, too, not just those of their team members.
Leaders aren’t just born; they can also be made. Even if your ability to motivate your team isn’t where you want it, make a commitment to work on your technique. The better your leadership is and the more you hone your skills, the stronger your team will be — which can lead to a better safety record.
Start with number one
When leaders have the courage to challenge themselves to be better, it can change the culture of the workplace for the better. Leaders who are perceived to be perfect or infallible may be looked up to but aren’t likely to be emulated. But a leader who is always working to be better? Employees can identify with that and are more likely to strive along with you.
Be a part of the team
Because safety is important to your business, it’s not just a responsibility of the workers on the front lines, it’s a responsibility of management, too. Be sure that strategies for safety are transparent in revealing the investment of each part of the team, including management. Show stakeholders that instead of just directing a course of action, you’re participating.
Rally the troops
When teams are familiar and bonded, they work more smoothly and can tackle challenges more confidently. A united team also looks out for each other, which is key in a setting where safety is crucial.
Incorporate team building activities into your leadership strategy. Teams who spend time together on non- work activities (such as hobbies and dining) are closer as a result. A seasonal cook-out, a sports team, or a corporate-sponsored outing are good times to build those social connections that uphold good teamwork.
Safety, and all of the minute but meaningful interactions that influence it, starts at the top. Leaders who are always learning and striving to improve can positively affect their workplace, their team members and, ultimately, their safety record. Build time for leaning your leadership plan — it’s an investment with a great return.