A company’s culture helps to define who they are. It is reflected in their employees and their business practices. Some companies have strong, positive cultures to be admired, and others need some work. Take a look at how to learn more about workplace culture and why it’s so important for your company’s overall safety.
“To change your culture, to enhance your culture, to benefit from your culture, you need to see and understand your existing culture” (source).
A Culture of Safety
It’s important to be aware of your company’s culture for a multitude of reasons, and safety plays a big role. Your safety culture helps to inspire safety in your employees and to create an environment where safety is an absolute priority. The attitudes and commitments to safety are reflected in your culture, so you need to know exactly what that culture looks like.
If your workplace needs some improvements in the area of safety, looking at your culture can help you to identify some weak areas. You can look at employee attitudes, safety training procedures, and regular workplace practices to begin working on a plan to improve the overall culture.
Observing Your Culture
Actually observing your company’s culture can be a tough assignment. First, things like attitudes and actual practices are extremely difficult to observe. Most employees will behave differently when they know they’re being observed, and it’s easy to develop a sort of blind spot for the things you’re used to seeing on a daily basis. So, here are a few strategies on how to learn more about workplace culture from where you are on the inside:
Survey employees - Allowing employees to give honest feedback about the company and its culture is an easy way to “take the temperature” of your workplace. Creating a system for submitting anonymous input is a great way to encourage employees to share their honest opinions with company leadership.
Observe another workplace - If you can, observe a workplace that you’re not familiar with. Seeing things from a fresh perspective can help you to identify what kinds of things are different in your workplace—for better or worse—and it will help to give you new eyes in your own workplace as well.
Get an outside opinion - Have someone come in and observe your workplace, someone who isn’t familiar with it. Having a fresh pair of eyes can help you to acknowledge the things you’ve become blind to over time.
Once you’ve analyzed the culture in your workplace, you’re going to want to take some sort of action. Unless you’re totally satisfied with your workplace culture, you’ll want to make some changes. The key is to be consistent. Enforce safety regulations 100% of the time. Enhance training approaches and stick with it. Encourage employees to communicate issues with leadership. Whatever needs to change, make a serious effort toward improving your safety culture for good and stick with it.