Upper management consists of the people in charge of setting the company’s goals, mission, and culture. Your safety culture should be aligned with these same values company-wide. For this reason, it’s important to have upper management involved in your safety culture every step of the way. Your program can’t be successful if everyone isn’t on the same page.
It’s just not going to work if only low-level management is there to support your safety efforts. Your company needs the backing of leadership in order to keep all of the employees on board. Who wants to give 100% dedication to a cause that management doesn’t focus on? Without that support and positive example, safety will never be the number one priority.
Take a look at just a few of the reasons why upper management should be involved in safety leadership.
Management Should Lead
Upper management should always be aware of what’s happening in the company on every level. Successful businesses know that the key is strong communication and teamwork. This includes your safety culture. Safety cannot be a priority in an organization where upper management isn’t even involved in safety efforts.
Your management team should be full of leaders—and all kinds of leaders can be safety leaders. It’s a good idea to put those leadership skills to good use and find them a role in your safety culture.
Upper Management Steers Attitudes
All businesses should have clear standards, attitudes, and principles. But who sets these, and who makes sure these remain intact? Upper management does. And, like I said before, a safety culture’s goals should be aligned with the company’s. This puts upper management in a great position to help ensure that the company’s culture and the safety culture work hand-in-hand—as long as they’re involved in the safety program, of course!
If the two cultures do not complement each other, suggestions from higher-ups can be a really useful tool in adjusting your course and steering in a better direction for everyone.
Management as Role Models
Sure, our bosses might not come to mind when we think of the figures we most admire. But our bosses should at least be role models on the job. Good role models know what needs to be done, and they set a strong example for everyone around them. What’s great about management being in this role is that they’re more visible than the average employee. A role model (and a safety leader) who is seen by many can impact the most people.
One of the absolute best ways to promote safety in the workplace is to set a good example, and that’s exactly what upper management can do for everyone in the organization.
I’m not saying that company leaders don’t have enough on their plates already, but it is imperative that strong leaders be in place for your safety culture to continue being successful. There are so many reasons why upper management should be involved in safety leadership (and so many benefits too!). If your upper management team is not involved in your safety culture, it’s time to make a change!