I recently posted an article on How to know what good looks like in OHS.

It was based on three questions which I asked participants during a recent OHS training course.

Another question I asked was 

‘What have you been doing over the past year to create a safe work environment?’

One of the participants answered Leading by Example, so we discussed this and what does leadership look like.

Below are some of the things we discussed:

  • Leaders are people who influence the attitudes and behaviours of others
  • Leaders are the ones who create the culture by how they do things
  • The role of a leader is to influence others (your work group) to achieve certain goals. Leadership is open to all workers within the organisation, from the board and senior executives, through middle level managers such as site managers, to front-line supervisors to workers
  • Leadership doesn’t have a rank, therefore anyone can be a leader
  • Leaders want to hear all the news – Good and Bad!!

So what does leading by example look like? Whilst I could write pages and pages on this topic, here are some of the suggestions our group made:

  • Leaders are committed – Leaders demonstrate that they are committed, they do this by walking the walk and talking the talk
  • Leaders encourage workers and others to participate and get involved, they ensure workers are involved in the process, along with identifying and removing obstacles to participation
  • Leaders walk through the business – This gives the workers the opportunity to speak with the managers, staff etc. and voice their concerns or raise suggestions for improvement
  • Don’t discourage workers to bring you ‘bad news’ – Don’t view bad news as things are terrible, view the bad news as an opportunity to learn. Leaders encourage workers to bring the bad news, this way issues can be resolved. It also demonstrates commitment to your OHS program when you are resolving issues.

  As for the third question, stay tuned.

 Daniel McConville is an OHS and Food Safety Consultant who helps clients reduce their risk and grow their business.