Filip Coumans, Senior Consultant – DEKRA Insight

Creating a culture of commitment to reduce exposures to risk in public transportation

Moving transit organizations from a culture of compliance—where workers are only passive participants in safety—to a culture of commitment, with workers taking the initiative to identify exposures and reduce at­risk behavior, requires a comprehensive approach to safety that engages employees at all levels.

Following rules

When people are not involved in the safety process and marginalized to a position of only “following the rules,” a culture of commitment to safety becomes virtually impossible to achieve. High­functioning cultures actively involve workers in safety­related decisions and engage them in their area of expertise, using their unique position to address exposures and risks at the worksite. Workers who feel their voice is heard and their participation is valued become more engaged in their work, the goals of the organization, and efforts to improve safety.

This presentation covers the steps transit leaders need to take to move their culture from compliance to commitment using employee engagement to drive the change. This change starts with:

  • Understanding how value is created in your organization and how to cultivate the value for safety
  • Ensuring that employees see the connection between their work and the big­picture objectives for safety
  • Empowering individuals to exercise their personal judgment in assessing and mitigating exposures to risk and injury
  • Making sure that higher­order systems and processes don’t punish people for trying to do the right thing—even when they fail

Creating a culture of commitment is about meaningful involvement. When employees see that their input is valued and management takes their concerns seriously, they naturally want to reciprocate by taking the organization’s mission and goals on as their own.

Learning Outcomes:

Examine the fundamental characteristics of a culture of commitment and how to get there Discuss the best practices for engaging employees in the safety effort Explore the ways leadership style and practices can deter or invite employee commitment Understand how seemingly unrelated things like transparency in decision making can have a direct and predictive effect on commitment.

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