Safety Leadership
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Safety Leadership

Safety Leadership

We enhance Safety Leadership capability in the boardroom and across all management levels – driving organisational safety beyond compliance to performance

The role of safety leaders is to support and enable teams and individuals to behave in a safe manner and reduce harms to the business.  The mindset should be one of assisting people to understand and achieve, rather than tell.

To achieve effective safety leadership, leaders need to provide direction through communicating a clear safety vision and motivating, inspiring and enabling the right behaviours.

Strategic Safety Leadership

Active Safety Leadership is a key performance enabler and provides the energy and the spark by which safety management people, processes, procedures and tools deliver results.  Safety Leadership is the effect of influencing people to be fully and willingly committed to a series of safe behaviours and values in order to meet commonly agreed safety vision and objectives. Without active safety leadership at all levels of your management organisation, your management systems will not effectively perform and you will not be able to capitalise on the investment you have made in developing them.

Strategic Safety Leadership consists of directing and focussing behaviours. It is required to help teams and individuals understand what safety values, standards and objectives they have been set and why.

Operational Safety Leadership consists of supporting and inspiring behaviours. It energises and motivates teams and individuals to perform their tasks, and supports them in finding ways to achieve them.

Challenges you might be facing

  • You need a cohesive safety vision
  • Your leaders need to understand your regulatory obligations, roles, responsibilities and accountabilities for safety performance
  • You need help to ‘sell’ your safety message to your employees and stakeholders
  • You need to develop the right safety behaviours to raise safety performance
  • Your teams are often unclear of their accountabilities and don’t have the right competencies to achieve their goals
  • You need to have greater confidence in knowing your Top 5 Safety Risks are understood and are being controlled effectively
  • You need help measuring and benchmarking performance
  • You want to give your regulator greater confidence you are managing safely

How we can help

We have a range of services designed to support management teams become effective leadership teams. From bespoke active safety leadership workshops through to organisation-wide safety management, culture and leadership diagnostics, contact us to find out more about our services, including:

  • Safety Management Diagnostic – to establish where you are on your safety journey and identify areas for development and action plans to achieve them
  • Safety Strategy Development – to help develop a robust safety vision, strategies and objectives and formulate action plans to achieve them
  • Safety Leadership Workshop – one-to-one sessions for Accountable Managers to explore the implications of their role and what it means to be actively leading safety at a strategic level
  • Safety Performance Measurement – developing key performance indicators and safety balance scorecards to generate predictive safety measures
  • Accountable Manager / Executive Advisory Support – for resolving technical and regulatory challenges
  • Accountable Manager / Executive Leadership coaching – facilitated sessions to encourage greater team work to implement your safety vision and goals in the face of operational demands.

Developing and enhancing your safety leadership performance takes time. Knowing the steps to follow and sharing best practice from across the aviation industry are areas where we have specialist experience and expertise. Working alongside you, we can develop and strengthen your ability to actively lead safety. Our experienced consultants will partner you and your management team as professional trusted advisors to:

  • Develop a shared understanding of your organisations safety principles across the management team
  • Extend your understanding of safety performance and safety leadership
  • Enhance your safety management and leadership competence
  • Enable your team to more efficiently discharge your safety accountabilities to deliver enhanced safety performance and harm reduction to the business
  • Improve your understanding with respect to legal accountabilities for aviation safety management
  • Create an engaging safety strategy and vision and help you engage your employees to it
  • Identify and measure your safety performance through leading indicators, rather than basing decisions on what has already happened

Safety Leadership – the key components to effective safety performance

Alongside the processes, procedures and tools contained within a safety management system, the key element that drives the development of a positive safety culture – and therefore effective safety performance – is safety leadership. But we also know that poor safety leadership can destroy a safety culture within a very short time. Good executives within an organisation will naturally demonstrate the personality traits associated with a leader. However, this does not mean that they are the only ones who can lead safety. People at all levels can, and will act as Safety Leaders. In simple terms, safety leadership is something that your people do, it is not a job description or an organisation.

Safety leaders need to provide direction. Direction provides a unifying goal, a harness or a sense of purpose.  Without a clear safety vision, strategy and objectives, teams and individuals are not focussed on what their role is, why it is there, and how it aligns with the broader significant purpose of the organisation.

Safety leaders ensure effective accountability across all safety performance activities. Encouraging and providing real accountability challenges organisations to nominate, trust and empower teams.

Safety leadership requires teams and individuals to be engaged and not just communicated at. They need to understand why they are being asked to behave in a certain way, and why those behaviours relate to the mission and vision of the organisation and asked how they are getting on and what may be preventing them from achieving their safety objectives.

Safety leaders need to be able to execute from strategy to plans and set and cascade objectives. They need to understand how to set the key performance questions, srt targets and establish measures. They also need to be able to lead and motivate managers to continuous safety improvement.

What does effective safety leadership look like?

We believe that high-level commitment is pivotal to making your SMS perform. Starting at the top with the Executive Management Team and cascading down the organisation, everyone needs to understand they have a role to play as a safety champion, bringing to life the core belief that ‘people do safety, not systems and procedures’. Effective safety leadership encompasses:

  • A clear understanding of what the organisation is trying to achieve, and a plan to achieve it
  • A set of values and behaviours that the organisation believes in
  • Demonstrating those values and behaviours personally (walking the walk)
  • Holding people accountable for their actions and behaviours, and supporting them to do the right thing
  • Inspiring staff with a dynamic and motivated approach
  • Leading and energising safety meetings
  • Engaging regularly and passionately with your people, listening to what they are telling you
  • Providing appropriate resources (human, financial, technical etc) when it is required Openly and constructively challenging each other to do better
  • Not allowing commercial issues to cloud true safety objectivity