Theodore Roosevelt once said, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.” Contemporary research suggests that we can better influence the safety-related opinions, attitudes, and actions of others when we have a large degree of expertise and trustworthiness.
About 15 years ago, I read an important engagement story regarding a line worker with a major automotive manufacturer in the United States. The story evolved from an organizational push to gain more involvement from their workers at a time when it was critical.
From time-to-time, every organization struggles with procedural justice and safety. And I’ve begun to anticipate such challenges when various safety climate scores indicate such a concern which may be further highlighted through interviews and focus groups.
In the National Football League (NFL), there’s a term bantered about by owners, management, coaches, and scouts - it’s “the nerd factor.” In the NFL, it’s a positive term because it often translates into success.
If you want your managers and front-line leaders to have more influence and impact with your workers, they need to get more personal and transparent. Getting personal allows leaders to deliver a message that will have impact and help workers align their actions with their personal values.
More and more of safety and health professionals want to talk about influence rather than authority. You see, they understand that relying primarily on position or rank will simply lead to compliance -- not to individual commitment.