Relational leaders motivate safety behavior
Focusing on safety training and safety equipment only satisfies safety compliance. These offerings are transactional, but employees are human beings who need leaders to motivate them.
Safety culture experts find that employees need motivation to follow through with safety behaviors. Leaders can increase employees’ motivation to perform safety behaviors by being relational—with all employees, especially those exposed to front-line hazards. Examples of being relational include managers engaging in casual hallway conversations with employees about their work and families, joining safety meetings with employees, and giving awards such as gift cards or recognizing employees who participate in safety activities.
Besides management commitment, effective safety communication, and safety accountability, being intentional about building relationships with employees is the human touch employees need from management to move the needle on creating a safety culture.