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Enhancing Safety Leader EHS Training with Psychometric Assessments

October 17, 2019

safety leaders talking

How would you rate your company’s supervisors on basic EHS skills, such as hazard identification, incident investigation, etc.?

How effective are your supervisors at leading safety initiatives and implementing new safety policies?

Do you think your supervisors currently give good coaching and feedback on safe behavior? How well do they act as safety role models around their team members?

Maybe leaders in your organization excel at these activities. But in my experience, that is usually not the case.  Many individuals are promoted into leadership roles simply based on technical knowledge and success as an operator or technician. Thus, we promote them into safety leader roles even though they often lack the disposition or soft skills development that are necessary for success.

Related: Safety Leadership is NOT Safety Management

Another challenge I often hear is regarding the mindset of “That’s the safety manager’s job.” When safety concerns and responsibilities constantly get dumped onto the safety or EHS team, it becomes “their job” and prevents leaders and the general workforce from really owning safety. Ideally, all leaders are actively involved and invested in safety, with the EHS staff acting primarily as resources that enable everyone to work safely.

But what can a company do to increase its leaders’ engagement and ownership of safety? How can we help supervisors and managers to be successful at both the technical/process side of safety while having the interpersonal and leadership skills to be great safety leaders?

This is exactly what Novelis – a global aluminum manufacturing and recycling organization – recently set out to accomplish. Despite already having excellent safety performance and systems in place, the company realized that supervisor engagement in safety was a key gap. In order to keep improving in safety, first line supervisors as well as managers and EHS staff needed to increase their level and quality of interaction with shop-floor employees.

Two critical pieces were necessary in order to address this gap: 

  1. 1) Giving leaders better self-awareness, leadership, and interpersonal skills
  2. 2) Reinforcing leaders’ knowledge of EHS essentials and showing them how to apply these on the floor

Working in partnership with PSI, in 2016 Novelis North America designed and implemented a unique developmental experience that addressed these needs, by combining critical EHS training with a process incorporating a validated psychometric assessment to determine an individual’s personal safety leader profile.  This tool measured their:

  • unique personal safety traits

  • natural leadership style

  • competencies related to safety leader success

Along with interactive training and 1-on-1 coaching and action planning, which complemented the company’s EHS leadership curriculum, this process was implemented with over 200 leaders in North America, resulting in positive outcomes such as increased leader engagement and reduced injury rates. As a result, it has since been implemented in several other countries across the Novelis organization.

Download our recent webinar for an in-depth look at this project and the components of this safety leader development program.  During this session you will:

  • Discover the components and steps of this process and how it addressed an important gap in safety leadership

  • Learn the key psychological traits and leadership competencies most related to safe teams and how they can be measured in an online assessment

  • Understand how you can develop technical and soft skills safety leader training to the shop floor and the results you can achieve

  • Take away best practices and lessons learned on how to implement this type of process on a global level within your organization

Click HERE or the link below to download the webinar.

 

EHS Training with Psychometric Assessment

Esteban Tristan, Ph.D. Esteban Tristan, Ph.D. is the Director of Safety Solutions at PSI. He manages the development and implementation of all safety solutions and services, which address some of the critical challenges faced by organizations today in workplace safety.