Leadership is a skill that can be developed and refined. The qualities of a good leader, therefore, develop over time.
What makes a good leader, and how does this translate to risk mitigation in the workplace? Let’s explore the link between safety and good leadership qualities.
Leadership does not require a title, authority, or years of experience to flourish. There are inherent qualities of a good leader that come naturally to some individuals. But don’t fret, many leadership skills can be (and should be) studied and revisited over time. This is a worthwhile endeavor for any organization to pursue. Not solely reserved for ‘higher up’ employees, building leadership should actively occur across all team levels to improve workplace safety.
Leadership comes in many forms and does not necessarily need a title or authority to make it legitimate. It’s more than just being in charge. Think of a horrible boss you may have had in the past. Chances are, they did not lift you up, motivate nor make you feel good about the work you were producing. At minimum, they likely inspired you to start looking for another job!
It’s hard to define exactly what makes a good leader, since everyone brings their own style and personality to their roles. Everyone can agree that qualities of a good leader include empowering others to achieve success at their own pace. A good leader has a vision and the ability to transfer those ideas to others to get real results. That sounds like a mouthful. Thankfully, leadership is a skill that can be refined. Just think of all the workshops and courses offered that focus on developing the qualities of a good leader for the benefit of organizations worldwide. Developing the qualities of a good leader can start with small steps, right here right now.
Good Qualities of Leaders and Why We all Should Care
There is no denying that the behaviour and attitude of higher up managers has a great influence on the health and safety culture of their employees. Leadership training will naturally begin with those that manage others, but it is important to recognize that it occurs within any team, no matter the job type.
Everyone wants to feel safe, secure, and supported within their workplace. Defining the qualities of a good leader, and concepts we can follow will help shed light on things anyone can improve on. The benefits will funnel into work but also be felt in daily life. The first concept we will touch on is felt leadership.
What is Felt Leadership?
Felt leadership is important one to understand when developing the qualities of a good leader within yourself, or across your team. This ideology was made famous by DuPont, and now funnels into countless organizations and businesses due to the positive influence it has on safety culture.
In a nutshell, felt leadership is about taking action to make sure every employee feels respected. It works to break down barriers between “us” and “them” – and helps a company work more cohesively together. This means managers and employees feel comfortable to approach one-another and can communicate openly both ways.
Every company strives for their staff to embody the values and vision of the company they represent at work. This will not happen without building trust and respect from all levels. The qualities of a good leader are developed across teams but reaches far and wide to improve the functioning of the company. Remember that a leadership does not require a title and that it can be found everywhere.
Why is Felt Leadership Important?
Without being shown respect, employees risk feeling undervalued. Think about it, if an employee is fearful of approaching their manager with a question, they are likely to continue to carry out a task incorrectly, which could lead to an injury down the line. How do you empower your employees? Make them feel welcome to come forward with questions. What follows is an overall improvement since tasks are being done correctly and with more care. This leads to more satisfied customers and employees in terms of overall security, safety, and relationships. It also sets an example for other team members to ask questions and value the fact that the job is getting done correctly and efficiently – rather than working in uncertainty.
Qualities of a Good Leader and How they Translate to Accident Prevention
We have now learned about the importance of felt leadership and how creating an approachable and comfortable workplace for all can make processes flow optimally. This makes sense, but how does it translate to the prevention of accidents and other incidents in a workplace?
All workplaces strive for a zero percent accident rate. Human error is not the only cause of accidents, there are countless other aspects at play. That’s why its important that managers exhibit qualities of good leaders in how they evaluate and manage for risk. Yes, human error is a driving factor, but it’s also countless other things like the environment, equipment, or mechanical issues, and processes themselves that can lead to accidents. These things can all be improved on, but only if there is good communication and trust within the organization to work towards improvement. If an employee feels valued, they will value the quality of their work and reporting issues will be important to them.
A good leader will realize that accident prevention requires a human element. You can create the most intricate plan to maximize efficiency, but without looking at where and how people fit in, there’s nothing to discuss. You must anticipate where things will go wrong and get your workers involved and motivated to always strive for safety. We’ve all been at safety trainings where graphic accidents are described or shown – these things encourage us to be more aware!
What is our Safety Badge Program?
TEAM Group’s Safety Badge Program is a guarantee that we do not complete any projects unless we can adhere to hands-on training and safety compliance standards. Every employee receives a laminated badge and reel with a personal ID (QR code). The QR code, when scanned by a manager or supervisor, connects to our operating system and display’s the individual’s full set of qualifications and training. Our campaign to safety has helped us set an international standard among our peers in the industrial cleaning sector.
Employees At All Levels Should Respect Each Other and Abide by the Rules
Making an employee feel like an important and valued part of the safety chain will encourage them to see that their actions have direct effects. Felt leadership encourages safety leadership in senior and mid-level management. Qualities of a good leader will include taking the safety of its worker seriously, abiding by safety rules themselves – there’s nothing worse than seeing a manager carelessly disrespect a safety standard – and always remain interested in what employees provide for feedback with regards to improvements. A good leader will encourage everyone to improve performance especially in health and safety. This should be the most important aspect of any company’s goals: an in-your-face commitment to safety.
The Qualities of a Good Leader and Their Influence on the Team
There is no denying the value of a safe work culture. This can be a difficult concept to visualize or measure. The DSS Bradley Curve is a system that helps illustrate how empowered employees can increase quality, productivity and profit when surrounded by good leadership. Although this blog cannot capture the entire essence of this concept, outlining the basics will help us understand how leadership is linked to safety.
Reactive Stage: Based on instinct. Without safety training or good leaders, employees simply react to the situation. Employees do not care to take responsibility and do not have proper knowledge about processes or protocols. This is undesirable.
Dependent Stage: Based on supervision. Basic training is given regarding what rules to follow. Safety is directly correlated to following certain taught rules. The rates of accidents decrease. Employees have a supervisor they rely on that is their link to the work culture.
Independent Stage: Based on self. More throughout training and well-rounded leadership that encourages individual employees to believe that their actions have consequences which they have control over. Employees start to own their responsibility for keeping themselves safe. The rates of accidents further decrease as individual knowledge greatly increases.
Interdependent Stage: Based on teams. This is the desirable of felt leadership. Teams are connected and take complete responsibility for their own safety and that of others. The goal of zero injuries is attainable with a well informed and communicative team. Input and feedback come from all levels.
A Quick Checklist for Felt Leadership Qualities
Being aware of the human element to safety is one of the top qualities of a good leader. Making time for the ‘face to face’ meetings across all teams and openly talking about safety and processes is a key component of felt leadership. The commitment begins with doing the following:
Continuous evaluation of risks and adjusting safe work procedures as needed
Offering safety training and awareness to reinforce principles of felt leadership across teams
Setting felt leadership in motion: have employees recognized for their performance and maintain open communication on all aspects
When striving for maximum efficiency, do not forget the human aspect – anticipate the actions of people and find solutions around them, with safety as the top priority.
Felt Leadership at TEAM Group
How does a values-led company such as TEAM Group – build trust across managers, clients, and employees? It comes down to felt leadership, which is something we strive to incorporate across the board. TEAM Group has its defined values, goals, and targets – that’s how we’ve grown to support countless industries including: automotive, aerospace, and heavy equipment manufacturing industries.
The TEAM Group Promise
TEAM Group continues to develop integrated results-driven and safe solutions for facility services. Our staff is proud to be part of such a well-rounded and knowledgeable team. You don’t have to worry about inexperienced staff doing a poor job and wasting your time. Our facilities technician team is highly qualified and trained in technical cleaning and management, engineering, fabrication, field services, waste disposal and industrial decontamination and more.
At TEAM Group, we recognize that employees need to feel supported and trusted to perform at their best. As such, TEAM Group adopts integrated facilities management systems with felt leadership within its organization. This is a big factor in our success towards being a leader in the industrial cleaning services industry that we take seriously.