A Sentis research study of 535 leaders representing four high-risk industries has shown that only 12% rate themselves as effective at sharing a safety vision, while almost one in four rate themselves as ineffective. The findings also indicated that in a 360-degree assessment, peers, managers and direct reports likewise identified vision as the weakest area.
Sentis CEO Anthony Gibbs unpacked the reasons why leaders struggle with this seemingly basic competency in a recent webinar cohosted by NSCA Foundation and the Asia-Pacific Occupational Safety and Health Organisation.
“There’s a bunch of reasons leaders struggle with vision,” explains Gibbs. “They may feel their organisation lacks a clear vision to begin with or that it’s too far away or unachievable. They might simply struggle to find the right pitch to translate the vision into their team’s day-to-day reality.”
A strong safety vision builds motivation, brings a team together and ultimately leads to improved safety performance. In contrast, the absence of a clear and motivating vision causes employees to feel adrift and unsure of priorities.
“In times of crisis or challenge, like we’ve experienced with the COVID-19 pandemic, this uncertainty and disengagement is heightened, ultimately putting workers at increased risk.”
Considering who the vision is for, providing them with a compelling ‘why’ and integrating the vision into daily rituals is a good first step, Gibbs said. “It’s also important to celebrate individuals and teams who demonstrate the vision and tie this back to organisational values and goals.”
NSCA Foundation members can access the full webinar recording including practical tips for leaders via the Members Lounge.