Source | LinkedIn : By Dionne Drew
I recently had a conversation with a colleague regarding the importance of trust in organisational culture, workplace culture, and safety culture, whichever description blows your hair back. My belief is to put no tags in front of the word ‘culture’, not to label to it, to hamstring it. I say that as perhaps culture is just that, plain and simple. It is an umbrella which covers all and every connotation we could possible put to it. The outcome of a toxic culture versus an open honest, authentic high trust low fear culture will be the same regardless. A healthy culture will positively influence the organisation, the workplace and the safety performance.
I find much emphasis is also put on what sort of ‘leadership’ one should aspire to. So many labels. My belief is the same with this powerful word. Instead of debating what sort of leadership to call it…… just call it what it is: leadership. Perhaps the ‘style’ will be determined by the culture of any given company, which will be reflected in the actions and behaviours of said leaders and exhibited from corporate to front line workers and supervisors on a regular basis. Leadership exists on so many levels. The board of directors, the senior management, the font line supervisors and right down to the highly influential ‘leaders’ where the rubber meets the road, who may not have the actual title, but who’s influence with the workforce should not be underestimated. In my experience the foundation of that ‘style’ and the culture which shall see it flourish in a positive manner is all about creating and sustaining trust.
I have been fortunate enough to have experienced over the years many varied styles of leadership and even more cultural challenges and successes. The universal theme was always trust, or the lack there of.
In one instance in the recent past I was astounded at the trust given to me by contractors on a massive project. I worked for the ‘client’ – please keep that in mind as I share this brave experiment with regard to approaching ‘safety differently.’ The brutal fact is that there is a lack of trust between many clients and major contractors in the resources industry, perhaps that topic can be addressed at a later date. I shall car park that one for now.