Clear communication keeps worksites safe and injuries low. Morning safety briefings and regular one-on-ones alert workers to pressing safety concerns and focus the team to watch out for each other and pay attention to the tasks at hand.
But not all supervisors are naturally gifted communicators. It’s difficult to follow along while listening to a speaker that lacks confidence or direction. This makes absorbing important safety information a struggle and leads to misunderstandings, confusion, and costly accidents. And supervisors are not alone in this issue. Studies have shown that one of the most common fears amongst adults in the U.S. is public speaking.
So how can employers help supervisors ensure necessary safety information is clearly communicated on the job site?
Communication is a Muscle — Build it Up
Public speaking and communication are skills built with practice, perseverance, and guidance. But they’re difficult to improve upon without help. Employers need to take a vested interest in helping their supervisors build their communication skills by working hands-on with their on-site supervisors. Because approaching the issue in this way works the same way as the top-down approach to safety cultures. Direct employer interest influences the rest of the organization to take safety communication seriously and support strong, clear safety communication.
Employers should identify the individual areas where supervisors could use help then practice and work with their supervisors on improving these areas. Is it the content of the message or how it’s delivered? Is it an issue commanding the presence of an audience or speaking privately with individual team-members? The approaches to these issues will vary slightly. But employers that take the time to attend to their supervisors personally and help them practice will inspire supervisors to work on their skills and ultimately boost their confidence in the process.
A Strong Speaker is a Strong Leader
The leadership skills that come from a strong communication foundation are valuable tools for employers. And improving leadership fundamentals will help build communication skills in the process. Which is why the OptimumOnline™ training platform is the ideal investment for employers seeking to enhance these skills in their supervisors. Supervisors are able to learn valuable safety information and build communication skills directly with safety industry professionals and peers. And the Focus3 Toolbox Talk content library provides information supervisors can practice and utilize on-site to better connect with their teams while providing important safety guidance and daily briefings. The resources provided by Optimum Safety Management work in tandem with the individual mentorship of employers to craft well-rounded worksite speakers and leaders.
Supervisors set the tone on site through their communication. They have the ability to motivate and engage on-site workers and create a cooperative focus on safety. This also allows supervisors to precisely tune-in to their team as they’re better able to “read the room”. Supervisors then closely stay in sync with how work is progressing throughout the day and course correct to stay on time and budget with less effort and more precision. Investing in supervisor communication is an investment in an overall culture of safety. Employers that utilize the OptimumOnline™ training platform and spend time working with supervisors directly can streamline projects while reducing on-site costs from injuries, lost days, and repeated safety issues.
Optimum Safety Management provides the information and services to help companies develop safety leaders and improve overall safety performance. For more information on how Optimum Safety Management can assist with your businesses’ safety needs, contact an expert today, or reach out via phone at 630-759-9908.