Fundamental of the Week #6: Create A Safe Environment

Safety requires accountability, awareness and diligence. Never take short cuts that compromise yours or others’ safety. Performance thrives in a safe environment.

There are two aspects to this fundamental: physical safety and the safety that comes with trust, like the permission to speak up without punitive consequences. When someone feels like they work or live, in an environment where there is a commitment to their safety and well being there is a greater experience of being valued. Studies show people who feel valued are more engaged in their work.

Along with a commitment to a safe environment comes an individual accountability to observe and follow safe practices. Ultimately comes the realization that being safe is my accountability and as part of my accountability, I better be watching your behavior as well. It breeds ownership. Ownership breeds efficiency and effective actions. A safe environment is a productive environment.

The same principles of physical safety morph over to the kind of safe environment where one can inquire, speak-up (responsibly), hold others accountable, including superiors, without fear of reprisal. The result of this kind of environment builds trust and each member of the team experiences being valued. Information flows more smoothly, up and down, people are free to express concerns and fresh thinking is encouraged. Both types of safety reinforce the other. In this environment collaboration and ownership-type accountability becomes natural and expected. A safe environment is a productive environment, characterized by engaged people.

Craig Clark
Founder and CEO,
Momentum Consulting, Inc