Health and safety communication

A safety campaign won't do it (alone)

Health and safety communication

A safety campaign won't do it (alone)

Leaders play a key role in driving behavioral change. That is why mobilizing leaders to drive a safety culture should be the focus for every communication department.

“So your safety culture needs a boost? Let’s do a safety campaign!” This will most likely be the response from many communicators when asked to help out with the organization’s safety communication. But while a great safety campaign can often move hearts and minds – it probably won’t have a long-term effect, unless your leaders play an active role in driving a safety culture.

Picture this situation: You are a lab-worker in a big medical company. Lately, corporate communication has rolled out a fancy campaign with colorful posters, films and stickers reminding you how important safety is, and how you should check for risks before you start a task. You agree. You also want to get home to your family with your eyesight intact at the end of the day.

But the thing is; every time you bring up a safety hazard with your boss, he seems to get irritated, so you’ve stopped doing it. Whenever there’s a safety inspection in the lab, people joke around and make fun of the procedures – and your boss is the biggest joker of them all. Frankly, you also find it difficult to follow all the procedures, while still meeting the team targets for speed and efficiency.

As with everything else in corporate culture, leaders play a key role in driving behavioral change. But when it comes to compliance issues such as safety – where the initial payoff isn’t tangible, but rather an add-on to an already tight schedule – a leader will quickly push safety to the bottom of the team’s priority list, if the overall priority of safety isn’t clear in the organization.

That’s why mobilizing leaders to drive a safety culture should be the focus for any communication department tasked with boosting the safety culture.

So how do you do that?

Make safety leadership a priority
Well, first of all, leaders have to know that promoting safety culture is part of their job. ‘Safety leadership’ starts with making leaders aware of how important they actually are in making safety a first priority. Believe me, chances are that they simply don’t know it.

Putting safety leadership on the agenda at your next management meeting or seminar and asking leaders to assess their own safety leadership, is one way to go about it. Answering the question: “To which degree do you act as a role model when it comes to safety?” will make the penny drop for most.

Give leaders tools to communicate about safety
Secondly, most leaders don’t actually know how to make their team take safety seriously. So help them! Give them the key messages, the tools and the training they need to become strong safety ambassadors. Show them that making safety important means:

Communicating about safety on a regular basis; at meetings, at beginning of shifts, at year-end. This entails telling people why safety matters, how to act safely and share the progress they make. Often safety efforts get tired if it feels like it doesn’t make any real difference.

Engaging in dialogue about safety. Employees are often the best safety experts; they know the hazards and have the best solutions, but some leaders are not used to engaging with their teams in this kind of dialogue. So show them how to ask questions that people can answer – and not least – how to listen to and act on the input they get.

It’s a group effort
Close collaboration between the safety organization and corporate communication is a prerequisite for any lasting safety communication effort. But mobilising your leaders to drive a safety effort also requires a strong top management focus on safety. So, as a communicator your first step to coining ‘Safety Leadership’ in your organization in getting your top management on board in being the organization’s no. 1 safety ambassadors.

This blog post was originally written by Rasmus Engelhardt for Open, click here to read the full post.


Employee Experience on the agenda!

Employee Experience on the agenda!

Employee Experience is most certainly on the agenda for the ca. 50 communicators from Denmark’s largest companies present at our ChangeComm event this past Thursday in Copenhagen.

ChangeComm event
Poll from ChangeComm event

It is a way of working across functions to create not only engagement, but also heighten performance and improving the customer experience.

Employee Experience
ChangeComm Denmark - May 2018.

Three key take-aways from our speakers:

  • Focus on improving the 'moments that matter' to employees. The 'moments that matter' are at the very core of the Employee Experience in your organisation and the best place to start.
  • Just-do-it! Rather than waiting to come up with the perfect solution. It is a large field, and one that can seem overwhelming, but now is the time to experiment and learn as you go.
  • Be truly curious about the people who work in your organisation to match their needs and wants. Too often we are more concerned with what we think people want, than actually listening to what they really want.

Want to know more about Employee Experience and how to approach it from an employee communication perspective? Get in touch.

About Open CPT

Open CPT is an internal communication agency based in Cape Town, South Africa. We develop innovative ways of communication with employees, leaders and stakeholders to drive engagement and create sustainable change.

Open CPT is a subsidiary of leading European employee communication agency, Open, and rooted in Open’s principles of creativity, involvement and simplicity.

Drawing on a decade of experience from working with some of Europe’s largest corporations, we offer fresh as well as tried-and-tested approaches.

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Guide Prototype - by CHCLT Design

Innovative communication in the healthcare sector

Innovative communication in the South African healthcare sector

Guide Prototype - by CHCLT Design
Guide Prototype - by CHCLT Design

We are excited to be part of the development of an innovative tool that supports healthcare workers. The tool assists in monitoring the growth of infants and toddlers. These tools aim to improve how growth data is captured and interpreted but, more importantly, enhance the way in which healthcare workers engage with caregivers through constructive dialogue.

Innovative Slide + Guide Workshop
Open CPT x CHCLT - Slide + Guide Workshop (April 2018)

Establishing meaningful conversations enables healthcare workers to establish rapport and learn more about the child and caregiver’s context, allowing for preventative intervention to take place when necessary. This fits into the broader movement in South Africa around empowering caregivers as the central figure to their child’s wellbeing.

Innovative Slide + Guide Workshop - April 2018
Slide + Guide Workshop - April 2018

Plotting growth trends correctly and conveying supportive, constructive messages to caregivers is an essential task for healthcare workers. It is also key to ensuring the healthy development of infants and toddlers. The tool is designed to be tactile, flexible and easy-to-use by health-care workers when plotting key measurements such as the baby’s weight and height on a chart during a consultation, and comparing these changes over time.

 

Innovative Slide + Guide Workshop - April 2018
Slide + Guide Workshop - April 2018

We will help revise and pilot the tool with health-care workers across greater Cape Town. This is to create the best possible tool, with the highest possible impact. The inception of the tool came about as a means to accompany the Road to Health Booklet. Pending a nationwide roll-out, it has the potential to reach every newborn child in South Africa. The tool is the brainchild of Innovation Edge and the Slide + Guide has been designed by CHCLT.

 

About Open CPT

The future of employee communication is design-driven, experiential, digital and engaging. ​We help organisations navigate the landscape.​​ We innovate; we rethink; we co-create. We inspire ; we act; we share. ​​And we build on a decade of experience working with some of Europe’s largest and most successful corporations. ​

Open CPT is an internal communication agency based in Cape Town, South Africa. ​​ We develop innovative ways of communicating with employees, leaders and stakeholders to drive engagement and create sustainable change. ​​

Open CPT is a subsidiary of leading European employee communication agency, Open, and rooted in Open’s principles of creativity, involvement and simplicity. ​​Drawing on a decade of experience from working with some of Europe’s largest corporations, we offer fresh as well as tried-and-tested approaches.


Dialogue Matters - Breakfast Sessions

 

Do you want to know about the latest topics in employee communications and connect with other communicators? 

The Dialogue Matters breakfast sessions are run 2 – 4 times a year between Cape Town and Johannesburg. These sessions offer insights, case studies and networking around the latest topics on the agenda in the field of corporate communications and reputation management. 

Dialogue Matters session, Johannesburg 2018
Dialogue Matters session, Johannesburg 2018

 

We run these sessions as a collaboration between Open Cape Town Reputation Matters, and Lisa Wannell (Specialist Search Consultant)

 

Dialogue Matters session, Johannesburg 2018
Dialogue Matters session, Johannesburg 2018

To get invitations and information about our sessions, please subscribe to our newsletter. 


On the Mic: Lene Mi Ran Kristiansen

On the Mic: Lene Mi Ran Kristiansen from LM Wind Power

We're so glad to have Lene Mi Ran Kristiansen, Senior Manager, Communications & Sustainability at LM Wind Power, sharing what she sees as key when communicating sustainability and carbon neutrality.

By: Betina Sørensen, Senior Creative Advisor (March 4, 2018)

 

What’s on the top of your employee communication agenda right now?
Strategy execution, GE integration, and sustainability with our carbon neutrality program #CleanLM at the very top!

What was your latest success and what made it a success?
Recently, we did an interactive workshop session for the top 130 global leaders of the company, challenging them to play a huge cardboard game: Go Carbon Neutral in 30 mins.

It was their first in-depth experience with our ambitious sustainability program and it worked brilliantly because the format and game design dynamics compelled our leaders to learn about the concept and methods to go carbon neutral. To be able to finish the game they had to collaborate, negotiate, and agree. It made them reflect on the challenge and daunting task we as a business have taken upon us by setting this ambitious goal.

It was a very effective way of creating awareness and ambassadors who now are able to articulate what we are doing to their teams and other stakeholders, helping to foster further interest, support, and hopefully inspiration so more colleagues get engaged.

Why is it important to communicate your carbon neutrality pledge internally?
Many LM Wind Power employees have taken what we call ‘the green pill’! They genuinely care about the fact that they work in a green company and make a positive difference every day.

#CleanLM gives them another reason to be proud and it is absolutely crucial to ensure they are aware of this pledge, so they are able to engage in the delivery of the program or in the communication about it to their networks.

I think it is fair to say that they are the most important stakeholders and key enablers for us as an organization to achieve the target but also the reputation benefit that comes by being a pioneer. Just imagine the impact if we manage to engage 10,000 people as green ambassadors inspiring others to follow our lead!

What did you learn during the process?
In this process we were quite concerned about the level of detail and complexity of our game would be too advanced for the limited time we had available. The audience was the top leaders in the business, so stakes were high – as would be the exposure if we failed.

We spent a LOT of energy on wording and simplifying the concept and content over several iterations until we were satisfied. It was a matter of finding that delicate balance where the audience is intrigued and challenged but not overwhelmed while maintaining some of the complexity from real life in the game.

This experience actually reflects one of the most important lessons I have learned on my 10+ years in corporate communications. When you have really invested that extra thought and care into your content and campaign you can create something with long durability and relevance which ultimately becomes a recognized franchise in the company’s communications mix.

When people start adopting and adapting it to their own communications purposes, you have really succeeded. We have done that with our first sustainability campaign featuring four mascots – The Sustainables – which were introduced five years ago but still going strong and even getting new family members from time to time. With #CleanLM we aim to create a strong internal franchise again but this time, the potential for using it externally has been considered almost equally important. We are on to something greater than ourselves and inspiring others is a huge part of measuring our success.

What is your best advice/tip to other employee communicators?
Take your audience seriously and invest the necessary time and care in learning what works with them. Do pilots, focus groups, or test runs with small samples of employees and be ready to adjust according to what you learn. Then dare to challenge and tweak to surprise and inspire! And finally, consider how you measure success already when you start designing your campaign. We all want to be able to show that our work made the intended difference.

You can read more about Lene’s activating leaders and employees in the carbon neutral agenda in her LinkedIn blog post: Watch 130 leaders go carbon neutral in 30 minutes! (LinkedIn, February 23, 2018)

‘On the Mic’ is a series of blog posts that invite internal communication professionals to share their take on employee communication, their view on trends within the field and what rocks their boat. Feel free to send us tips on who should be ‘On the Mic’ next.

This post is done in collaboration with Open – to go to the Open blog, click here.