Coaching for Health and Safety
A Coaching Style of Management Improves Health and Safety
Creating “learning organizations” where people can learn from their mistakes without being judged is key to improving health and safety in the workplace and decreasing injury and illness. Health and safety coaching creates an environment of trust and ownership and leads to long-term success.
“Coaching is a great style of effective management.”
Ahmed Elbyaily, HSE Manager, Global Construction HSE at Linde Engineering. Linde Arabian Contracting Co Ltd, Saudi Arabia
See Ahmed’s comments on LinkedIn
Coaching for Health and Safety is a 2-day training programme for leaders and managers which builds on the fundamental basis of coaching, that increased awareness leads to increased responsibility which, in turn, leads to continuous improvements and a sustainable learning environment.
“This programme gives our supervisors the skills required to create an environment of continuous improvement of health and safety.”
James Thieme, Continuous Improvement Co-ordinator, Linde AG, Germany
Does Safety Coaching Work?
How does the apparently “gentle” coaching method produce better and safer results in potentially risky situations? You might wonder if a modern person-centred coaching approach will expose the recipients to more risk than would a prescriptive approach and clear instructions about acceptable actions and safe practice. In reality the opposite is true. There is no doubt that safety coaching offers huge safety benefits in any field, yet the process defies the expectations of traditionalists who struggle to let go of old thinking and adopt new methods.
Our co-founder, Sir John Whitmore, shared with two parachute-jumping trainers some IBM research into recall scores resulting from three different training approaches: when people are told something, their recall declines dramatically to only 10% after 3 months; 32% when they are shown as well as told something; and a much improved 65% when they are told, shown and experience something. In his book Coaching for Performance, Sir John writes that the trainers “became very concerned that they taught emergency procedures only by telling. They hurried to change their system before they were faced with a terminal freefall!” IBMs research also demonstrates why leaders who tell or even show their employees what to do perform badly where safety is at stake – we simply do not remember well something we are told. Once leaders are able to coach their employees on the job, and apply the coaching principles of awareness and responsibility to the mix, it opens up the possibility for recall scores to hit 100%. And, most importantly, the employees are better prepared to interpret warning signs and act appropriately in the event of dangers that their leaders might not have been able to predict. Coaching fosters continuous learning in the workplace.
A Safety Coaching Approach Ensures Long-term Success
Performance Consultants works at the transformational level as opposed to the transactional level in order to create sustainable behavioural change for long-term success. We deliver in-house corporate programmes globally that are tailored to meet the specific needs of our clients.
“Most importantly, the result of this work shows in the safety statistics. Our recordable incident rate has fallen from 6 to 1 for the same calendar period.”
Global Programme Sponsor, Construction & Commissioning HSE, Linde Engineering Headquarters, Germany
The “Wow Factor”
Helping groups of leaders and managers to develop a coaching style of leadership requires specialized facilitation skills and expertise, consolidated by authentic coaching behaviours. Our approach to training is not a traditional classroom training. We call this “Experiential Coach Facilitation”. As the name suggests, the style is highly experiential and practical (versus theoretical), and takes advantage of Accelerated Learning Techniques and Adult Learning Theory.