This is part 6 to a series of posts based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. The theory takes that same basic premiss of having a progression of needs based behaviors and applying them to how safety progresses in an occupational environment.
This phase of the pyramid is a focus on progressing the teams and having the teams watch for safety issues for each other. It is important to note that the progression to this phase is marked by having an effective safety program that creates a strong sense of safety in the individuals in the organization.
The change from team work to recognition is slight from a mechanical approach, but dramatic from a behavioral aspect. The teams are no longer reliant on management for the solutions. The teams are finding and implementing solutions on their own. The resources are available and accessible. The teams know how to correct, report, and follow up on any safety concerns that are arising. They have the support of management through financing, resources, and attention. The supervisory responsibilities would include following up on work to assure corrections were complete and assuring the team stays focused on the tasks they begin. The most important aspect that has to be fulfilled is the need for recognition. The environment has to recognize these teams individually and publicly for their accomplishments. Their need has grown beyond simple social interaction, but now the desire to be appreciated is apparent. The company should take time to recognize and reward the work of their committees. The goal is to fulfill the need to be recognized.
This phase is marked with behaviors that are looking for the next safety improvement. The team knows that the company is committed to correcting and improving the safety of the site. The teams are now on the look of any predictive measures and items to correct to assure that injuries and incidents are prevented.
The teams are conducting self assessments for behaviors and conditions that can lead to safety issues. They are not worried of offending or judging others. The primary focus is helping each other to be safer. They coach each other and share success across the organization. If one department find a creative solution to correct a safety condition, that practice is carried to other departments. The key factor is to seek ways for the team to improve various aspects of the safety program.