Typologies of Safe Behaviors and Safety Programs – Part 7

This is the final post in regards to the the safety typology based on Baumrind, Maccoby, and Martin’s parenting styes. This posting will be shorter than the rest because it focuses on the high programs and high behaviors typology of Authoritative. This the goal of any parent/organization. There are high expectations along with high support to assure success.

SafetyPgmsBeh“Even with high expectations of maturity, authoritative parents are usually forgiving of any possible shortcomings. They often help their children to find appropriate outlets to solve problems. Authoritative parents encourage children to be independent but still place limits on their actions. Extensive verbal give-and-take is not refused, and parents try to be warm and nurturing toward the child. Authoritative parents are not usually as controlling as authoritarian parents, allowing the child to explore more freely, thus having them make their own decisions based upon their own reasoning. Authoritative parents will set clear standards for their children, monitor the limits that they set, and also allow children to develop autonomy. They also expect mature, independent, and age-appropriate behavior of children. Punishments for misbehavior are measured and consistent. Authoritative parents set limits and demand maturity. They also tend to give more positive encouragement at the right places. ”

Exchange the word parents for the work organization and remove the references to children, Voilà! You have a well functioning organization. Here is a quick recap in terms of safety and functional excellence

1) High expectations
2) Empathetic
3) Find ways to help employees solve on-the-job problems (see The Toyota Way).
4) Has limits, buts wants exploration of better ways
5) Encourages give and take communication
6) Wants the organization to make good decisions based on experience
7) High accountability
8) Discipline is measured and consistent
9) Gives positive encouragement and feedback
10) Clear expectations

Is any organization perfect? No! An organization that reaches a point and feels they have done enough lives in folly. One of the key principles of keeping an organization vibrant is continuous improvement. The key of an Authoritative environment is that everyone is engaged in the improvement process. Each day the team as a whole is looking for ways to make small improvements that keep the momentum heading the right direction. An authoritarian typology is not only a great benefit to a safety system, but a great management system. When I read book like Built to Last, Good to Great, and the Toyota Way, they each detail different versions of an authoritative system. It is an organization that relies on each member of the team to make a contribution to improve the company.

Overall, the authoritative typology is where an organization should strive to be, but with the understanding that improvement never stops.

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