Making Safety a Culture
Ask any one of our team members and Colony Construction Corporation what our motto is for health and safety is and they will tell you it’s that we all “Go Home Healthy” at the end of every single workday. Behind this well-known slogan at Colony is a very real and ongoing effort by every one of us to look out for one another and care for each other’s wellbeing as we would our own friends and family. The real question is; how did we find ourselves enjoying the benefits of our culture and our commitment to workplace health and safety that spans every role and every worksite within our organization? The answer may be simpler than you think, but not so easy to achieve and even tougher to sustain.
It starts with leadership; the type of leadership that recognizes every single employee as a unique individual with unique qualities and motivations. Leading by example is key, of course, but finding ways to bring a wide range of personalities together, across multiple disciplines and worksites, is the key to building a strong culture and most importantly sustaining that culture for years and decades.
The cornerstone of bringing people together and keeping them together is regular and open communication. Most importantly, it is meaningful communication that incorporates two-way discussions, recognition of the human factors and best intentions at play, acceptance, and evaluation of mistakes or missteps without judgment, and always recognizing how leadership action, or inaction, can contribute to any event. At the end of any conversation, the focus should be on how leadership can support what is needed to improve and how we can all contribute to sustaining these improvements every day.
True openness of communication and the teamwork it drives comes from sharing vulnerabilities, both from employees and leadership, without judgment. By looking at a problem for only long enough to see that it is there and to quantify the extent. Then we must immediately turn our collective attention to solutions. Recognizing that, across every level of the organization, we are all human beings and we will all make mistakes, that we can share those mistakes with one another and truly know that everyone we share our mistakes with will pull together to help solve the problem and learn from it without judgment.
A strong team is a team that requires real investment and involvement. Providing training, resources, supports, and then drawing on those investments through involving each employee as much as practicable in change preparation, implementation, and monitoring. This approach will always magnify and return those investments back to an organization and its people. An organization is a culmination of individuals all working to achieve common goals. Goals are undoubtedly set by leadership, but how we achieve these goals requires real insight and buy-in from every individual within the organization. This allows each person to understand what the common goals truly mean to them and how each person can contribute to achieving these goals in their own unique ways and capacities.
Keeping momentum and remaining consistent with quality leadership, open communication, strong teamwork, while investing in teammates, and maintaining the real opportunity for individual involvement across the organization is not easy, but it is always incredibly worthwhile.