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The Relationship Factor in Safety Leadership: Achieving Success through Employee Engagement

Why do some managers, supervisors and executives consistently get better safety results? How can we turn a negative situation with employees into a new starting point? How can we improve on the national norm of 30% employee engagement? Through interesting case stories drawn from her 25 years of working with leaders to improve safety and health, Rosa Antonia Carrillo reveals how successful leaders have addressed these questions.

Imagine your workplace filled with employees willing to fully engage in speaking up to stop unsafe practices, and proud to pass on these values to newcomers. The Relationship Factor in Safety Leadership: Achieving Success through Employee Engagement reveals that the way leaders conduct relationships and conversations is critical to realizing these goals.

Most of us feel relationships are important in life, but that knowledge is often left at the workplace entrance. That is why building relationships at work is often viewed as a “nice to have,” but not essential. Drawing on multiple sources from neuroscience, psychology, sociology and complexity management, Carrillo argues that relationships are a major motivator: They are a biological and psychological necessity for human survival.

Carrillo’s experience and research also found that trust and open communication are critical to safety performance. She then explains why it is difficult to maintain those qualities in the workplace. Physiologically human beings are built to survive within a network of relationships. When those relationships are negative or non-existent communication is poor. To address this challenge she has distilled her research and experience into Eight Beliefs of Relationship Centered Leadership. In the process she shows how a leader’s beliefs about people influence safety performance through 1-1 and small group conversations.

The Relationship Factor in Safety Leadership is highly readable. Carrillo delivers practical takeaways that give executives, managers and safety professionals compelling insights into how we can have more engaged employees and a safer work environment.

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Read this book to find out why these assertions affect your safety performance:

  1. For leaders building relationships is not optional. The quality of relationships in your organization is a root cause of your success or failure in safety performance.
  2. At the core of Relationship Centered Safety Leadership are eight beliefs about human nature that are common to leaders who successfully communicate that safety is important while meeting business results.
  3. Relationships fuel what gets done in organizations.
  4. One of leadership’s most powerful influencing tools is one-to-one conversation.
  5. True communication takes place in conversation between people who are connected through relationship.
  6. An employee’s perceptions, choices and actions are influenced by what is expected of them by peers and people in power.
  7. You can ignore the effect that your beliefs about people have on safety performance, but that won’t stop the consequences.
  8. Filling people’s need for belonging and inclusion precludes engagement.
  9. People may notice the weak signals before a failure, but not speak up unless leaders have shown that they will listen and respond.
  10. Psychological safety is primarily created by the leader and those in power.

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