Does your organisation really care?

What is care within an organisation? It’s all to do with leadership. If your management take the right attitude to care for their employees you could save a fortune on compliance.

Does this sound like something that is more of a myth than reality? It’s not. Long before the Health and Safety at Work Act (HASWA) came along companies like Cadburys and the Rowntree Foundation were approaching the issue of caring for employees from a cultural angle. They really did care:

  • They treated their employees in the same way they treated their family;
  • They listened to what they had to say;
  • They accepted feedback unconditionally – not critically;
  • They valued their input, opinions and beliefs
  • The result was not only an open and caring culture, but real commitment – often for life – from their employees.

    Health and safety is all about care – it’s the duty of the employer to keep their employees safe and ensure that work does not have a detrimental effect on their health. It makes them aware of risks and ensures they are able to deal with them intelligently.

    The care that a true leader shows engenders a concern for each other amongst the community. It’s not about rules and regulations – it’s about real care.

    If the organisation has a culture of care instead of one that promotes seeing what you can get away with it or doing as you’re told, the overall effect is dramatically different. If organisations really had and demonstrated care for their staff they would find that they had complied with nearly all the statutory requirements.

    Douglas McGregor had it right when he developed the XY theory; you get what you expect! If you treat people with respect and courtesy and credit them with positive attributes, they will respond accordingly. If you treat people as though they are idiots and need to be spoon fed everything, they will also respond accordingly.

    Every piece of health and safety legislation contains standard sections on information, instruction, training and supervision. If that isn’t about caring I don’t know what is.