Making Teams Better

Worker Safety Empowerment

One of the hallmarks of Behavior Based Safety is making teams better.  Who could ever forget the legacy of Bill Russell’s Boston Celtics?  They won 11 championships in 13 years.  Truly one of the greatest sports teams ever!  How would you like to be on a team like the Celtics?

First you have to believe that it’s possible and find the motivation to move forward.  Those are both things that internally have to happen before anything else.  The desire to change, grow, learn, get better, and think positively towards solutions versus negatively about problems.

Next you’d better answer some tough questions such as: What makes a team good and what makes them truly great?  If you asked Bill Russell, he’d start talking about how each of his team-members were a great, talented bunch of individuals, each with their own specialty.  They were able to build synergy, that elusive team-based feeling that all of us are truly better, smarter, and work harder than if we were standing alone.  In essence, the collective sum is better than the mere addition of all the parts.  Some people would call this synergy peak flow or peak performance.

It takes a lot of hard work to get there.  It requires building connection, commitment to communication, and willingness to lower our defenses in order to become better.  That means learning how to listen to other people’s ideas and figuring out when it’s time to have a discussion and when it’s time to be decisive and get down to business.

The hard truth is that it’s our defensiveness and resistance to change, to being found out, and potential threats and embarrassment keeps us from becoming great.  If we’re just here to protect our own silos then we’ll keep on keeping on, status quo but we won’t truly elevate to the championship level.

To get to the championship level you first need desire and then championship vision to move forward.  If you have the desire for excellence and team growth then the benefits are outrageous: cost-reduction and less wasted time, long-term retention, lowered rates of incidents and accidents, and increased employee engagement and mentorship just to name a few.  Those are all the benefits of employing a Behavior Based Safety program in your business!  Many people would ask “who can afford not to have all those things?”  However, I’d like to leave things in a positive light: Who really wants to win?

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