Leveraging communication: clarity – consistency – continuous - celebrate

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Courtesy of Waste Advantage Magazine

In today's wireless world, there are numerous ways to communicate, yet, we oftentimes overlook, misinterpret or take for granted how important the gift of communication is, especially from our senior leadership team. A real 'game changer' for an organization is how effectively the CEO and other senior leaders communicate the importance of workplace excellence initiatives through actions, words and holding people accountable. When a communications strategy is precise and consistent, the impact can be significant.

It is time for the waste industry to call upon every senior leader to strategically communicate the importance of workplace excellence, therefore creating a Zero Accident Culture (ZAC) within each and every organization. Note: Accountability to achieve workplace excellence is a competitive advantage.

Provide Clarity
Today, we have communication overload. There are so many ways to communicate to employees that oftentimes important, critical and meaningful objectives can be overlooked. When setting forth organizational goals and responsibilities regarding workplace excellence, it is important to be abundantly clear as to what your expectations are relative to workplace excellence.
This is where a Corporate Safety Mission Statement could be helpful in communicating the corporate objective and goal of workplace excellence. When signed by senior leaders, it begins to shape an organization's value toward employees, their family and importantly customers.

Consistency Is Key
With so many methods available to communicate to your employees, be sure to leverage every one of them to emphasize the critical skill set of workplace excellence, and the importance of getting home safely. It is important that the written and spoken word is consistently telling the same message—how a person in a leadership role needs to have consistent behavior (i.e., consistently acting in a safe manner). This form of communication can be the most impactful since as a behavioral role model, you can have a lasting effect on an organization.

As we discussed previously, a few of the ways senior leaders can emphasize workplace safety through their actions include: conducting workplace excellence operational tours, meeting with the Safety Committee three times per year, become a small part of the new employee orientation process, actively celebrate and hunt for success within your operations.

Continuity Takes Discipline
As a leader, finding ways to continuously advance the objective and goal of workplace excellence will be a guiding value that your organization expects and wants to be recognized. Employee newsletters, company-wide e-mails, letters sent home, office posters, bulletin board messages, payroll stuffers, local newspaper press releases on safety achievement and mission statements are multiple ways to continuously set forth the strength behind the ZAC message. Employees, families and stakeholders want to know their company cares about them. Sending this kind of message never gets old.

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