Security Management: The danger alignment problem: How high-performing organizations reply

Security Management: The danger alignment problem: How high-performing organizations reply

Editor’s Be aware: Attaining and sustaining an injury-free office calls for sturdy management. On this month-to-month column, consultants from international consulting agency DEKRA share their standpoint on what leaders must know to information their organizations to security excellence.

A employee is ready to function tools on a buyer’s jobsite and notices that the duty requires the equipment to suit into a good space. He feels uncomfortable and pauses briefly, however proceeds. 5 minutes later, he drives into a chunk of infrastructure, inflicting harm and setting off an alarm on the shopper’s website.

Such conditions play out all too typically when workers are left to do the best factor however aren’t precisely positive what the best factor is. Pleasing the shopper overrides worth for private security and defending the corporate model.

Alignment could be a important problem for leaders. Making an attempt to fulfill a number of targets on the similar time could result in sure targets conflicting with one another. Such conflicts can often end in leaders and front-line employees making in-the-moment decisions to get one thing performed on time as an alternative of taking the additional steps to do it safely. Frontline employees imagine they’re doing what their leaders count on – attaining the manufacturing goal and pleasing the shopper.

By constant every day actions and conversations, leaders point out which behaviors are acceptable and that are dangerous.

When there’s misalignment, the tolerance to danger will increase on the entrance line, the place the danger of damage is highest. Meaning the crew member most susceptible to critical damage has essentially the most to lose when making risk-based choices. Organizations targeted on security excellence and turning into finest at school should first obtain alignment and take explicit actions to foster real-time decision-making inside acceptable danger ranges.

Typically, we observe leaders speaking a transparent message in regards to the significance of investing time in security. Nevertheless, different messages – resembling assembly buyer expectations, assembly deadlines and delivering as deliberate – additionally cascade down. By the point messages attain the entrance line, security can get misplaced or compete with seemingly extra pressing messages. As a result of management decision-making within the subject is made in actual time, with out the advantage of deep evaluation or reflection, main with security whereas “within the second” is essential to serving to employees perceive what issues most.

Excessive-reliability organizations have a worth for security embedded in each determination. The flexibility to depend on and predict that prime efficiency will happen hinges on danger alignment. By constant every day actions and conversations, leaders point out which behaviors are acceptable and that are dangerous, in addition to which guidelines are to be adopted and which of them are allowed to be ignored.

What occurs when leaders and groups step exterior the accepted danger requirements? In a high-reliability group, the response is constant and predictable: “That’s not OK round right here. Right here’s how we hold issues protected. Let’s get this corrected collectively.”

Assembly manufacturing targets and creating a top quality product whereas assembly buyer expectations are vital to success in enterprise. So, what actions can leaders take to align high quality and manufacturing with security?

First, leaders should align on how they’ll make choices, after which they have to embed their worth for security into each dialog and determination. Second, leaders should talk, with phrases and actions, their unwavering expectations for protected work. Lastly, leaders ought to present the entrance line with enhanced efficiency enchancment expertise that restrict human error and additional assist crew members in making the protected alternative within the second, even when conflicts come up.

We frequently get away with misaligned choices. Finally, although, a nasty consequence will happen. Stopping that is what danger alignment is all about.


This text represents the views of the writer and shouldn’t be construed as a Nationwide Security Council endorsement.

Security Management: The danger alignment problem: How high-performing organizations replyElizabeth Prazeres is an organizational effectiveness and alter administration professional at Her expertise contains organizational change, human efficiency reliability and security management. Prazeres has labored in numerous industries, together with oil and gasoline, utilities, manufacturing, tools rental, transportation, chemical, and vitality.