3 Things that Separate the “Best of the Best” from the Rest
There are some companies out there who “get it.” We see it all the time at our courses. Some companies just seem to be able to understand what it takes to not just have an incident investigation program, but actually have an EFFECTIVE program that can demonstrate consistent results. As a comparison, some companies write great policies, say all the right things, and seem to have a drive to make their businesses better, and yet don’t seem to be able to get the results they are looking over. By contrast, great companies are able to translate this drive into results. They have fewer injuries, less downtime, fewer repeat incidents, and happier employees. What is the difference?
We often see three common threads in these successful world-class companies:
1. Their investigation teams are given the resources they need to actually perform excellent investigations. The team members are given time to participate in the process. This doesn’t mean that they have time during the day, and then (after work) it is time to catch up on everything they missed. They are truly given dedicated time (without penalty) to perform quality investigations. They are also given authority to speak to who they need and gather the evidence they need. Finally, they are given management support throughout the process. These items allow the team members to focus on the actual investigation process, instead of fighting hurdles and being distracted by outside interference.
2. The investigation teams are rewarded for their results. This doesn’t mean they are offered monetary rewards. However, it is not considered a “bad deal” to have to perform the investigation. Final reports are reviewed by management and good questions are asked. However, the team does not feel like they are in front of a firing squad each time they present their results. Periodic performance reviews recognize their participation on investigation teams, and good performance (both by the teams and by those implementing corrective actions) are recognized in a variety of ways. Team members should never dread getting a call to perform an investigation. They should be made to feel that this is an opportunity to make their workplace better, and it’s management’s job to foster that attitude.
3. Great companies don’t wait for an incident to come along before they apply root cause analysis techniques. They are proactive, looking for small problems in their businesses. I often hear people tell me, “Luckily, I only have to do a couple investigations each year because we don’t have many incidents.” That just means they aren’t looking hard enough. Any company that thinks that everything is going great is sticking their head in the sand. World-class companies actively seek problems, before they become major incidents. Why wait until someone gets hurt? Go find those small, everyday issues that are just waiting to cause a major problem. Fixing them early is much easier, and this is recognized by the Best of the Best.
Oh, and actually, there is a #4:
4. The Best of the Best use TapRooT®!!!
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