Root Cause Tip: “Enforcement Needs Improvement” – You Can’t Train Obedience/Compliance/Positive Behavior
This is a quick clarification to stop a definite no-no in poorly developed corrective actions.
You find evidence during your root cause analysis to support the root cause “Enforcement NI” based on the following statements from your Root Cause Tree® Dictionary for a particular causal factor:
- Was enforcement of the SPAC (Standards, Policies, Administrative Controls) seen as inconsistent by the employees?
- Has failure to follow SPAC in the past gone uncorrected or unpunished?
- Did management fail to provide positive incentives for people to follow the SPAC?
- Was there a reward for NOT following the SPAC (for example: saving time, avoiding discomfort).
- When supervisors or management noticed problems with worker behavior, did they fail to coach workers and thereby leave problems similar to this causal factor uncorrected?
But then if you create a corrective action to retrain, remind, and reemphasize the rules, directed at the employee or in rare occasions the immediate supervisor, your investigation started on track and jumped tracks at the end.
Now, I am okay with an alert going out to the field for critical to safety or operation issues as a key care about reminder, but that does not fix the issues identified with the evidence above. If you use Train/Re-Train as a corrective action, then you imply that the person must not have known how to perform the job in the first place. If that were the case, root causes under the Basic Cause Category of “Training” should have been selected.
Training covers the person’s knowledge, skills and abilities to perform a specific task safely and successfully. Training does not ensure sustainment of proper actions to perform the task; supervision acknowledgement, reward and discipline from supervision, senior leadership and peers ensure acceptance and sustainment for correct task behaviors.
Don’t forget, it is just as easy for supervision to ignore unsafe behavior as it is for an employee to deviate from a task (assuming the task was doable in the first place). Reward and discipline applies to changing supervision’s behavior as well.
Something else to evaluate. If the root cause of Enforcement NI shows up frequently, make sure that you are not closing the door prematurely on the Root Cause Tree® Dictionary Near Root Causes of:
- Oversight/Employee Relations (Audits should be catching this and the company culture should be evaluated).
- Corrective Actions (If you tried to fix this issue before, why did it fail?).
Remember, you can’t train obedience/compliance/positive behavior. Finally, if you get stuck on developing a corrective active for Enforcement NI or any of our root causes, stop and read your Corrective Action Helper®.
Learn more by attending one of our upcoming TapRooT® Courses or just call 865.539.2139 and ask a question if you get stuck after being trained.