Business Organizations Today
David J. Canola
Texas A & M Commerce University
Abstract Today’s organizations are taking a different turn when it comes to employee safety, safety programs, and developing a core value surrounding the principles of a safety culture. Companies in various industries ranging from manufacturing, oil and gas, retail, and hospitality have taken a step toward wanting to stop paying out the millions of dollars in workers compensation and dealing with all types of law suits to begin making a difference in their business. Primary focus is always the consumer, but without the employee there would be no business. Focus turns on improving the employee performance by making sure they are using the right tools and are doing it right. Behavior based safety is a core element in many organizations which has become the building block to a successful business. In many organizations, Management does not always recognize what it takes to control its safety system, which controls behavioral safety. Management plays a principle role in the process of upholding a safety program and coaching and developing their teams. Management’s connection to the process between their control, the changes, and their employees is a key element to the development of a strong safety culture.
Workplace safety is an important factor for organizations as it affects virtually all other elements of an organization, including production, quality, job satisfaction and expenses. One approach to controlling workplace safety is the concept of behavior-based safety, a process by which all levels of an organization participate in improving specific safety-related issues by addressing actions and behavior. An interesting anecdotal finding pertaining to behavior-based safety is that it indirectly affects other business outcomes as well. IN a business we look at how is the process in which we develop our products and our then our deliverables. Are they at the level that they need to be? What aspects of our process do we as a business need to focus on so we can not only maintain less a turnover, but also look at how we are analyzing what we do when it comes to process management and the people behind the wheel? The organizational culture that develops through this especially when there is a huge process development in place and there are expected numbers to be met really matters, especially if we follow proper standards and procedures. Organizations now place their need to focus on their employee’s practices and methods used. Total quality management comes into play when we begin to review these processes. Any organization, which has yet to use this method, is lacking an opportunity for continuous improvement that would direct such organization toward continuous success (Turnbeaugh, 2010).
What is Behavior Based Safety?
Behavior Based Safety is an approach to safety, which focuses on ensuring that appropriate performance when exhibited by its team members, receives positive reinforcement. It also emphasizes that unsafe performance results in coaching and does not receive any reinforcement. Behavior-based safety is essentially a safety process that attempts to unravel the complexity of human motivation based on the outcomes of actions of team members. According to the experts in the field, behavior-based safety seeks to optimize the application of employee’s discretionary effort and to help them improve their interactions with their environment (Turnbeaugh, 2010).
A behavioral approach to safety is an extension of the principles of behavior that were identified by B.F. Skinner in the 1950’s as he postulated about the function of Operant Conditioning (Skinner, 1953). The fundamental notion of Dr. Skinner’s work is that when an individual that results in a desired or positive outcome exhibits a behavior, that behavior is likely to recur. The counterpoint to this is also supported by Dr.…