So, we have already gone over how a leader puts in the time for their team and to educate themselves. Another big difference between a boss and a leader, is communication. Anyone can bark orders and live by the “do as I say” mentality, but to actually take the time to ask your crew for input and hear their questions can go a long way. Remember, your crew is working right in the hub of it all and may have safety concerns you would have never thought of. Yes, there will be times when you will need to flex your authority, but this can be done with constructive feedback. Always include your staff and be fair. An employee that feels heard and treated fairly is less likely to “stick it to the man” aka cut corners aka cause an incident.
Lastly, inspire your workers. Excite and encourage your team. Safety doesn’t have to be boring. You can do anything from rewarding good safety behavior to reflecting on your own trials and tribulations with safety. You will be teaching your workers as well as getting to know them. Have discussions on everything from improvements to grievances. Make sure your team feels heard! That small difference can really change the safety culture on your crew… and when that changes for the better, everyone wins.
Sadly most workers dread seeing the “white hats” on site. But you know who can change that? You.. over there, with the white hat on. You can change that! Don’t just be a “boss”, challenge yourself to lead your crew. All it takes is a little bit of time, some communication and a whole lot of inspiration. Be the “white hat” everyone is happy to see. A good leader equals a happy crew which equals a safe crew!