The Relationship Factor in Safety Leadership
Achieving Success through Employee Engagement
At the core of The Relationship Factor in Safety Leadership are eight beliefs about human nature that are common to leaders who successfully communicate that safety is important while meeting business results. Using stories and business language the book explains how to create and recover important stakeholder relationships by setting priorities and taking action based on these beliefs.
The beliefs are based on the author’s 25 years of experience supporting operational and safety leaders with successful and unsuccessful change efforts in pharmaceutical, nuclear, mining, manufacturing and power generation. The author also offers compelling evidence from many social and scientific disciplines that support the conclusion that satisfying our need for relationship is a major motivator.
The Five Orientations Model offers a perspective on solving complex problems when confronted with multiple demands. The book provides managers and supervisors with the motivation to build relationships and points to the conditions needed for success. It also describes a process to take united action but retain the flexibility to change course as necessary.
The book is written for managers and leaders, at all levels, concerned with occupational health and safety, and wishing to learn how to leverage relationships to achieve higher employee engagement and performance.
Table of Contents
1 Making the Case for Relationship Centered Safety Leadership 2 Review of Relationship Based Research 3 Eight Beliefs and Principles of Relationship-Centered Leadership 4 Trust: Recovering, Creating and Holding On 5 Problem Solving in a Relational World 6 Unification 7 Penetration 8 Resolution 9 Enactment 10 Perseverance 11 Conclusion
Rosa Antonia Carrillo, president of Carrillo and Associates, is an internationally recognized leader in creating transformational change with a focus on the safety, environment and health function. Since 1995 she has authored ground-breaking articles in the safety field and consulted in many countries across multiple industries on the topic of safety leadership.
"The Relationship Factor in Safety Leadership fills in the missing link in the increasingly important concept of "safety culture" by showing with personal experiences and review of research how important the face-to-face relationship of openness and trust is in the whole safety field. This book shows how open communication, trust, psychological safety, all hinge on the personal relationship across all levels of the hierarchy and within the working team. Personal relationships are critical in all the high hazard industries and are central to patient safety in our health care system. This book should be the foundation of the training of all safety workers, managers, and leaders." — Edgar H. Schein, Professor Emeritus MIT Sloan School of Management, author with Peter Schein of Humble Leadership: The Power of Relationship, Openness, and Trust (2018)
"Thank you, Rosa, for so eloquently reminding us that managing the safety of people is not the same as managing the safety of the systems they operate. You have produced a readable, concrete guide that helps us understand how to build and nourish the relationships that are foundational to the success of safety leadership." — Professor Sidney Dekker, Safety Science Innovation Lab, Griffith University, Brisbane Australia
"For too many years, safety management has put nearly all of its effort into attempts to control and/or "fix" employee behavior. As a result, many companies are drowning under a sea of rules, cardinal rules, over complicated procedures and high-dollar behavior modification schemes. The result is a prohibitively expensive and overly complex workplace where getting anything done, including safety, is far too difficult. Worse, serious incidents and fatalities are actually on the rise in many countries, including the US. In The Relationship Factor in Safety Leadership Ms. Carrillo has given us a far more productive and sustainable path forward; one that views employees as resources rather than liabilities. Using real life stories and examples Ms. Carrillo makes the case that it’s not our workers that need fixing; it’s our antiquated command and control approaches to leadership. She intelligently and convincingly argues that, rather than piling more and more controls on our workforce, we are better served by building relationships and partnerships with our workers that drive organizational excellence.
As Ms. Carrillo states in her Eight Beliefs of Relationship Leadership' "people are able and willing to contribute to the success of the enterprise." I can attest from personal experience to the truth of this statement and I think Ms. Carrillo’s provocative new book will convince you as well. Although her book is aimed at safety leadership, her compelling lessons on the importance of building worker relationships, based on trust and respect, are universal. Smart companies increasingly realize that employees aren’t a problem to be controlled but a willing resource for solutions and continuous improvement. Anyone interested in the benefits of an engaged workforce committed to driving organizational excellence will greatly benefit from reading this book." — Jim Loud CSP MS MPH, Independent consultant and author with 40 years of corporate management experience with large commercial nuclear power utilities and Los Alamos National Laboratory
"I have been following Rosa’s work for 15 years. As a researcher, I appreciate her ability to interweave science and practical experiences to articulate the meaning and value of Relationship. This element is at the core of employee engagement and leadership, but seldom discussed or mentioned. Thank you Rosa for your incredible insights that enlighten us and your courage to speak up. For leaders who are genuinely interested in the safety and wellbeing of their employees, I humbly urge you to study this book and be ready for the introspective journey it will lead you through." — Mei-Li Lin, PhD, Senior Vice President of Innovation, Solutions and Partnership, DEKRA
"Trained engineers aren’t typically enthusiastic about ‘feely’ stuff like relations, but here I am proving otherwise. This book barely uses the term, safety culture, (well done!). The advice here will do more to positively influence your organisation's culture than any assessment, metric or culture program can do. Culture is something that emerges when people interact over time. Influence the relationships, influence the culture! It is great to read Rosa’s work and its applications. Merely sitting down and reflecting on the eight beliefs of Relationship Centered Leadership is immensely powerful and giving!" — Carsten Busch, mindtherisk.com, author of Safety Myth 101