Compliance just “to comply” has minimal motivation.
Compliance without motivation has no value! So what motivates the workforce these days? The stick doesn’t work. The carrot doesn’t work. You might think this an HR issue. Companies rely on the interview process heavily to determine who may be motivated to learn, work, and comply. With the labor force in today’s world, it is most definitely a challenge. So is compliance a value that you can quantify in an interview? Quite honestly when I hit the labor force in the oilfield, I was raised to take directions and comply. I feel strongly that is a value.
While there is no silver bullet for succeeding in compliance, there are two absolutely paramount character traits: good judgment and the desire to have integrity.
There are people, though, that have…
EDD- Empathy Deficit Disorder (Yes, that’s a thing).
Amoral and Immoral—these are two distinct and different terms. “Immorality” refers to someone who is immoral. Such a person makes decisions that purposely violate a moral agreement. Or that person sees no value in adhering to certain standards (like following the rules).
The term “amoral” describes someone who has no morals and doesn’t know what right or wrong means. It’s important to know the difference. Without getting into psychology, there are questions that can be asked to determine an individual’s tendencies. However, the lower the standing within the hierarchy, the less the likelihood the interviewer or interviewee will ask (or face) probing questions at the interview process. Therefore you are less likely to get a better view of a job applicant’s values.
Shouting the regs and demanding compliance is not necessarily the best way. Some companies promote caring through reward—thus favoring the carrot approach. Other companies utilize the stick method, which these days is proven to be less and less effective. Maybe it’s a generational thing. My approach has been to consider value as a key component and to look upon value as a teachable lesson. Now we come to the mechanics of how to teach values. We are already behind the eight ball because values are not widely emphasized—at least not like they used to be.
When it comes to learning value, being able to focus on the task at hand is key! How many of you, male or female, had to hold the flashlight for your father? Or mother? I learned real quick the value of focusing on the object that my father was trying to fix. Sadly, with the invention of cell phones, I submit that even I lack the focus I used to have, today!
Not everyone has a background or experience in the learning of values or the value of learning. Some are never taught the definition of values. Your values are the things that you believe are important in the way you live and work. Most are taught rules from an early age. Few are taught values and cell phones do not teach that!
Strategies of teaching, training, and instilling safety should include value. Teach values and its benefits—besides just survival. Benefits and pay lack the staying power that is attached to the value of security, not to mention meaningful employment with a future. Currently, most everything is money driven. Money has a value, but the love of money does not.
Teach the policies and procedures. Teach the benefits of policies. None of this is rocket science. However, imparting values to the individual will strengthen the workforce and the safety program.
With new generational training, I propose that there are new, specific, and different methods to enhance workers’ ability to develop values aside from the carrot and stick method. Being needed is a value. Improving, growing, and learning are also values. Values are qualities you cannot buy. Teamwork, communication, and goals are values that are exhibited in every successful company.
Until safety becomes a value, safety is just a prerequisite to satisfy the actuaries for a business to stay in business. I’ve actually sat in a budget meeting, discussing the goals of how few accidents we must have if we are to improve our numbers to impress the board members. That is not a value but it does occur.
The pressure to perform and reach the goal for improvement is acknowledging that some accidents will occur. The goal is to minimize accidents, not eliminate. I’m just wondering who is going to choose the recipients to have the accidents.
At the same meetings for annual budgeting, the percentage of expenses for safety is exponentially lower than than that of any other allocations for operational expenses. That is why we have insurance. Then the insurance goes up if the accidents exceed the budgeted allocations for medical costs and/or lawsuits.
The bottom line is the bottom line. Zero accidents have great value. Employees that feel valued perform. Zero accidents have value and are a value. Happy employees and employers have value. It all depends on performance, which is a value.
It’s not how many hits we have in baseball that counts. It is how many times we reach home safely that counts!
And that my friends is a value!
Dusty Roach is a safety professional based in Midland. He is also a public speaker on subjects of leadership and safety, and he maintains a personal website at dustyroach.com.