Attitudes are inclinations to act positively or negatively towards challenges, individuals, or situations, and they influence a person’s reactionary behaviour. Attitudes evaluate and state a judgment on an issue, such as workplace safety, and are based on real experience.
Management plays an important role in influencing attitudes, which in many situations is significant in determining success. An attitude is a habit, which can be broken. Treating workers with respect at all times and involving them in decisions that affects workplace safety performance develops a positive attitude.
A worker’s personality, values and attitudes are always part of who they are and influences behaviour. Therefore, the identification of attitudes, which are a potential barrier to working safely, is important. But it is easier to change attitudes than it is to change a person’s values.
Attitudes play an important role in workplace safety and also greatly determine the effectiveness of leadership. Leaders who show the right attitudes can build trust with the ability to listen without prejudgment; which is vitally important to building a team that can achieve greatness. Leaders who underestimate the value of positive attitudes and chose to behave in a contrary manner, may create problems in the workplace and may damage the reputation of the business.
Understanding peoples’ attitudes to safety is an important start. It is then, that changes can occur by focusing on the positive and reinforcing it. These questions could help:
- What do workers see in the workplace?
- What do they hear in the workplace?
- What do they feel in the workplace?
- What do they experience in the workplace?
- Do I provide a work environment that fosters the positive attitude for safety success?
- Do I believe in them?
- Do I know them?
- Do I care about them?
- Do I provide the workers with an environment of excellence?
- Do I realise who the workers are?
A positive attitude allows managers to maintain their value and status while enabling them to lead the team to continuous improvement. At the same time, workers remain in a favourable position with their managers. Therefore, maintaining positive attitudes is a win-win solution.