Every motor carrier’s management team understands the challenge of steering the organization in the right direction and getting employees to buy into a shared vision. One area motor carriers find most challenging is loss prevention.
Due to the risky nature of the trucking industry, the entire organization has a role to play in preventing losses. From avoiding regulatory violations and fines to preventing vehicle accidents and employee injuries, it takes a unified effort to achieve safety performance goals. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done.
Getting employees on the same page and working toward a common goal can feel daunting at times. Despite your best efforts, violations and accidents can still happen. Yet, some motor carriers are better at minimizing risk and achieving better safety performance than others. Why is that? Some may argue luck, but that relates only to non-preventable losses.
Motor carriers that experience a low number of preventable losses usually have a solid safety culture in place that is reflected by the quality of the drivers hired and retained, the condition of equipment, compliance efforts, and so on. But how did these types of successful motor carriers reach this standard? One could argue the difference is in leadership effectiveness and the ability to influence others.
As the oft-quoted saying goes, “Employees do not leave good companies. They leave bad bosses.” That may not always be true, but getting employees to voluntarily change their attitudes and behaviors starts with your ability to positively influence them.
Effective leaders can exhibit some of the positive traits listed below. While not all-inclusive, this list can help you gauge how others might perceive you and your ability to influence change.
If you truly value employee safety, does it show in your actions? You must be genuine in your commitment because if you are not, employees will likely ignore your message and follow their own values or someone else’s. Walking the walk and talking the talk regardless of the situation sets a powerful example.
Visionary leaders are most influential when they present their goals, outline a strategy to achieve those goals, and then follow through to make the vision a reality. An inviting message can be inspirational, but a visionary needs to deliver or risk losing credibility.
It is easy to gravitate toward someone who is passioniate about what they do and has a personality that is easy to relate to. Charismatic leaders are most persuasive when they combine charm and interpersonal connection to motivate others to follow.
CALL TO ACTION
- Encourage creativity with employees to invite new loss-prevention ideas.
- Empower employees to take action and make contributions to safety efforts.
- Communicate your vision for employee safety and visibly support activities to improve performance.
- Champion safety efforts and hold employees accountable for safety performance.
Note: These lists are not intended to be all-inclusive.
This material is intended to be a broad overview of the subject matter and is provided for informational purposes only. Joe Morten & Son, Inc. does not provide legal advice to its insureds or other parties, nor does it advise insureds or other parties on employment-related issues, therefore the subject matter is not intended to serve as legal or employment advice for any issue(s) that may arise in the operations of its insureds or other parties. Legal advice should always be sought from legal counsel. Joe Morten & Son, Inc. shall have neither liability nor responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss, action, or inaction alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the information contained herein. Reprinted with permission from Great West Casualty Company.