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  • Rebekah.Orr

Workplace culture - just another bullsh*t buzzword?

Workplace safety and workplace culture aren't necessarily concepts that we consider as hand in glove - but aren't they? For plenty of us, workplace 'culture' sounds like just another dumb buzzword that doesn't really mean much in the real world - here's an easy way to define it better

If you've got a workplace culture where shortcuts are the norm, where the mantra of 'just get it done as fast as possible' is worshipped at any and all costs, how safe is it likely to be?

Phil La Duke (writing for Entrepreneur magazine) wisely said: "If you see your 'A-team' as the people who get the job done whatever it takes, you may be inadvertently fostering a culture that devalues safety."

In a competitive market (which is just about every market, realistically), the pressure to be the fastest can seem synonymous with the ambition of being the best. But is it?

Is it time we have a discussion around what being the best really is? Sure, you can argue that that's just how it is. You wouldn't be wrong. But is that the way we, in any industry, actually WANT it to be? It only ever takes a few brave souls to speak up and do something new for an industry, a government, a culture, to shift.

What if, by deciding that being the best meant that you delivered the best product, even if it took a little longer, you then garnered the goodwill of your clients, and that carried over into word of mouth recommendations that got you more work? I know that certainly as a consumer, I look for care and quality and I'm loud about it when I get it!

What if we decided to be the best by being such a supportive environment that our staff love coming to work in the mornings? Wouldn't that improve productivity - which is what businesses rely on for our bottom line. But arguably bigger than that, it will contribute to a safer work environment. People who like being somewhere are engaged with what they're doing. People who are engaged with their work pay attention, and people that pay attention are people who make less mistakes. In the industries we work with, less mistakes mean less harm. And less harm means everyone finishes their work day safely - which is what we're all about.

Take care out there.

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