6 Tips to Get Your Management Team into Action

It’s frustrating to see your management team agree and support you during meetings but do nothing afterward. It’s so frustrating that sometimes it can feel that giving up is the right thing to do.

You’re not alone. Many safety professionals have experienced this. I’ve experienced this. And along the way, there are steps I’ve used that were effective in making the management team into action. Let’s talk about 6 of them.

Use Infographics

Infographics are visual aids that can help your audience to understand data in a simple manner using graphical representations. Canva is a great tool when creating infographics. And the best part is, it’s free.

You can use this to demonstrate the total cost of a claim, going beyond just the insurance cost. No one really understands in your management team the true cost of an accident. Use an infographic to visualize the whole impact that an incident has on the company.

This is where infographics will come in. You can use these to make your management team understand the true cost of an accident. Now, in order for them to easily relate to the costs, you can use daily items or company products as a cost comparison.

Create Assessments

Assessments are a great data collection tool because it shows the compliance of a supervisor or a department to the leading indicators. Comparing these two sets of data creates a correlation that helps you and your management team understand the risks and create a set of actions that can be done to mitigate them. You can also use infographics for assessments.

Send Frequent but Varied E-Mail Reports

In our current time, our minds are becoming conditioned to only absorb short and quick amounts of information. You can see these on YouTube videos becoming shorter and shorter. And the TikTok videos are only seconds long.

Also, I’m sure that you’ve already experienced receiving a very long e-mail report. After a paragraph or two, you likely decide to just close it and read it later. Which ends up forgotten because of other tasks and issues.

So, making your email reports short but varied will result in them taking action. Because they will remember the data you’ve sent. An infographic also works well for e-mail reports.

Set Clear Expectations

When you don’t set clear expectations, your management team will decide for themselves. And the expectations they’ve set will be vastly different from your expectations.

So, when sending out the previously mentioned short and varying e-mail reports, don’t tell them what to do. Because this can lead them to subconsciously reject it. Instead, include three or more ideas on how to deal with the problem. And let them decide which course of action to take.

Immediately Start an Action Plan Once Approved

Once you get approval for your safety project or program, don’t go out and return with a plan you’ve created yourself. Instead, while in the meeting, jump right into creating the action plan. Talk about the necessary steps and who are the people involved.

This is very important because it makes them understand the complete project and it sets the expectation that everyone needs to participate. That everyone needs to take action. So, during the creation of the action plan, actively ask them for ideas and key persons for certain tasks.

Check-in Regularly

Bringing up the progress regularly during meetings reminds the team of their responsibilities. It makes them understand that their role is important. And if they didn’t do their part, if they’re slacking off, they can get called out during the meeting. And nobody wants that.

Take Action

There you have it. I know this seems like a lot. So, start with #1 and work your way through the list.

And if the data and reports confuse you – no worries – I’m putting together a Safety Analytics Intensive to show you how to wrangle in those numbers even when you’re not a numbers nerd like me.

It’s coming in January. If you want to be the first to know when it’s open for registration, be sure to get on my email list. Just go to TheSafetyGeek.com/newsletter to join.

6 Simple Steps To Drive Your Team Into Action

Safety Brye: [00:00:00] Do you ever feel like you're yelling into a void? Hello? Can anybody hear me? Is this thing even on? Are you like literally repeating yourself over and over again and no one seems to take action? Are you like throwing your hands up in the air and just saying, F it ? I don't have management support. Well, I have a few tricks to help you to get them moving, so let's get to it.

Hey there, safety friends. Welcome to the Safety Geek Podcast. I'm Brye Sargent CSP and 20 years. Safety professional. After spending years training safety leaders across the globe for a large corporation and creating safety programs from the ground up over and over again. I am now sharing my processes and strategies with you. At the Safety [00:01:00] Geek,

you will learn how to manage an effective safety program that increases your management support, and employee engagement, all the while helping you elevate your position and move up in your career. If you're ready to step into the role of a safety influencer and leader, you're in the right place. Let's get to it.

Hello. Hello. Hello, my safety friend. How are you doing today? We are getting very, very close to the end of the year and as we are getting to the end of the year, it is my wish that you feel as hopeful as I do. Look, I know that 2020 and 2021 were awful, especially in our field. I totally understand what you went through, but I felt pretty good about 2022 and I'm really looking forward to 2023.

So how about you? And as you were looking to this [00:02:00] future, you would better be thinking about your career in that picture as well. Like where do you wanna be come a year from now? What do you want to be doing and what do you want to accomplish? In order to get all that stuff done, you're going to need your management team to step up.

But too often we end up in a conference room of bobblehead dolls where everyone is just nodding yes, but then nothing gets done. So instead of complaining, instead of throwing your hands up in the air, I have six tips for you that I'm gonna share that will help drive them into action and help you reach your goals in this next year.

So let's get to it. Number one. Is creating infographics. Now, Canva is a great tool to use this to make infographics, [00:03:00] so I will link that in the show notes. But the thing is, is that an infographic actually takes data and puts it in a graphical format for people to, one, enjoy reading, and two gets them.

Think about it a different. So when an accident happens, no one truly understands the complete cost of that accident. I mean, a lot of it is hypothetical anyway, but getting them to see past that claims bill is so important because there are so many costs involved in an accident that have nothing to do with the claims cost.

So what you wanna do is show that ripple effect of how it's actually going to affect them. How many widgets needed to be sold to pay for that claim? What is the impact that that claim is having on quality or efficiency? What is the hiring cost if you have to hire a new employee and then look at what it's [00:04:00] equivalent to something that is in their everyday life, like a lot of times in infographics, I will see like,

number of cups of coffee drunk or number of miles driven, or trees or meals, something that they can look at as a very small item. But the quantity is huge when you talk about the cost of a claim. So try to think of it that way too. And like I said, Canva is a great tool at helping you create these infographic.

And then once you have it created, post it everywhere. You're not just gonna share it with your management team, you're gonna post it in your break room. You're going to refer to it often, and you can actually make an infographic for each type of accident. So you have like maybe one for strains of sprains, one for motor vehicle accidents, one for equipment or machine guarding, one for serious accidents.

So you can make a bunch of them, and it really makes it a fun way to share [00:05:00] safety information, but it gets them moving because they're actually seeing the ripple effect of that accident. All right, number two is doing assessments. Now, this is one of your absolute best data collection tools that you can use, and unlike coaching and observations, assessments, do not have a name attached to them.

You are just assessing how a supervisor or a department complies with the safe work practices with all of your leading indicators. So basically you wanna make a list of your leading indicators and then measure compliance against those leading indicators. And if you can attach that to that infographic, that would be even better.

So let's say that you had an infographic of strains and sprain. And then you said like, well, the coaching on proper lifting is this, and it resulted in this many [00:06:00] strains and sprain accidents, which resulted in this cost. If we just improve the coaching and the compliance of proper lifting, that would reduce all of those things.

So if you can attach them together, that is gold, my friend. Gold. And the way that this gets them moving is they're actually seeing the actions that they need to focus on. So you're reporting on the lagging or the leading indicators that are actually gonna result in reducing accidents. So that gives them a very specific thing to take action on.

All right, number three, you want to share your data frequently and in different ways. So a lot of times we have a lot of data in safety management, and like I said, assessments are one of your very best data collection tools. But instead of throwing it all out like I, I feel like some people just like throw up at a manager's meeting and all [00:07:00] this data just dumps out of their mouth, right?

Instead of throwing it at them all at once, it actually works better. If you take your variety of reports, you know, like you're leading, you're lagging, you're coaching, you're observing your assessments, your hazard reports, your near miss reports, there's so many. If I'm confusing you on how many different ways that you can report your data, then I would definitely encourage you to join Safety Management Academy cuz it is a data-driven process and strategy program.

But anyway, you take all those reports, and instead of giving it to them all at once, you spread it out over the month, right? So maybe you're giving one or two emails a week with different information and you're sharing the information monthly, but you're sharing it over time, over the month. And the reason why this works, even though I'm totally against filling somebody's email box, [00:08:00] but the reason this works, Is that our society today is used to short, sweet, and quick information.

If you notice, we've gone from like 20 minute long YouTube videos to 10 minute to eight minute to one minute shorts. We've gone from big giant blog post to social media posts to a hundred and what is it now, 240 character tweets or whatever like that. And then we have TikTok videos, which are like, you know, six seconds or 60 seconds.

I'm really surprised that Vine didn't win out at its time. I think it was way earlier than it needed to be. Cuz if anybody remembers Vine, it was like six second videos. So our society as a whole, whether you're on social media or not, our society as a whole and our brains are being conditioned for short, sweet, quick information.

So that means you need to be delivering your data in short, sweet, quick information. So what I like to see is quick charts with a little [00:09:00] bit of information, and that's it. And you do it multiple times a week. And then that is an easy way to move them into action. And what I would also say is that when you do it this way, it drives them into action because they see one problem.

Like you're showing them a handful of leading indicators, maybe five leading indicators having to do with proper lifting. Going back to that subject, and you're showing them, here's the five leaning indicators, here's your worst one, and they can easily take that email and then go take action on it. When we combine it all into one, and I'm sure you have done this yourself, you get an email that is like super long, or you get a report that is 15 pages long and you're just like, yeah, too much information.

I'll read that later. I know I do it all the time. And it's very frustrating to me because like executives, because they are of a different world, I guess they ask for the information that way. So a lot of times you're having to deliver it both ways [00:10:00] based on the generation that you're talking to, right?

So I know that doesn't work, but it's like those short sweet ones definitely do work, especially if you want them taking action Number four. And this kind of relates to number three as well, is set very clear expectation. The action that you want them to take is very obvious to us. We know well, like we can look at the data and we can say, Hey, this is what you need to do to improve it.

It is so obvious to us, but it isn't to them. So you have to have a clear ask. You have to set that expectation. Because if you don't set the expectation, they will set it for themselves and I can guarantee you it won't match what you want them to do. So when you're sending out those very various reports that we just talked about, at the very end, you wanna end it with something like, these are the steps you can [00:11:00] take to improve these results and give them two or three ideas so that way you're still giving them autonomy to have the choice

of how to proceed. You're not telling them what to do, going back to our other episode, but you're giving them some options and you're leaving it in their hands. But if you just send the data and don't tell them what to do, they'll be like, okay, you know, and they will likely take action, but not necessarily the action you need them to take.

So make sure that you are setting those very clear expectations. All righty. Number five, and this is my absolute favorite idea. I actually got this from a lawyer, believe it or not. I was having a meeting with a lawyer and she did this, and I was like, that is freaking genius. So anyway, so number five, is that you start your action planning

the moment they approve whatever it is you're asking, whatever [00:12:00] improvement project, safety initiative, safety project, whatever you wanna call it. When you go to your management team, so this is what I'm picturing, is a management meeting and you're sitting there with your improvement idea and you're asking for approval and they say yes.

The moment they say yes. You start working on your action plan. It's not, they say yes, and then I walk away and I'll get back to them on how we're gonna proceed. You immediately jump up or start writing and start action planning, and you go, okay, what are the steps that we need to take? This is not gonna be a perfect action plan in this meeting, but you start the process right then and there.

You break down what the steps are and then you ask who's gonna take responsibility for this? And this does two things. First and foremost, when you action plan, when everybody is there, it allows them to [00:13:00] visualize everything that it's going to take to complete the project. And that way they can see it is way too much for one person.

And then it sets the expectation that they have activities that they need to pitch in and do. To make sure that the action plan comes to life. So you can ask, you can break it down into different tasks, you know, and then you can say, okay, who's gonna do this task? And when you ask that question, you're already stating the fact that you don't expect it to be you.

that you expect it to be somebody on the team unless it is an obvious you, right? So like if it is right, the safety policy, that's an obvious you, you should be doing that. But buying the supplies, that's not necessarily you, right? So it breaks it down into everybody is doing this as a team and it sets that expectation right at that meeting.

And when you break it down [00:14:00] into tasks, what they will see is it yeah, it's a lot to complete this project, but the individual tasks I'm taking on are very small and they're less time consuming, so it allows them to be part of a team to create a project happening, but it doesn't put too much work on them because we're spreading around between the whole team.

So jump in immediately and start action planning, even if it is just a handful of people in this meeting. Like I said, I got this idea from this lawyer. And literally it was her one other person and myself. So it was just three of us, right? And she just immediately jumped up, started action planning, and the three of us brainstormed who should do what, and then who should actually go talk to the people to do these things.

And then after the meeting, we just followed up to solidify the action plan. So very, very important that you start the process right away and that you don't do that sitting at your [00:15:00] desk all by yourself, because what happens when you do that? Everything has your name on it. You end up doing the entire project, and that is never good.

All right. And then number six, our very last one goes to number five as well, is that you wanna have regular check-ins on your progress. So when you have continuous improvement projects going, or safety improvement projects, what do you wanna call them, you wanna bring up the progress regularly. I'm a big fan of weekly managers meetings and that that's what you talk about at weekly manager's meetings is the project of the action plan until it is complete.

This brings it to their attention. But then it also lets the entire team see who's not doing their part, what's coming up in the next week or so, and then it reminds them of the results that they can expect. It reminds them why we're even working on this project. And when you do those regular check-ins, it gets everybody moving to get it complete.

Because any project you do, you just wanna get to the end of it. You really wanna [00:16:00] stop talking about it. Now I know with safety, we just are constantly, it's a continuous improvement. We go from project to project to project, but really they just wanna get to the end, see the results, and then you can just say next.

All right, so there you have it, my safety friend. Those are six tips to get your team moving. I know that it seems like a lot. So what I would suggest for you is that you start with number one and then just work your way through the list. And if the data is confusing you, like if you are not the numbers nerd that I am, no worries.

I am actually putting together a safety analytics intensive that I'm gonna hold in January to show you how to wrangle in those numbers and actually report it effectively to your management teams. So I don't have everything solidified on that yet, but it is coming up in January. So if you wanna be the first to know when it's open for registration, be [00:17:00] sure that you are getting on my email list and that you are checking your emails regularly.

And to do that, just go to thesafetygeek.com/newsletter to join. And I will chat with you again next week. Bye for now. Have a safe day.

Hey, if you're just getting started in safety or you've been at this. For a while and are hitting a roadblock. Then I wanna invite you to check out Safety Management Academy. This is my in-depth online course that not only teaches you the processes and strategies of an effective safety management program, but how to entwine management support and employee participation throughout your processes.

Are you ready to finally understand exactly what you should be doing and ditch that safety police hat forever? Then you have got to join me and your fellow safety scholars over at Safety Management Academy. [00:18:00] Just go to thesafetygeek.com/sma to learn more and to get started. That's thesafetygeek.com/sma and I will see you in our next Students only live session.

Bye for now.

Highlights From This Episode:

  • How to Drive the Management Team into Action on Your Safety Programs
  • Effective Ways to Present Your Data
  • Best Data Collection Tools
  • Deliver Your Data in Short, Sweet, Quick information
  • How to Set Clear Expectations
  • Start Action Plan with Them When They Approve


If you want to know more about getting your management team to take action, you can join the Safety Management Academy where I teach more.

And if you have other tips to add on this list that can help our fellow safety friends to achieve their goals, please comment them below.

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Hi, I'm Brye (rhymes with sky)!  I am a self-proclaimed safety geek with two decades of general industry safety experience.  Specializing in bringing safety programs to a world-class level and building a safety culture, I have trained and coached many safety managers, just like you, on how to effectively manage workplace safety in the real world.   I would love to help you too.

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