Let’s explore the process of implementing Safety 2 in a large organization, as I discuss with safety expert Simon Bown. We share our insights on introducing restorative justice, establishing a neutral language, and creating a supportive learning culture.
Implementing Restorative Justice
Simon Bown highlights the importance of defining goals and selecting a suitable model, such as Sydney Decker’s approach. The first step involved developing a one-page policy statement, signed by Simon and me, to demonstrate the organization’s commitment to the initiative.
Creating a Supportive Language
Language plays a crucial role in shaping the organizational culture. Simon emphasizes the need for language that promotes psychological confidence rather than focusing solely on psychological safety. Terms like “learning review” replaced “investigation” to encourage a neutral and supportive approach.
Components of Just Culture
I elaborate on the components of just culture in our organization. Our model focuses on care, support, compassion, and empathy, aiming to restore situations for all affected parties. By presuming good intentions, we create an environment conducive to learning rather than seeking to assign blame.
To ensure successful implementation, our organization designed a comprehensive training program. We conducted virtual team briefings during COVID, followed by in-person training sessions. The training included a workshop on restorative just culture, using a case study, and a learning review session. These workshops were attended by a significant portion of the organization’s staff, from the managing director to frontline supervisors.
Non-Classroom Learning Opportunities
To reach frontline operators, our organization utilized various non-classroom approaches. We produced longer and shorter form publications, including YouTube videos and informative documents. An animated video explained the learning review process, while written materials provided detailed insights. Additionally, training sessions were incorporated into existing courses and induction programs for new employees.
Challenges and Reflections
While the implementation of Safety 2 showed promising results, communication proved to be a challenge, particularly due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Reflecting on the journey, I suggest that placing even greater emphasis on communication from the outset could have further enhanced the success of the program.
Rolling out Safety 2 in a large organization requires a strategic approach. By introducing restorative justice, establishing a supportive language, and providing comprehensive training, organizations can foster a culture of continuous learning and improvement. While challenges may arise, open communication and ongoing evaluation can contribute to the program’s success.