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More focus on surveys to measure safety and performance

More emphasis placed on surveys as transport operators seek ways to hold onto staff in a competitive environment

By Ruza Zivkusic-Aftasi | May 9, 2013

Understanding safety is becoming more crucial for the transport industry, with many operators turning to employee engagement surveys to measure safety culture and performance.

Insync Surveys, which offers survey services on issues such as employee engagement, culture and customer satisfaction, says many operators are inclined to measure their approach to safety due to retention rates.

Executive Director and Founder Des McGowan says a new survey called Safety Culture Survey has caught the industry’s attention following Insync’s presence at this year’s Australian Logistics Council (ALC) forum in Melbourne.

“We are working with organisations to take their understanding of safety from an operational perspective to a strategic perspective, from lag to lead indicators, from a compliance perspective to a commitment perspective and from an audit perspective to an actionable metric perspective,” McGowan says.

“We are seeing a shift in understanding the importance of surveys in this industry and I think it’s because of competitive pressures as organisations realise they have to hold on to the staff so they need to know issues which impact performance, engagement and retention.”

McGowan says businesses need to understand the safety culture of the organisation to determine what risks need to be managed.

While many organisations use incident reports to monitor their safety improvement programs, he says little measure the safety culture of their organisation.

“Safety reporting in the past has been regarded as an imposition,” McGowan says.

“Organisations have really worked hard to understand how they have to create an environment where people feel safe about reporting incidents.

“Some organisations have really struggled with the demands of compatible work systems and the operational requirements of a job.

“It’s understanding how they can get better compatibility, making sure management are transparent about the importance of safety and in particular about the behaviours of managers.”

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