Building An Actively Caring Culture - The Psychological Side of Workplace Safety

Embedding an actively caring culture among employees in a workplace is a great way to set a comfortable, safe, and productive work environment. People care, but not everyone chooses to act upon that care when needed. The concept of actively caring is based on cultivating a feeling of compassion among colleagues at work, with the ultimate goal of every individual contributing to the safety and well being of everyone in the workplace.

5 Pillars of an Actively Caring Culture

In order to encourage an actively caring culture, it is essential to understand the five character traits upon which the concept is based.

i) Self- Esteem

Self-esteem is all about how one feels about themselves. People feeling that they are valuable are more likely to have less negative emotions as well as fewer chances of depression than those with lower levels of self-esteem. It is also considered easier to protect or in some cases, save people who deem themselves worthy of saving.

Managers can improve on the self-esteem of their direct reports by providing opportunities for them to learn and develop themselves professionally, by appropriately rewarding the direct reports as well as by taking their recommendations and suggestions seriously. This includes implementing and following up on them.

ii) Self-efficacy

Self-efficacy is all about having an “I can do it!” mentality. It is about believing in one’s own capabilities and competence. Workplace safety benefits a lot from people who have the courage of believing and trusting their efforts.

To encourage self-efficacy amongst direct reports, a supervisor or manager should make it clear how important the tasks are, laying out the challenges involved. This enforces a sense of trust and belief in every person regarding their capabilities. When individuals believe they are doing tasks that are important to their supervisors or their organization, their self-efficacy increases, and so does their willingness to actively care.

iii) Personal control

This is an important pillar of the actively caring culture. The more a person feels that they are in control, the easier it becomes to care for others as well as to protect them.

To increase this, managers or supervisors could offer more options to their direct reports especially when it comes to delegating tasks. That way, the direct reports choose what they feel they are best suited to do hence making them feel like they are in control.

iv) Optimism

“Expecting the best to happen” is one of the most important traits a productive employee can have. Simply put, positivity attracts positivity. It also enables a person with a sense of caring towards helping others. Therefore enhancing workplace safety and affecting positively on productivity and success. A good way of encouraging optimism is to lead by example and be an optimist, allowing others to see the good that could happen in any situation.

v) Belongingness

Business organizations are in themselves social settings. For people to actively care about each other and in turn tending to their comfort and safety at work, they must feel at ease to do it.

For example, if you see a family member or a close friend heading towards a threat, you would be inclined to get out of your own way to warn them, halting any work at hand to do so. Actively caring programs at work aim to reach the same behavior towards colleagues.

Group and trust building activities at work play a great role in enforcing the “we are all one family in this organization” belief. It is always a good idea to encourage more social activities as well as social communication among people at work.

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