We put rules in place to protect people and assets. We develop systems to assure safe functioning and guard against breakdowns that lead to process incidents. We leverage the hierarchy of controls to limit exposure and remove as much as possible the potential for mistakes. Despite all these efforts, human error continues to be one of the leading causes of workplace injuries and incidents. What can we do to change this narrative? How can we flip the script and ensure consistent, reliable performance?
For many organizations the answer comes from rethinking how they approach injury and incident causation. Traditional views on safety improvement are often linear and focused on a single problem and its complementary “solution.” They fail to account for the broader system surrounding workplace performance and the multiple factors that contribute to human error. They overlook the demands the modern, fast-paced work environment has on their workers and how that is contributing to mistakes.
Fortunately, the latest research coming out of neuroscience is offering us new insight. We have learned more and more about how our brains function, and what we have discovered is that the workplace and traditional work practices aren’t aligned with the way our brains actually operate. They aren’t supporting the brain’s natural cognitive process to work at optimal capacity. And, as a consequence, employees experience lapses in attention, decreased memory recall, poor decision-making, and skewed conceptual thinking that lead to incidents, accidents, and injuries—all because we don’t fully understand the true functions and limitations of the human brain.
Not anymore. Because of breakthroughs in recent brain studies, we are now able to target broader organizational activities and procedures—and aspects of organizational culture itself—to align with the brain’s natural cadence. To, as it were, harmonize the employee with his or her employment.
In our latest ebook Brain-Centered Performance: Understanding How the Brain Works So We Can Work More Safely, we explain the link between the human brain and the organizational workplace, and how that connection supports or inhibits the types of behaviors we want to see from our employees. We introduce a roadmap to designing organizational systems and solutions to support greater human reliability and improve safety outcomes.
Achieving reliable performance takes more than what we’ve been doing. The status quo isn’t enough. To get people to work well, we need to work well with them. And that means understanding how to arrange organizational processes, systems, and culture to best support brain functionality.
Download Brain-Centered Performance: Understanding How the Brain Works So We Can Work More Safely and get your business and your people on track for smarter and safer performance.
View a video of our webinar Reducing Brain-Centered Hazards in the Workplace.