Encouraging workers to “be safe” and avoid risks is a responsibility of leadership. But without an organizational framework to drive correct risk-based decisions, warnings against risk get buried beneath conflicting priorities and “safety first speak.” Perceived production pressure, for example—especially after an upset or abnormal condition has thrown off timeliness—can confuse workers about company values and prompt them to take shortcuts that go beyond acceptable levels of risk to complete the job.
Similarly, if risk discouragement is vague or fails to cover all hazards and work practices, people are left to insert their own level of risk tolerance into a given situation. Great employees can miss red flags or push just a little further to get the job done because they think a given action is good for the company and that the risk isn’t significant, since “significant” hasn’t been defined explicitly.
Without a framework that aligns the company and related sites around risk, organizations are left vulnerable, and are a mere heartbeat away from a well-meaning action becoming a serious event or catastrophe.
In our white paper, Risk-Taking and the Brain, organizational psychologist and human reliability expert, Dr. Susan Koen discusses the neuroscience of risk processing and outlines a systemic approach for managing operational risk. She covers:
- The factors that contribute to risk-taking in the workplace
- Steps to aligning risk-related decisions with organizational priorities
- Leadership’s role in creating consistently correct risk-based decisions in the face of conflicting inputs
Download Risk-Taking and the Brain and learn what it takes to align your organization against operational risk.