Organizational culture—beliefs, values, assumptions, rules, language, and ways of interacting—affects all aspects of your business. The social and psychological environment you build affects employee retention, safety, and community relations. An organization’s leadership can shape its culture positively and negatively. ISRI’s new online course Organizational Culture and Safety Success provides guidance for developing positive organizational culture through leadership.

Ryan Nolte, Ph.D., ISRI’s director of safety outreach, developed and will lead the course. “If you build a culture where leaders inspire others to perform at a high level toward collective benefits, you will realize a more motivated and more productive workforce—and a much lower chance of experiencing a lost workday or a serious accident,” he says.

Topics include:

  • Transformational leadership and its principles;
  • Techniques to improve organizational culture; and
  • Impact of organizational culture on safety and outcomes.

The course is divided into four sessions conducted live via Zoom. Attendance is mandatory at all four sessions to complete the course. Participants must take a pre-test before the first session. They must score 70% or higher on a post-test to receive a certificate of completion. Dates for the course sessions are:

  • Session 1: Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2:00 to 3:15 p.m. (EDT).
  • Session 2: Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2:00 to 3:15 p.m. (EDT).
  • Session 3: Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2:00 to 3:15 p.m. (EDT).
  • Session 4: Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2:00 to 3:15 p.m. (EDT).

Before developing the course, Nolte studied six recycling organizations across the U.S. He compared the way supervisors rated themselves on a leadership questionnaire with how their workers rated them. Then he compared total recordable accident rates and lost workday rates under each supervisor to evaluate whether leaders who scored higher tended to have better safety outcomes. The results indicated the strength of higher performing leaders’ impact on safety.

A safe work culture requires employee buy-in, which, in turn, requires good leadership and management. Leadership and management are different, explains Tony Smith, ISRI’s vice president of safety, but go hand-in-hand for an organization’s success. “The leader motivates workers, while the manager monitors situations. Leaders need to be tied to the managers, and they both need to make sure they are following and staying on path,” Smith says.

Training and drills, good communication, and discussing safety issues will help build a strong safety culture, Smith says. The new course will explore policies, toolbox talks or tailgate meetings, and other ways to get employee buy-in on a culture of quality where a company constantly strives to stay one step ahead of the pack, he adds.

Register for Organizational Culture and Safety Success here. Prior to the first session, registrants will receive course materials and Zoom participation details by email. The cost for members is $149 per person and $298 per person for nonmembers.

For ISRI members only, register three or more employees from the same company and location to receive a discounted rate of $89 per person—a 40% savings per person. To register three or more workers, please contact Adonna Cox, ISRI’s education and events manager, at (202) 662-8534 or email.

Image courtesy of Skitterphoto on Pexels.

Dan Hockensmith

Dan Hockensmith

I'm a native Ohioan who since 2014 has called Maryland home. My background includes print, broadcast, and digital journalism; government contracting; marketing communications; and nonprofit advocacy.