People engagement

Article by Kat Lourenco

People engagement

“Safety is a case of making the best choice in the circumstances.”
Is this too simplistic to be relevant? Or is the challenge it presents a deterrent?

It’s commonly accepted that we’ve reached a plateau in safety performance, based on high levels of safety consciousness and consequence awareness. What needs to change?

Choice comprises two elements: conscious and subconscious. As elite sports performers know, the balance between the two is critical to peak performance and achieving results. We particularly saw this in the recent Tokyo 2020 Olympics and Paralympics. So many athletes highlighted their preparation of how they train their body and mind to reach their goals and achieve medals or personal bests. They go hand in hand. Staying in peak physical condition needs to be maintained – and so too does subconscious conditioning.

Subconscious choice is related to personal variables which comprise mindset, including conditioning, beliefs, attitudes and behavioural habits.  Only when we create open and shared dialogue about these topics will we support people to make the best choices – particularly when no one is watching them.

Subconscious competence is the goal, and coaching and mentoring is the appropriate style of engagement to enable people to reach peak performance.

Only when we realise the value of coaching and mentoring, will we truly engage people  at all levels of an organisation, emphasising the personal benefits to be derived from understanding subconscious competence, and the part it plays in work and life choices.

setters suggestions and challenges

  1. Do you look at the conscious and subconscious choices people make when it comes to your people engagement strategy?
  2. Do you actively encourage and support peer to peer dialogue in your team/organisation?
  3. Do you enable  everyone in your organisation to contribute and make suggestions to improve people-engagement and a positive workplace culture?

Article by Kat Lourenco


The importance of workplace health and safety training: IOSH How We Learn Supervising and Coaching Safer Teams Courses