Safety Culture Excellence®

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273 - Developing A Custom Perception Survey - A ProAct Safety Workshop

January 21st, 2013

The fact that perceptions affect safety cultures is undeniable, yet the best intending organizations often pay little attention to perceptions and the conditioning affect they have on new employees or the company. Whether accurate or not, perceptions become culturally-norming beliefs. When these common beliefs are combined with unclear values, potentially negative attitudes, and hypercompetitive priorities, a dangerous mixture of influences is placed on individuals attempting to solve problems in day-to-day operations. The need to understand perceptions and what drives them is critical.

Many organizations measure perceptions, but few effectively manage them. There are two types of perceptions: accurate and inaccurate. Which ones are you responding to? Perceptions are influenced by multiple sources, both internal and external. Unmanaged perceptions negatively affect safety communication. Even worse, they have been identified as contributing factors in multiple catastrophic incidents.

Culture is made up of common practices, attitudes, and perceptions of risks that influence behavioral choices at work and away from work. Culture is also influenced by management, leadership, supervision, workplace conditions, and logistics. Measuring a culture involves a complex metric of perceptions, workplace realities, past accident history, and inter-connectivity of the people.

Perceptions are an important consideration when determining methods to improve safety or other aspects of performance. Perceptions affect behaviors, and they should be measured to determine a starting place for cultural modification efforts. Perception surveys can help identify areas for improvement and can serve as a baseline for measuring the effectiveness of improvement efforts.

The workshop focuses on how to measure, understand, and manage the perceptions that either facilitate or impede achieving and sustaining safety excellence. Attendees will be provided with extensive examples of perception survey report templates and detailed examples of different reporting styles.

During this workshop you will learn how to:

  • Build Support
  • Define the scope
  • Determine the goals
  • Define the users and audience
  • Define terminology
  • Determine categories and appropriate statement
  • Tools to analyze and categorize findings
  • How to administer electronically and manually
  • How to maintain trust in the survey process and hidden pitfalls to avoid
  • Categorize the results by focusing on internally-implementable action plans

For more information contact ProAct Safety at 936.273.8700 or info (at)

Shawn M. Galloway

ProAct Safety

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