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Measuring Safety Attitudes

Want to know how management really feels about safety?

Or how about your employees?

Join us as we launch Vivid’s Safety Engagement Survey!

Our new, free, online survey experience makes it easy to measure important employee & management perceptions, like…

  • Concerns of serious injury
  • Thoughts on safety leadership
  • Key differences in management/employee opinion
  • Demographics: age, service tenure, education

When it comes to safety, attitudes matter. Our experts explain why and walk you through the survey experience, to help you get the most from an opportunity you do not want to miss.

Hosted by survey co-creators Jill James & Dr. Todd Loushine, this webcast is for anyone in a safety role interested in taking advantage of this leadership opportunity by bringing new, meaningful insight forward in their organizations.

Barrett Pryce:

Okay, let's kick this off. Welcome to today's EHS Daily Advisor Webcast, Measuring Safety Attitudes. My name is Barrett. I'm with Vivid Learning Systems. We're your sponsor for this event. Today, we're going to explain why measuring safety attitudes is important for all organizations. We're going to show you how to do that. Now, for those of you who are not yet familiar with Vivid, what we do is help organizations transition to online safety training and we make it so easy, you'll wish you would have made the switch years and years ago. Check out [inaudible 00:00:39] and discover safety training that employees actually love. It's true, they really do enjoy our courses.

Tools, okay, moving on, for those of you experiencing any technical difficulties during the webcast, just let us know and we'll try to troubleshoot on the fly, okay? I will take a moment here and encourage you to get familiar with the Q&A and group chat icons because these events are always better with audience engagement. Group chat is fun. It lets you communicate with all participants on the call, talk amongst yourselves and share best practices etc. Sometimes, we'll jump in there to share a link, resource, so you might want to monitor discussion or just leave it open as you follow along today. The Q&A is important because we know you'll have questions about today's presentation and we're planning on answering those near the end of the broadcast, but that's on a time availability basis. We'll get to as many as we can simply. Do send in your questions in time please.

Now, to [inaudible 00:01:44] and answer one common question upfront, yes, this session is being recorded and you will receive a link to the recording via email after the event. If you dip out now, you're going to miss quite a bit of some good stuff. If your participation is interrupted or you feel we're moving too fast, don't worry, you will be able to watch this on demand, okay? Now, before I introduce my two favorite safety people, I want to build a little excitement because this isn't our typical webcast. What we're doing today is launching a brand new online tool for measuring safety attitudes. That's our Safety Engagement Survey. The survey was built for safety professionals and created by safety professionals and inspired by real academic research, published by Dr. Todd Loushine, one of our special guests. Today is the day we're releasing this to the world, right now in fact and it's the culmination of more than a year in development and lots of hard work by some very smart people.

Now, to understand a little bit about why we built this tool, I want you to ask yourself a couple questions with me. If you had serious doubt about employee concerns of serious injury, if you had more actionable insights on safety leadership, if you had clear visibility into differences between employee and management safety perceptions, what kind of information, what would that help you accomplish in your safety role? How would that data help you bring change to your organization or [inaudible 00:03:20] with management? Just think about all that for a moment. I'll give you a little insight into what this tool can do for you. [inaudible 00:03:27] and thank you for being here with us today. We're giving all of today's attendees the opportunity to deliver this unique survey experience to their organizations free of charge. I will get to more on that later and how that all works.

Now, I'm going to introduce our experts, starting with Jill James, who is a Chief Safety Officer. As a former OSHA inspector and private-sector safety pro, Jill really knows her stuff. If you went to school for safety or serve in a safety leadership role, considered Jill [inaudible 00:03:58], she's been there, she's done that. Back by popular demand is our good friend and collaborator, Dr. Todd Loushine. Dr. Todd is a certified safety professional and also a former OSHA inspector. Those two know each other from past life professionally and they're teaming up here today for this webcast. Dr. Todd is an associate professor with the Department of Occupational and Environmental Safety and Health at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. These are two folks we thank for building our Safety Engagement Survey. With that I'll turn it over to Jill. Are you ready to jump in and get into the content?

Jill James:

I am, thanks and welcome everybody. Thanks for taking time out of your day to join us. Dr. Loushine and I are excited in a way that two safety nerd friends and colleagues can be together with our team here at Vivid because we created this new thing. It's never been done before in the safety space and we're talking about it for the first time. We're often asked in our positions by people, who do the work that all of you do, if we have a safety survey? The answer until today is that we didn't. We'd like to redirect professionals like yourselves to another survey tool that frankly we didn't think got to the heart of what we feel a safety survey should be able to do. There's others that are out there, but we really felt that we need to do something different to get to the heart of a real safety measurement. Our objective today is to explain how we got to developing something we believe gets to the real heart of safety engagement and the science and the research used to get there and how you can leverage the results in your organizations. Along the way, we'll to look under the hood of the survey itself and we'll end the session with some questions and answers from all of you if we have time. Then, of course, as Barrett mentioned how to have free access to the survey itself.

We just went over some of those objectives. The next thing we're going to roll to, I invite my friend Todd. I said friend, we've been in the safety role together for 20 years now. We can't believe that we've known each other that long, but it's been fun and we continue to come up with new things. The one thing that I often hear Todd talk about in his research is about this idea of safety is an attribute of work. If we want to set the stage Todd with that take it away.

Todd Loushine:

Thanks Jill. I'm going to go off script here for a second, so reel me in if I go too far off. The basis-

 just want to a little story quick, where this really came from. This started back in the 90s. When you and I were OSHA inspectors, there was an earlier in the week, I went on this inspection and it was this machine shop that was in some guy's garage, oversized garage or pole barn. When I was there, they had no programs. They was no OSHA compliance whatsoever, but what I found is that the owner knew everybody by their first name and introduced me and asked like personal questions. When I asked, “Well, with all these violations, how many injuries must you have?” They responded, “Well, we've been in business 10 years, we've never had an injury.” When I talked to the workers, they indicated that “We know what each other is doing, we know what we're responsible for and we don't get hurt.” I thought that was odd, especially as a compliance officer, I was taught in that area.

Then, I went to a Fortune 100 company a couple days later on a complaint and they had all the programs. They were a 100% compliant, yet when I talked to the workers, I heard a different story. It was that experience that week that confounding is compliance really safety that actually is one of the things that drove me to go to graduate school. That's where I started studying this stuff. I got a lot of practice in in surveys and interviews, social inquiry. That's where I started developing my new mindset and that is that as you see on the screen, safety is an attribute of work. You don't really do safety. You do safety to a job. You do safety to an environment. You do safety to a product, safety to a service, whatever it is, but it's the service that you have to focus on or the object or the job itself. That requires you to think of it more of as a system that there's a task to be done, but there's a human element there that the human has to interpret what is expected, what is desired, what is allowable and then, have a latitude to make some decisions in order to accomplish sort of the gist of the task or the job. That's where this idea of attitudes and beliefs, perceptions come into play. We can go from there.

Jill James:

Yeah, perfect. The idea is the safety thing doesn't just occur in a vacuum, right Todd?

Todd Loushine:

Right, I mean I read all the work that's been out there, all the research pretty much. It was just interesting that there's these just amazing studies that were done that nobody's really heard about because they didn't get the promotion that certain things get. My advisor in grad school had done a study in Wisconsin and he found that a very small percentage, I believe only 25% is what the study showed of the actual injuries that were hurrying could be linked to something you do from a more of a compliance approach and that 75% were either non-persistent or behavioral attributes that led to the injury. Again, safety doesn't just exist in a vacuum. It has to interact with other things and that's where the human element, the organizational element, the situational element, they all contribute. If we ignore them, we're really ignoring the true cause of accidents or the true essence of safety.

Jill James:

Right and so to keep us going and further set the stage, it's important to establish what we're really assessing and that's to break down assumptions. Let's dive right into the difference between safety culture and safety climate. Todd, can you start by briefly explaining safety culture?

Todd Loushine:

Yeah, sure. I feel I call it the S word, safety culture just because people just throw it around like they know what it is. It actually came from the Chernobyl post-accident report, which you can actually look up online. It's that group that initially coined the term safety culture. I really like the definitions and work done by Dr. Dominic Cooper. I linked to him on LinkedIn. You can find his work. You can just search it. He's the one who really lays it all out that safety culture is too complex to measure, it's just this ominous thing. It's like measure love, how do you do it? You just kind of feel it. Safety culture is kind of the same way, but [inaudible 00:11:19] popular term is on the screen right now. That is what is safety culture? It's what workers do when no one's looking.

Jill James:

Right, okay. Then, what about safety climate? How is that different than culture? I know this is a subject you've also researched.

Todd Loushine:

Yes. The person who invented this concept was Dr. Dov Zohar over at the Israeli Institute of Technology. What he did is he took some of the earlier work. There were some surveys done at some popular safety conferences, there was some NIOSH work done and he created a survey instrument. He delivered it at several different work sites. What he did, he was searching for sort of an essence of what would possibly connect to or relate to injuries or safety in a workplace. The term here on the screen is safety climate is actually the workforce’s perception of management's commitment to safety. It's a simpler term and the idea is that if the workplace is not espousing safety as a value, therefore it's not a value.

Jill James:

We want to make sure that we're not equating them to be the same.

Todd Loushine:

Right, exactly. You can use the term safety culture as you want, but it's sort of an ominous term. I like to use the term climate because at least we've got a body of knowledge, a validated body of knowledge behind it.

Jill James:

Right, so maybe one way to start thinking about climate is to feel our way into it with our shared humanity. I'm guessing everybody listening today can complete the statements that you see on the screen right now. These are statements that evoke feeling, cause us to think and feel about the people in our lives and ourselves. I'm betting you can complete these. I have everything I need and if the worst happens, I still know I can trust you. I would trust you with my life. What would that look like if we were at work, what would those same sort of statements look like? Perhaps my company what, believes in me, I have everything I need to do my work. Even if the worst happens, I know I can trust this company to take care of me and my family. I trust this company with my life. Now, isn't that something that we'd all like to be able to say, our employees believe about the places that they work and that we believe about the companies that we work for.

How do we know if our employees, our co-workers, the people we trust to manage others experience a healthy climate or is it enough to believe we just have a trusting, healthy climate because we say things like, “We have an open-door policy.” Many of us have heard that maybe even have said it or because you feel yourself that the climate is great, therefore everybody else must feel the same way that you do or maybe we assume that things must be great wherever it is that we work because we offer free soda in the break room and we just put an ice cream machine in or likely assumptions like these aren't an effective way and certainly not a scientific way to take the [inaudible 00:14:43] the climate temperature of your organization. Todd, how do we affirm a healthy climate and how does that make our workplace safer?

Todd Loushine:

Well, I all base it on Adam’s equity theory that we have certain expectations and those expectations are always compared. We make situational adjustments. Oh, you switched the slide on me?

Jill James:

Go back?

Todd Loushine:

Well, I was looking to talk a little bit about trust and the power of it.

Todd Loushine:

What I was getting to is it comes down to the quality of the interaction, not the frequency of the interaction. What I found in my research is that workers would actually borrow stories from co-workers. A co-worker would have like a negative experience of the manager. They go share with a co-worker, the co-worker would adopt that that feeling towards that manager, having never actually interacted with that manager. Workers, especially those that are friends and they tend to be friends, we're social animals. We want to get along with people at work. There's some satisfaction in that. A poorer interaction between management and worker can actually spoil a group of workers. If workers don't trust management, communication is affected. If communication is affected then that discrepancy in what is expected or perceived is going to lead to errors or anger or frustration or anxiety or stress, all those different things.

Just wanted everybody to know that trust is really important. The way we get trust is through positive interactions. The communication between worker and management needs to be very, very clear. The only way we know it's clear is if we verify it. Okay, you can go to the next one now.

Jill James:

Yeah, sure.

Todd Loushine:

What I wanted to get across here is we're all very familiar. Anybody who's been in safety is familiar with a hazard audit, the visual hazard audit, doing training, coming up with controls. That's the compliance approach. What we don't talk enough about and you can go to the OSHA website and go on their e-tool for management systems. They try to define safety management commitment. They try to define employee involvement. They actually have a checklist for it. I've been on VPP audits and I've had to rate these items. What I found then in graduate school is that they're not real accurate depictions of what the workers are thinking of management. It doesn't dig down into the quality of the communication, the feeling of trust, the feeling of being cared for. To take more of a comprehensive approach to safety, we have to measure those things. You can't observe it. It has to be actually come from the worker themselves and they need to be able to relate to the questions they're responding to in order to get a somewhat or pseudo representation of how they feel about management, how they feel about the workplace.

Jill James:

Todd, how can we get to actionable data or perhaps how could we start looking at how traditional safety surveys have attempted to gather data in the past and some of the pitfalls of why they really didn't get to the heart of this trust and healthy climate that we're talking about.

Todd Loushine:

Well, in my experience and I've looked at some of the earlier surveys, like the Minnesota Perception Survey. That was a Dan Petersen product. It was so long, it was a 100 questions. People get fatigued when you ask them too many questions. Also, you have to think of a survey as a quiz. They have to think of something. They have to relate it to something. If they're unable to do that then they're not putting any thought into it and then, the responses aren't true. When I've actually gone and done my own survey research and sometimes, it didn't work. What I found is when I conducted factor analysis, my items of my survey would collapse down into a single variable. Why are we asking 50, 100 questions when they collapse down into a singular variable? Can’t we just ask one question or a few questions that can may be then when you do factor analysis break down in different attributes of what the person thinks.

Here's the other thing you got on the screen there. Focus is solely or heavily on safety. Again, safety is an attribute of work. We got to study their attitude toward work, their relationships at work to truly understand how it affects safety because again, say if you just put safety in a vacuum, yeah, they'll answer the questions as they feel you want them to say it because safety is supposed to be important, therefore, the responder bias is, “Oh, safety must always be important,” even though it isn't because it's not considered in the context of the work or situational influences or interactions with management.

Jill James:

Right, thank you. Now that we have a little knowledge about what's been done in the past, we'd like to share with you all our approach, which is vastly different than how safety has been measured in the past. The survey that Todd developed is brief and very laser focused. The focus comes directly from Todd's research he's done and has been testing. Brief and focus doesn't mean less effective. In fact, we truly feel it's more effective and a truer tool for measuring safety climate, safety engagement. Before we take a look under the hood at some of the questions, you should know that this survey has two tracks. One is for employees and the other one is for managers. The surveys are anonymous, only collecting demographic information at the end, so as not to scare anyone off over fears of Big Brother. There's 20 questions. I said that. Only 20 for each group, manager and employee and not a 100 or not 80 questions. Todd, maybe you could share with us some of the reasons why we decided … Actually, let's look at some of the questions and then, we can show you a little bit more about what we're talking about on the differences between employee and manager questions.

The questions that you see on the screen right now are three of the 20 and maybe Todd you want to talk about the reasoning why we're asking those questions, what we're trying to get at with those.

Todd Loushine:

Well, as you can see from these questions, [inaudible 00:21:10] asking specific questions about safety or an element of the safety program. We're asking for responses, so they're answering based on personal experiences at work. We're also going beyond and we're trying to find out how they feel. I mean, yeah, some of you are probably listening, going, “Well, he's asking about satisfaction,” but it's a little bit more than that. Do I feel cared for at work? Do I trust management? One thing I'm going to point out real quick, you talked about the two tracks and this is the most powerful thing I think of this and based on my research is you can look this up if you want, you could Google it, Dov Zohar and Gil Luria. Zohar was actually doing sort of a sabbatical or a three-year stint at the University of Toronto in the 2000s. They came up with a multi-level safety climate survey. That's what I used as a basis for my dissertation.

What I was able to do is not only look within groups. Within groups analysis is what we have right now. You can go and download a safety climate survey. You look at the mean of certain questions, yay, look what we got. What this does is we can do within groups from a management or global perspective and from the workforces, which is more of a local perspective. Then, we can do between group analysis based on the individual items that we chose as being influential to how someone may feel about work.

Barrett Pryce:

Actually, Jill, if you don't mind, I wanted to just step in here and remind both of you and myself to make sure we're all muted when someone else is talking, so we can control that echo. I know we had an issue with that at the forefront of the broadcast. With that I'll just step back out and mute myself.

Jill James:

Thanks, so I was asking Todd if you wanted to talk a little bit more about that last question and why that one was an important one for us to put in there.

Todd Loushine:

The concept is autonomy. If you listen to Dan Pink's Drive, if you read his book or listen to his lectures, autonomy is meant to be very strong motivator when money is off the table. It allows people sort of grow and create. It's also in there because autonomy or being able to self act is another way that people can actually self-regulate or possibly control the stressors and requirements of their job, so that they can remain healthy and satisfied.

Jill James:

Right, can you even get to some of those things that you and I saw as investigators, where we're like someone would say, “This hazard existed for all this period of time, we all knew about it, but no one did anything,” why, because they didn't feel they had control over how to do their job. Anyway, let's go on to look at three of the questions that the management is asked. You want to dive into the kind of why behind some of those, which is a complement to the employee questions we just put up.

Todd Loushine:

Right, they are a complement. I had done a couple studies when I was in graduate school, where I had practiced this, where I was trying to again center it on a particular aspect of the job, what does the worker think of it, what does management think of it. Maybe out of context and people might be reading this and thinking, “Oh, how would this fit?” When you look at it in its entirety of the survey, this makes much more sense. Now, we do assume that when you're self-reporting how you feel about something, you're probably going to inflate it a little bit, but the inflation or bias we get from the management responses will help us better diagnose how workers are feeling because of the range of discrepancy between the means of management versus worker for each one of these items. I mean I don't want to go through each item individually because then I'll go off on these tangents like I have been on the literature.

Jill James:

Right and so when people login to take the survey, this is the first page that they're going to see what's in front of you right now. People will self select whether they're an employee, a worker or supervisor or if they're part of management. Todd, do you want to talk about why that was so important to be able to look at both groups?

Todd Loushine:

Well, because of what it does is, I mean if you look at one or the other, it's interesting, but it's kind of taken out of context. What I had done in some research is I had actually triangulated based on injuries per group and supervisor-worker attitudes and management attitudes. Indeed, I did find pretty consistently that when there was a difference in belief of a particular job aspect, whether it's safety or non-safety that is where the biggest problems were. It's also I mean logically, it's just they're not communicating well enough. They don't understand each other. They're not relating. They don't trust. All these things are kind of [inaudible 00:26:04] together just like safety culture, the climate, but it's really important that we're able to compare within a company what management thinks of things and what workers think of things. I think it's a great new diagnostic tool that will allow people to investigate things that they may have had an inkling or a feeling existed, but this really tells them, “You've got to go investigate this, you got to talk to some people,” because when everybody gets on the same page, when everybody understands each other and there is trust, anything's possible. Change can really occur at that point.

Jill James:

Yeah, very good. As employees or managers navigate their way through the 20 questions and they're asked their demographic questions at the very end, then as the person who's asking for the survey, those of you who are listening, you'll get results. The results page, let's take a look at those quickly is by question. This is a question that was asked, an employee question, so it's asking management demonstrates care for people injured on the job. You can see what the results of this particular survey look at. Maybe Todd, you want to glean some things that safety professionals, who are listening to us now might be able to take from looking at results like this and what they could maybe be concluding.

Todd Loushine:

Well, again each individual question doesn't give us a lot. It just all pieced together, they do. The two things I'd want people to pay attention to would be the mean and the variance. What I mean by that is where the highest stack is tends to be the overall response, but the slope or the range of answers tells a different story. I know a lot of surveys rely purely on mean, but I really feel that the devil is in the details. When we look at on here management demonstrates care for people injured on the job, for the most part, they do. Then, again, for the most part, people don't get hurt and who are these people who are giving it a five or a six? Are these the injured workers? If so, then they have a more accurate depiction of what it's like to get injured and experience management's response. To have this kind of response, I would think, “Hmmm, what are we doing as a company when someone gets hurt, are we making the workers feel like we're blaming them for getting hurt, are we making it difficult to come back to the job?” Then, we could also look at our work comp data as well. Is that telling a picture too?

There's some to glean from this, but what it does is it should raise certain questions and what to possibly investigate at your workplace.

Jill James:

Right and so, here's another result page and this question is, “I have authority to control how I do my job. For example, I'm able to arrange my workstation the way I want,” which was what we were talking about before and so things that people could glean from the results here.

Todd Loushine:

Well, we have someone who really thinks they don't have the ability to do so. We have someone who's on the other side of the mean there. Now, I mean when you have anybody whose belief deviates from what should be the standard practice in a workplace, it's going to have to be something that's talked about. It should be something, investigate where in the plant are we not allowing people to have control over what they do? Are there more issues there than in other places? It could come up in training. Again, it just gives you an indication of we need to figure out why this is because we want people to feel like they can control their workstation to be able to arrange it in order to get the job done and to be safe.

Jill James:

Next, we'll look at two results pages from the management track. This one, this question is workers are injured as a result of their own unsafe behaviors and so yeah, what might be we gleaning here?

Todd Loushine:

Well, we obviously have some people who actually believe that's true. If all this data came from the same place and that question before that talked about does management care for workers when they're injured and then, we get something like this, it's a pretty clear indication that somewhere along the system, the process in which someone reports an injury gets care, recovers and comes back to work, the workers are feeling blamed or treated unfairly.

Jill James:

Then, another management question, I believe workers should have the authority to control their work and arrange their workstations as they see fit. If we have this answer on one end and a really different result on the employee end, what might someone in our positions be able be thinking?

Todd Loushine:

What we need to do is we first need to investigate, maybe there are some positions, some jobs or tasks in which the worker should not have control. If that's the case, okay, fine. If we have other jobs in which we really want the worker to adjust it to their needs, so they can get the job done safely and be productive, then we want that. What we have here is it initiates a discussion as far as we have certain jobs, where the worker should have no control over it and they just do as told within the design of the current job. In that case, it's got to be taken on a case-by-case basis, but this is an indication that maybe that exists or maybe we have a supervisor or middle manager, who doesn't fully understand or appreciate the value in providing autonomy and adjustability to our workstations.

Jill James:

Good, so as you use the survey tool and you get your results in, we wanted to share with you a few ideas of what you could do with the results. I'll share some ideas and Todd, if you want to share some ideas when I'm finished that would be great. Maybe if you're showing some really glaring outliers, allow those outliers to triage your work. Let's say the questions surrounding how employees feel about their managers is really low. People feel the likelihood of getting hurt in the next year is really high and that if they do get hurt, the company is not likely going to take care of them. You can focus your efforts on determining if there's a specific manager or department, where trust is low, where a manager may not be in the correct job, might not be the right fit or might need some additional tools to improve their engagement and trust with employees.

You could ramp up your safety audits, identifying and correcting hazards and take a close look at how you approach your worker’s compensation cases or maybe you need statistical support to show your C team or your supervisory group that you need help and that these results and data, you could use them in your ask whether it be for a capital improvement or a training system. It doesn't mean that you are a failure in what you're doing of course in safety. Rather, it shows that you're not superhuman and it shows that you're thoughtful and you found a way to take the temperature of your organization without relying on anecdotal information. You're focused on where you want to spend your time.

You can use the survey to gauge improvements over time. You could compare year to year, the next quarter to the next quarter to see if shifts and changes you're making are having an impact on that trust or climate. Todd, more things to add, what people can pull from the results?

Todd Loushine:

For now, I think you cover a great majority of it, so let's keep going.

Jill James:

Okay, this is yours.

Todd Loushine:

We were trying to think of a really good analogy everybody and you guys are probably like, “Oh.” I refer to an angling analogy that … I've done this before. We probably all have. Yeah, you run out of worms or minnows or something. You're out in the boat and so what do you do? You put on the treble hook and you just try to hook the fish that come to the surface because you throw in pieces of bread or something. I think that's a decent … I shouldn’t even say that. It's an analogy of practicing safety without attempting to measure what workers think and also comparing the difference in certain job or work attributes or organization attributes between management and worker.

Jill James:

I think that's perfect. Barrett, what's next? How does everybody get their hands on this survey? Do you want to walk us through that?

Barrett Pryce:

I do, sure. This is kind of a critical piece related to today's webcast. I want to thank you Jill and Dr. Todd for all the work to bring this resource forward, number one. This in my mind is a serious game changer. I'm even more excited about it now than before we started, but before we jump into the Q&A, I will take a moment to talk about survey delivery for those of you who are excited to start Measuring Safety Attitudes. Hopefully, this will answer some of your questions in advance. Here's how this works from this point forward, as promised, we are making the survey available at no cost for a limited period of time to every single one of today's attendees. Now, after this event, all attendees will be contacted to schedule a deployment strategy meeting with a Vivid rep. All you have to do is accept a meeting, but you must first meet with one of our experts to bring this opportunity to your organization because without a commitment to moving forward with at least an initial meeting to explore survey deployment strategy, we're simply unable to generate unique links for each attendee. We just don't have the scheduling flexibility to pull that off.

We're asking you essentially to confirm your interest by opting in for a deeper engagement. At this early stage, we want to set clear expectations about the survey experience and support your success. It's brand-new for us too. That's what the deployment strategy meeting is for, to get a plan together and drive results because we've tested the concept. We know that there are a few basic questions we're tackling [inaudible 00:36:35] together, things that maybe you're not considering or haven't considered upfront, things like [inaudible 00:36:41] management support, have you considered partnering with HR in clearing this sort of opportunity? Are there any obstacles to survey deployment like those? How about barriers to employee participation and about two dozen other questions. [inaudible 00:36:56] to walk through those is really smart and we've seen early on that the successful survey efforts have benefited from that level of engagement.

Now, for those of you who want to jump in the front of the line and get that meeting on the calendar now, just send us a comment via the Q&A icon, making that clear and we will make sure we take care of you or you can wait to be contacted by a Vivid rep. Now's the time to transition into live Q&A. Let's get back to your questions. We've got plenty of time to answer whatever you want to send in. We've got some great questions loaded now from the audience that are coming in and if you have any questions about the survey, how it works, [inaudible 00:37:39] or application, please go ahead and ask those now. We will work through as many as we can with a live Q&A session for Dr. Todd and Jill James.

Let's see, first question here, let me push this up. I'm going to push this up the slide area. First question is is the survey anonymous, except for the worker-manager question? If it is anonymous, how do you ferret out the details of the outlier answers? Those details can help to make changes. If we don't know who, how do we understand? Jill, is this something you want to speak to or would you like me to handle this? Dr. Todd, same question.

Jill James:

Yeah Todd, why don't you take this first because I know this is something we discussed in development, but go ahead.

Todd Loushine:

Yeah, we didn't want to analyze this per person. This is meant to be diagnostic as far as what the overall issues might be, to give you a direction as far as what sort of questions to ask. It's insight that you wouldn't typically get from any sort of compliance work. No, the problem is if it wasn't anonymous, we're afraid that you'd say, “Oh, it's this particular work, they're the problem and maybe blow it off.” It's meant to be anonymous, so you start asking questions. Now, we're not saying that the solutions are easy or to understand the problem are easy. Again, it gives you another layer of insight into why maybe something in the safety program isn't working.

Jill James:

Right and if you wanted to get a little bit closer to maybe the area that might be problematic, you could deploy the survey link to a particular department building. You could do that if you had a suspicion or maybe you wanted to resurvey. That is a way to do it, right Todd?

Todd Loushine:

Yeah.

Jill James:

Yeah, you could narrow the scope. You wouldn't necessarily have to survey your entire work force, though you could and that's especially how it was designed, but you could start with a small workgroup if you wanted to or a particular business unit if you wanted to do it that way. Then, you could compare and contrast business units for example and just use different survey links for them, which creates a little more work on links on our end. I think I might have just promised something that made one of my co-workers cringe, but it's definitely a way that could get to the heart of the question that's being asked.

Barrett Pryce:

Jill, it's okay. I'm looking over at our team, who supports this effort and we're going to be just fine. We want to take care of people. We really want them to have the best possible experience because there's a lot of value here and just intrinsically for our organization, this aligns perfectly with our core values about caring for the high-risk workforce. We'll do what it takes to make folks happy, especially since they've elected to spend now 41 minutes of their time with us here today. Those attendees, we'll go to great lengths for. Another question here, this is a technical one and I'm just going to handle this and then, move us forward. The question is what do you suggest for employees who don't have access to a computer while at work to take the survey? Excellent question, we get this a lot with our normal line of business around online safety training, but this survey can be taken on a smartphone. In fact, one of the things we love about this, it's kind of novel is it's not your analog paper survey, right? You don't have to sit people down in a classroom, give them a pencil and administer this thing like a test. You can take it on the fly on a smartphone and almost every employee has one of those, right?

You can also sit someone down when they have a chance as they're rotating through work facilities. For remote employees though, it works on a smartphone, it's really easy to take. All they need from you is a link emailed to them. You would make that happen, but we did this initially to test the concept as a group. We did it live in a studio during an all hands meeting. We just took five minutes because that's about all it takes to work through the 20 questions, regardless of the question sets. We then all as a group took a look at the data and again, it's anonymous. So there's a level of comfort there, but it was really insightful and it was a great group safety activity for our organization. That's one application. You got a safety committee meeting coming up, you can deploy that survey right there and have your team members take it and also, do it piecemeal.

Moving forward, I'll get to our next question from the audience, which keep them coming in folks, really great questions so far. Okay, next question is my company has never done a survey before. How do I convince my boss that we should do this? Jill, do you want to start us off?

Jill James:

Sure, well, I think that it's taking a temperature. If you're not feeling well, we take our temperature to see how sick or how ill a particular system is. This is a way that we're taking the temperature. Maybe things are really great or maybe we have one area that we really need to focus on or as Barrett was just explaining when we deployed this within our own organization, it really gave our management team the data that they needed to be able to go forward with changes that we wanted to make happen. It was really a powerful tool for them to go on something that had actual data taken from all of our employees rather than anecdotal things like the stories Todd was talking about in the beginning. I think if you've never done it before, I think that's a great way to say, “Hey, let's just take the temperature on where we're at with our safety climate and how our employees trust us and how our managers are trusting their employees or do their employees trust them.” Todd, what else do you want to add about convincing?

Todd Loushine:

Well, I think what I was going to say is sometimes when you like honestly like ask a worker what they think, you actually get a good effect from that. One thing I want to let everybody know and I've consulted and helped companies with this before, whenever you do a survey, you have to acknowledge after you receive the results that “Thank you for taking the survey, these are the results of the survey and this is how we're going to proceed.” If you do a survey and the workers never hear anything from it, they’ll really question the next time you come to them for their opinion. I guess I should have talked about that before, but I worked at a place that did some behavioral-based safety work. They never acknowledge the workers’ input. They were wondering why they're getting such a low participation rates. I'm like, “Well, you destroyed it by not actually acknowledging the time and effort that they put in to providing their opinion.” I think the survey should be the same way. There should be acknowledgement and the sharing of the results. This is a truth assessment. You're trying to find out what's really going on and you want to fix it. You want people to be successful and happy at work and safe at work. That's what this is meant to be.

Jill James:

Perfect.

Barrett Pryce:

Hey guys, I'm going to put up another question here. The question is a good one, what percentage return should we strive to attain? I don't see where the typical consumer return of 7 to 15% would be particularly meaningful nor compelling to convincing management of the need of change. To an extent, I agree with that sentiment, but at the same time, your employees, managers, supervisors are a captive audience, so I don't think it's a fair one-to-one comparison, where a consumer return, which we know are typically low when you laid out the average there [inaudible 00:46:26]. I mean I would strive to … Again, you're setting the deadline for results and driving the effort internally. You've got control I think over that but Jill, Dr. Todd, I'll let you guys jump in there.

Jill James:

Yeah Todd, you're the researcher, what would be the optimal participation other than [inaudible 00:46:49]?

Todd Loushine:

Well, yeah, the overall average for surveys tends to be around 7 or 8%. If it's online and you use like a Dillman method, I've been achieving upwards of like 28 to 30% on some of my survey work. When you have a captive audience, you should be able to get over 70-75%. The more representative it is, the less influence that the outliers put into your data because if you just … Here's the thing, who's going to automatically just respond to a survey? People are really happy and participative or people are really upset. If that's the results you get, it's very dichotomized and it's difficult to really understand what's there. If you can get 75, 80, 85% that's a good representative sample. That's what I would be shooting for.

Jill James:

We could get that by bringing groups of people together to deploy it in one situation or to deploy it electronically with a deadline. Is that what you're saying, you might get higher participation rates that way?

Todd Loushine:

Well, I think in order to get higher participation, you just have to roll it out the right way and everybody knows their own workplace. They know their own workers. Some places are going to need to have like some sort of like kickoff event. Others will be able to simply say, “Hey, we need you guys to do this,” and then most everybody will do it. I also think that really low participation rates is also an indication of something else going on too.

Jill James:

Right, so I bet someone is thinking this question, so I'll ask you Todd because I know you've probably looked at this in your research as well. Does it help if you give employees something in order to complete?

Todd Loushine:

That’s an interesting-

Jill James:

Like [inaudible 00:48:33] it?

Todd Loushine:

Well, here's the thing, here's what the research shows, you have to give it in advance. If you promise something in the tail-end, you don't get that full result. What's interesting is I read this research paper, where when people do research with like medical doctors, they're very busy. They're like, “You can't give them $10, it's not worth it to them,” but if you give them a candy bar in the afternoon, they'll take your survey, so like little silly things like that. You can give a reward, but you don't have to if you present it correctly or roll it out to the favor of your population. Again, it's hard just to say, there's no one answer, there's no simple answer here. It's based on who you're giving it to and getting to know what drives them or what may influence them is really up to you and maybe you could even roll it in with another safety effort. There's a lot of different things you can do, but I wouldn't rely too heavily on paying people to take it because you want their honest opinion. You want them voluntarily share their thoughts and feelings.

Jill James:

Thank you. Barrett, go ahead for the next one.

Barrett Pryce:

Excellent, thank you. Next question and that question is I'm trying to oversee the safety program for approximately 400 employees across about 20 different locations. Would this survey be able to break it down per location or would it have to be for the entire company as a whole? I know the safety climate varies from one locale to the next. It would be helpful to zero in on the problem locations. I'll tell you that the way this is structured now is that the survey, it's designed to measure the entire company. I know it would be helpful to do location, location, location to capture everybody. That's not the way we're set up at this time. However, I don't want to take it off the table for the person who asked that question. If that's something post-event you're serious about you want to work with us on accomplishing, we're willing to work with you too. As it stands now, this thing is designed for relatively quick deployment. Jill and Dr. Todd covered a little bit about rolling it out to your organization support. We do have email templates and a simple next steps document that's companion to this exercise.

All you really do is you meet with us. We give your unique survey links. They're just for your organization. Again that's something we have to create manually. Then, you plug that into your email template, the one we give you or you write your own. That's after answering the questions you want to answer, but it's pretty turnkey for lack of a better word at this time and designed to do a macro analysis. You can draw some [inaudible 00:51:33] insights there. Again, if that's something you're serious about, let us know.

I'll put up another question here and that question is … Bear with me. Okay, what is the next step following collection and analysis of the survey data? What support systems do you offer or have you used to improve the [inaudible 00:52:01] culture and climate? Jill and Dr. Todd, you guys can probably do another webcast on this topic alone.

Jill James:

Right, I think we could. I think what Todd was saying earlier is the follow up with the employees would be the next step. Todd, agreed? Giving feedback to your staff on what the results were and what actions you're taking.

Todd Loushine:

Again, like you said at the very beginning, this is the rollout of it and we're going to be learning as we go too. We have some ideas, but again it's meant to be diagnostic. If like Jill had given the temperature example before that if I go and get a particular blood draw and it gives me some information. It's like, “Well, what's the response? Do I need to exercise? Do I need to eat differently? Do I need to get better sleep? What is it?” You don't really know until you understand more of maybe how it got that way or where the issue is. Going back to the previous question about the 20 different sites, there is some value in being able to just sample or be able to compare between sites and overall. I know you said they can get a unique identifier, but if that one particular company, the last question could receive 20 different unique identifiers, I know that's a lot and I'm probably really making you guys mad, but whoever asked the question, there is value in being able to do interplant assessments. When that person knows which plants are performing better or worse, it gives them even a greater depth of understanding of what the results are and maybe the plants that aren't performing as well.

Did I just get kicked off the call?

Jill James:

No, you didn't. No, you did not. Thanks everybody for listening. I know this is our first time with this tool and we're so excited about it. We're going to be practicing and finding all the right ways to use alongside and with you.

Barrett Pryce:

Got another question here, I'm going to put this up here. It's a great one from the audience that I'm hoping you guys can cover. The question is have you encountered a scenario, where the survey results showed that management did not care, employees disengaged and yet, the plant safety incidents were really low. What would be the rationale for this lack of correlation? How would you explain that scenario?

Jill James:

Todd, I know you've seen this in your practice.

Todd Loushine:

I mean, no, with the places I've been where management doesn't care or employees are disengaged and the plant safety incidents are really low that whether someone being exposed to a hazard results in an injury or not is really random chance. If you're looking within like a small time frame, maybe you'll see that but over the long term when you're doing the wrong thing, bad things will eventually happen. It just may take a little bit more time. Until someone could actually show me the data to show this could exist that people are safe even though there's all kinds of hazards, yet they have a bad attitude and management doesn't care, usually in those situations that means there's underreporting going on. I mean that's in my experience. I'm speaking from my opinion and my research and all the places I've been, if somebody was to state this to me, I'd say, “Well, naturally, they're under reporting what's really going on.”

Jill James:

Yeah that's the first thing I thought of as well. You and I have both seen that in our practices or where there's a lot of turnover in a particular meeting, there's just not enough time for people to get hurt or they get hurt and they turnover for that reason.

Barrett Pryce:

Okay, another question here. Great answer by the way. There's a technical one, push this up. The question how robust is the database of survey responses? That is how many individual survey results are available for comparison purposes? I'll go ahead and handle that one. As many workers as have received the link, there's really no cap on this. You send it out to 500 folks, 300 folks, 400 folks, 600 and they fill it out. Those responses will all populate in the results section. Moving on, we'll do one more question here and then, possibly wrap. The question is what are the risks associated with doing a survey like this? Great question, Jill you want to kick this off?

Jill James:

What are the risks of doing a survey? Well, I guess it depends on how you look at it. If you're the person that's supporting it and deploying it in your organization and you're seeing some negativity or some pretty big gaps with trust in your organization, the risk I guess would be that you now have to act on it and you have to pay attention to it and deal with what's [inaudible 00:57:49] you or not. The greater risk would be that … Or not, right and so if you're showing that there's some pretty significant gaps and you're like, “Huh, this isn't what we expected and it sounds like it's something that's going to make us uncomfortable to lean into and really dig into and figure out what's going on in our organization,” and you choose not to that's probably your biggest risk because now you've ruined the trust even more by not following through and not following up with employees. Todd?

Todd Loushine:

The only risk I really see is if the results are mishandle by management. If they take it personally or they use it to pursue a vendetta against the workers. If you go against workers because they provide honest feedback, I mean we've got the whistleblower protections with OSHA and stuff that if a worker feels they're being treated unfairly or discriminated against just because they are trying to help with safety, they have protections. That's the only way I could see this being misused as if management took it and tried to punish or how does that saying go that whippings will continue until morale improves. If they have that kind of attitude, then it could be misused and would be risky. Otherwise, again if you're really interested in finding out what we can do to improve the safety program, things you can't see and observe that's what this is for. Of course with anything, anything can be misused, but that's the only risk I see is it's supposed to uncover things that we can use to improve things. That's all I got to say about that.

Barrett Pryce:

Okay folks, we got to wrap this now unfortunately. Thank you so much for sticking with us and participating, asking thoughtful questions. Special thanks to Helga out there, who was sharing some really great stuff earlier in the group chat. Also, we're launching a huge effort today and we appreciate you joining us. Jill, Dr. Todd, your work over last year to make this real for folks and to help bring it out to the world has been amazing. I'm floored by your passion. To wrap, every one of registrants, attendees will receive a link to a recording of this webcast along with more information about the Safety Engagement Survey and Vivid Learning Systems. In the meanwhile over next two business days, expect to be contacted by a Vivid representative. That's for the attendees who are here today for scheduling purposes. For those of you who did not get your questions answered, we will follow up with you after the event, do our best to get you an answer as quickly as we can. Your patience there is appreciated as we've had hundreds of attendees and registrants here today. We will work through those one by one, but we will get you an answer, may just take some time. We will be as responsive as we can. Thanks again for joining us and stay safe out there.