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Compliance – Accountability or Choice?

Fact: Many workers have an unhealthy relationship with the policies, procedures, checklists, forms and permits designed to keep them safe.

Fact: Whilst workers are accountable to comply with those system expectations employers are not entitled to jump to the conclusion that workers actually will.

(Note: Accountability and Responsibility are interchangeable for the sake of this article.)

Why is it such a struggle?
I believe the term “accountability” has a bad name and is quite often associated with consequences not ownership. It has connotations of, “doing what you are told (or else)”. This is a shaky foundation upon which to generate real buy-in, isn’t it?

Workers do not want to escape accountability, but do not want it imposed. The truth is, workers can and always will exercise choice.

What can we do to re-frame the relationship?
For real engagement and the highest possible standards of system compliance, the workers’ relationship with your paperwork must be re-framed from “you have to do this” to “I choose to do this.” To approach this problem any other way is really doomed for failure. (Failure might look like 60-70% actual compliance.) This is because employers cannot control workers thinking and subsequent actions – only influence them.

So, if we can steer from corporate imposition to ownership and choice, we stand a chance.

After all, at the end of the day the only accountability that exists is self-accountability.

So, a good question to at-risk workers might be, “In the real world conditions of your job, if it was completely up to you, how would you choose to do it?”

I think if there were more conversations along these lines, and employers meaningfully responded to the answers, real compliance would be enhanced with all of its associated benefits.

To find out more about our Mock Court Programs, please give us a call on  1800 85 86 98 or contact us via our website today.

Written by Bruce Whitehead

What Others Are Saying About Mock Court

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“From The Moment We Sat Down You Had Our Attention”

Today was absolutely awesome!! From the moment we sat down you had our attention. You didn’t use scare tactics but you were very honest with the possibility of what can ACTUALLY happen out in the field and also who is potentially responsible…

Rachel Bellino, Seymour Whyte Construction

“Overwhelming Positive Feedback”

Excellent delivery and well suited to the target audience… Overwhelming positive feedback. Better than I anticipated.

Brian Selmes, Snowy Hydro

“A Valuable Experience For All Levels In The Team”

Feedback has been overwhelmingly favourable and unanimous view is that it was a valuable experience for all levels in the team.

Mark Whybro, NSW Fire Brigade

“A Brilliant Demonstration Of How Things Can Escalate”

Thanks so much for the Mock Court Session this morning. It was a brilliant demonstration of how issues can end up escalating if they are not dealt with appropriately and we have already received some brilliant feedback.

Emma Lovesy, Colonial First State