Denis, paper machine superintendent for a mill in northern Ontario, Canada, told Session 8B of the Leadership Development Lab (LDL):
"At Session 7 of the LDL, I told my story of committing to being five times more enthusiastic toward achieving my 90- day goal, the goal I set at Session 1 on November 1, '07. I had started working on doing whatever I could in the paper mill to improve housekeeping and safety. Part of my plan was:
1) Daily reinforcement of our new housekeeping focus
2) Following up on all hand injuries
3) Ensuring that our new accident reporting form is always used with appropriate details
4) Collecting all data for eye injuries. Part of my plan was to collect this information and create trend charts that compared current results to the previous three years.
I requested permission from the supervisors to attend crew safety meetings, and in the past week, I attended three out of five meetings. I utilized my new LDL training and started by saying 'Thank you' to the supervisor for allowing me to attend their meeting as a guest. I praised each crew member for the excellent results so far in the first quarter of this year. To support their improvements, I provided statistics to reinforce the excellent performance of all employees so far this year. Then following the 4-step coaching model, I continued by asking permission to suggest a new idea to further improve the safety of
their department. I saw a degree of receptivity so I continued. The idea is to use a 'buddy' system – for each crew member to pick a person on the crew and watch over them, to remind them when something is done that could lead to an incident (Example: improper personal protection equipment, etc.). I was able to get a commitment from the first three crews to adopt the 'buddy' system practice. I explained the predicted benefit from this practice was for them to have the safest department in the mill this year, leading to fewer injuries and happier employees. In all three meetings, the idea was accepted with a 'YES'. I plan to attend the other two crew meetings this coming week with the same message. I left the meetings feeling good about using the 4 P's of empowering coaching methods I learned in the LDL sessions.
The lesson I learned from this experience is that the 4-step coaching model not only applies one-on-one, it can also very successfully be used in crew meetings to encourage and redirect behavior for improved results. I now know that I can coach using the new 4-step method. It is easy, non-confrontational, and works. The action I call you to take is look for every opportunity to empower your people as often as possible using the "4 P" coaching process.
The benefit you will gain is you will have a higher-performing, happier workforce that positively impacts the bottom line."