Ideas for introducing HOP in Safe Work Month

Safe Work Month is an ideal time to introduce the HOP principles. Not to mention, explore how Operational Learning could be part of everyday work. Here’s how we are helping organisations to introduce HOP during Safety Month.

October is National Safe Work Month in Australia, spotlighting safe work and encouraging discussion around safety. Therefore, It’s an ideal time to introduce the HOP principles, explore Learning Teams, and shift the safety focus from blaming and shaming to learning and improving.

Here are some ways we have worked with organisations to introduce HOP during Safety Month. These are especially interesting to safety leaders looking to start conversations around new view thinking.

Team talks

Firstly, please remember introducing a new philosophy around safety will not happen overnight – or even over a month! But with safety front of mind during October, the discussion can start. With this in mind, why not start with a short talk or presentation to a team of frontline workers or operational personnel? Our HOP team can assist you in delivering these either virtually or in-person. They can start with a short introduction to the HOP principles or a quick overview of Learning Teams based on themes set by the organisation.

Something as simple as ‘Learning from everyday work’ can be the ideal introduction to the HOP concepts, such as Black Line vs Blue Line. Alternatively, discussing improvements other organisations have made after running Learning Teams is also a great start. The best part about HOP is that it continues beyond safety. Improving the work has benefits beyond safety – including increased productivity, trust, communication and individual empowerment.

Learning Teams Pilot

We’ve worked with several clients to introduce Learning Teams through a pilot program. These have been rolled out in one area of operations before exploring a wider rollout across the organisation.

True, this approach requires a little more planning. However, running a Learning Teams pilot through Safety Month can tie in well with other initiatives focusing on safety. Learning Teams flip more traditional safety practices on the head by putting frontline experts at the centre of the conversation about how work is done. Importantly, this is done in a facilitated environment without any judgment.

Generally, we’ve found with Learning Teams that more participants will want to get involved once workers have seen work improve due to a Learning Team. Building this initiative into Safety Month can improve the initial uptake or help overcome obstacles or resistance to trying something new.

HOP Fundamentals Training

Southpac has worked with several organisations to deliver a tailored 1 Day HOP Fundamentals course. This has been presented to HSE teams, supervisors or senior leaders through our in-house training option. While our public 1-Day and 3-Day HOP courses are run throughout the year, an in-house 1-Day Fundamentals course can be the best option to begin. It must be remembered, introducing the concepts to a small group or wider cohort within an organisation is the first step to adopting HOP.

Southpac has developed a suite of HOP Fundamentals courses focused on each key group’s unique needs and challenges. These have included HOP for Senior Leaders and HOP for Supervisors. Please feel free to ask us about a tailored option for your team.

Asking better questions

One of the easiest ways for safety professionals to introduce the HOP approach is to ask better questions! Better questions are designed to understand the work and are the basis for successful operational learning. Your questions can elicit information, stories, ideas, and perspectives. Additionally, they can tap the experience and allow strengths to show up.

Some useful questions to consider asking your people this month could include:

  • What’s the dumbest thing we ask you to do in safety?
  • Why is this dumb?
  • If you were in charge of safety, what would you do differently?
  • What’s your current greatest challenge in getting work done?

Download our free Guide to Better Questions for more ideas on getting these quality conversations started.