Behaviour Influences Behaviour
Author: Steve Crofts BSc, CMIOSH
Publication Date: 27/09/2016
This document outlines Crossrail’s approach to Client-side, behavioural based training. This was developed to;
- Raise awareness of the importance of leadership behaviours & how it influences others behaviour.
- Enable leaders to understand their own behavioural strengths and weaknesses.
- Further embed Target Zero to drive further improvement in H&S performance.
The training received consistently positive feedback causing many attendees to re-evaluate their approach. Any high risk industry could benefit from this learning.
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Introduction and Industry Context
All Crossrail contractors are required to have programmes in place to continuously improve the behaviour of their workforce, to help target and reduce factors that can lead to incidents. These programs are often targeted at on site operatives as they are the ones directly exposed to the largest risks. Unwanted or poor behaviour can be a factor in some of the incidents we see on Crossrail as well as in the wider industry.
Crossrail, as client, does not directly employ on site operatives, but clearly through its actions it can influence the environment and behaviour of those who are undertaking the physical work. Crossrail developed the Behaviour influences behaviour (BIB) training course, to ensure that everyone working on Crossrail understood how their behaviour, either on site of office based, can influence that of operatives that are actively engaged in construction activities.
What Did Crossrail Do?
Crossrail recognised the importance of developing and promoting the right behaviours on site at the beginning of the programme and consequently, included a requirement for all Tier 1 contractors to ‘implement a behavioural based safety programme to address the human behaviour element of risk management and be able to provide feedback on behaviour trends and causes that lessons may be shared and learned.’ This requirement also extended to their sub contractors.
As a result, all contractors starting on Crossrail had to have such a programme in place. Initially however, similar training was not offered to those working on the client side of the programme.
In early 2013, as part of its Target Zero programme of improvement activities, Crossrail launched the ‘Target Zero Roadshow’, facilitator led sessions were included with acted scenarios aimed at both Crossrail and its contractors. These sessions were intended to inspire and empower teams to be confident to speak up about safety issues, taking personal responsibility for ensuring safety is an absolute value and not a priority that will change. This approach was well received and a number of contractors adopted it themselves by retaining the suppliers to deliver future courses within their own companies.
At the same time, and in part to address the fact that Crossrail were not delivering internal Behavioural Based training, the H&S department developed the concept of ‘Behaviour Influences Behaviour’. This was based on the premise that the behaviour of Crossrail, as a client, ultimately impacts the behaviour of contractor’s operatives. As a result, a number of internal presentations, workshops and training sessions were developed and rolled out to Crossrail employees. Whilst again well received, this approach required significant resource from the H&S team to continually develop and deliver. It also lacked the impact of the facilitator led, drama based sessions of the ‘Target Zero Roadshow’.
By the beginning of 2014, it was agreed that the positive elements of all of these pieces of work should be combined into a single, internally focused ‘Behaviour Influences Behaviour’ training course. The course would build on the content already created, be further developed and delivered by an external company and would be drama based, using actors to add impact and to aid learning.
Due to the potential size of the contract (close to OJEU threshold) over the course of the programme, it was necessary for the procurement of this work to be undertaken in compliance with The Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) procurement procedures. The process of scoping, procuring, developing scripts and content, and trialling the course took almost one year and the final product launched in early 2015.
The course that was developed used both live and filmed drama based scenarios to help leaders understand their own behaviours, why their behaviours affect the behaviours of others and how they can influence individuals and groups across the project to improve their behaviours and with it, health and safety performance. The accompanying theory was provided through interaction with the actors, group exercises, directly outlined by the course facilitator and in a physical workbook provided to all attendees.
Sessions were 3 hours in duration (two per day), class sizes no more than 15 persons and from the training provider, each session had 1 facilitator, 1 facilitator / actor and 2 actors. Crossrail’s Delivery and Technical directorates provided the key target audience for the training though anyone working for Crossrail or one of its delivery partners on the Client side of the programme could attend.
Feedback on the courses was predominantly very positive, and the content was developed based on the feedback that was received throughout the duration of the courses delivery. The course received particularly positive feedback from middle management and more junior attendees. Over 500 attended the course in the space of a year.
BIB formed one element of Crossrail’s overall Target Zero approach to Health and Safety Improvement. During the year that BIB was run, Crossrail’s health and safety performance continued to improve, with reduced injury rates and improving performance in proactive measures.
• Acknowledge and allow sufficient time to procure and develop activities any such course. It took around 10 months to complete the procurement at Crossrail.
• Ensure key stakeholders (Senior Leaders of the organisation etc) are identified and engaged early enough for them to contribute to the content and delivery methodology.
• Review and utilise similar work undertaken by your suppliers to ensure you maximise the impact of the course and capture all best practice.
• Ensure Leadership support the concept and delivery approach and agree in advance that their teams will attend.
Steve Crofts is the Head of Health and Safety Improvements at Crossrail. He is responsible for programme wide H&S initiatives and communications as well as H&S management systems, performance reporting and Occupational Health and Wellbeing. Steve started his career in the Oil and Gas industry but quickly moved to the Railway sector where he now has over 16 years experience, primarily in and around London Underground. He has been with Crossrail since March of 2014.