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Humans First, Statistics Second: Why human connection is paramount in creating a Zero Incident Culture


Ratna Morjaria

How many times have you heard about striving for Zero Incidents? But Tribe’s Lead Consultant, Ratna Morjaria, believes in turning this on its head.  

She believes that while statistics are a necessary part of measuring the culture change process, authentic conversations should always be a company’s primary focus. Not the manufacturing of a statistic. 

“When the importance of safety falls on ‘Zero Incidents’ and striving for this statistic, we lose why we’re reporting in the first place,” Ratna explains. 

We are more than just a number 

“Statistics only tell us what’s happened after an incident, but what happened before? We need those conversations to find out the reason behind the decisions made which might prove valid.” Ratna explains. 

“Once it’s turned into a statistic, we have lost the foundation to learn from it. It’s too late. The bottom line shouldn’t be about a number. It should be about saving lives and creating a safer workplace.” 

Connect with your team 

A positive safety culture involves leaders being proactive and having key conversations prior to data being recorded.  

“Leaders need to have the conversations about why we want a better reporting culture and what it means to them personally,” says Ratna.  

“It’s not about simply saying, ‘safety is important to us’.” Ratna says, “it’s about telling the story as to why and then demonstrating the relevant behaviour that supports this, otherwise there’s a big disconnect and people won’t engage.” 

The power of vulnerability 

On working with a statistic-driven leader planning a presentation for a global conference, Ratna encouraged him to abandon his Powerpoint and instead speak about why safety mattered to him personally. 

“This is how you engage people. Numbers are never going to inspire people to report. Yes, statistics are important, but they will never inspire better behaviour.  

She continues, “people immediately connected with him because he was being human. The power of vulnerability inspires better behaviours and more thought. It creates a culture of care which in turn, saves lives.” 

Next time you’re speaking with your team or workforce about safety, can you be more vulnerable? Why does safety matter to you personally and what is your story to connect you to your motive?

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