Consultation and communication are critical elements for creating a healthy, safe and productive workplace.
As a senior executive, you need to actively consult, engage and communicate with your people using a wide range of methods, channels and styles. It is important to consult with your team about what workplace factors are affecting them and how you can provide a working environment that supports their mental health and wellbeing at work.
You should consult your people, or people likely to be affected by a matter, at each step of the risk management process. Consultation should occur as early as possible on:
- new policies, procedures and systems of work
- organisational restructures, new reporting arrangements and work locations
- changes to tasks, duties, and working arrangements, including rosters
- new technology, plant, equipment and production processes, or
- the redesign of existing workplaces.
One of the formal channels available to you is your Health and Safety Committee. This committee includes senior executives, subject matter experts and Health and Safety Representatives, all elected by your agency's staff members. This committee is a critical channel for discussing WHS concerns, and enabling the development and implementation of effective management strategies.
Committee meetings also are a powerful opportunity to share good news and success stories, discuss case studies and lessons learnt, and help other parts of your workplace benefit from this knowledge and experience. By having regular risk and WHS culture conversations as part of your everyday work, you will be leading by example and helping to embed your WHS landscape.