How safety influences an organization’s performance

EnergyLines November 2019


During safety week at the Merom Generating Station, keynote speaker Garrison Wynn explained a process that helps communicate effectively and improve an organization’s performance. It all starts with a strong safety culture.


As a young executive at a Fortune 500 company, Wynn was faced with a challenge. He had to find a way to effectively communicate to employees more seasoned than him. Through his experience he found a way to be influential no matter the age of the recipient.


Wynn has identified a three-part process that has helped him communicate effectively:

  • Let others know you support them
  • Let others know their job matters
  • Make sure employees see a future at the organization


Wynn says this process is the foundation for creating a positive work place safety culture. The  information conveyed needs to be clear and easy to understand. This level of clarity connects to the success Hoosier Energy has had with its Safe by Choice initiative.


The messaging used by Hoosier Energy is simple. “Your family’s reward tomorrow is you working safely today.”


A culture of safety is more than a slogan. To Merom Generating Station Plant Manager Karl Back it means keeping safety in front of employees while they are on the job.


“To me, I have come to understand a culture of safety to mean having all of our employees thinking about safety in everything they do – on and off the job. There is no better way for our employees to start their day than to remind them early they need to consider their safety not only for themselves, but also for their loved ones,” said Back.


Wynn has seen an organization’s culture change by taking action through a clearly-defined safety program like the one at Hoosier Energy.


“Action and adaptability affect change. By accomplishing these things, you position yourself to win,” said Wynn.