Case Study: Ergon Energy

OVERVIEW

  • Client Snapshot

    • State-wide, government-owned utilities company
    • 160,000km of network infrastructure, largely in regional and remote areas
    • 4500+ employees

  • Objectives

    • Improve safety leadership ability, particularly among frontline supervisors
    • Increase employee engagement and willingness to ‘go beyond’ compliance
    • Reduce near-miss and injury rates
    • Improve lead indicators including safety interactions, inspections and site visits

  • Results

    • 68% improvement in leaders’ ability to have effective safety interactions
    • 48 additional safety activities and 15 additional safety visits occurring per team each month
    • 12% improvement in employee willingness to report incidents and errors
    • 18% improvement in workgroup safety climate

Following a successful implementation of the Sentis Zero Incident Process (ZIP) in 2005, Ergon Energy partnered again with Sentis to initiate the next step in their safety culture maturity journey. Sentis found that embedding of the original ZIP program was strong, so any subsequent solution would need to leverage this positive foundation.

Acknowledging Ergon Energy's progression in their safety culture journey, Sentis undertook a rigorous diagnostic process to identify the cultural barriers and levers required to unlock the next stage of safety maturity. Sentis quickly identified that Ergon Energy’s progressive stance toward leveraging the capacity of their people to ‘go beyond’ the minimum standard, required a ‘next generation’ safety program—Safety Citizens.

More than 2,500 metro, regional and remotely located employees have now experienced the Safety Citizens program, resulting in significant positive business impact and sustainable culture change.

SOLUTION

Over the course of the organisation-wide roll out, Sentis conducted the following activities:

An Onsite Safety Evaluation (OSE) was combined with a Safety Climate Survey (SCS) to allow a thorough assessment of Ergon Energy’s safety culture and to determine the company's strengths and areas of opportunity. Ergon Energy's diagnostic results were benchmarked against the Sentis Safety Culture Maturity Model to provide an indication of their safety culture progress to date. Additionally, external benchmarking and internal region-level benchmarking was conducted to provide a thorough picture of Ergon Energy's performance.
Program development was focused on moving beyond a traditional skills-based approach and towards an approach that leveraged psychological theories that directly influence safety attitudes and behaviour. Built around Sentis' Safety Citizens and leadership models, team and leader programs were developed alongside embedding strategies and campaigns to ensure effective and sustained training transfer. The Safety Citizens training program was rolled out to teams and leaders across 50 separate locations throughout Queensland. A two-consultant model was used to ensure expert facilitators could process specific challenges seamlessly and deliver the concepts and skills as intended.
Personal development plans were included as part of the Safety Citizens training program, to ensure employee support and accountability to apply the training back on the job. To further embed the program, existing safety systems were enhanced by integrating training concepts into four critical practices: management of change, leaders’ site safety visits (rebranded as ‘Safety Citizen Walks’), risk assessment tools and safety meetings. Additionally, targeted toolkit campaigns and e-Learning packages were implemented to refresh core training concepts and further embed learning. A follow-up Safety Climate Survey was conducted to track improvement pre- and post- program. This was coupled with an analysis of Ergon Energy's safety metrics over a two year period, to confirm a significant and positive change in safety performance.

IMPACT

Following the implementation of Sentis' Cafety Citizens training program, Ergon Energy have seen a significant improvement in both lead and lag safety indicators including:

  • 68% improvement in leaders’ ability to have effective safety interactions
  • 48 additional safety activities and 15 additional safety visits occurring per team each month
  • 12% improvement in employee willingness to report incidents and errors
  • 18% improvement in workgroup safety climate

Participant feedback has also been extremely positive:

  • 99% agree that the training was useful to their job
  • 92% indicate that they will immediately apply the training
  • 88% would recommend the Safety Citizens safety training program to others
62% of Ergon Energy employees said that the safety culture had improved due to the Safety Citizens initiative.
Interested to learn more about our approach and how we can help your business? Send us a message or call 1300 653 042.

Sentis specialises in safety culture measurement and transformation. Experts in applied psychology and neuroscience, Sentis helps organisations to enhance and move beyond compliance to empower employees to work safely—not because they have to, but because they want to. Offering assessments, training, coaching and consulting, Sentis has helped more than 300 companies and 150,000 people think differently about safety since 2003.