Goals or Systems for EHS?

REDUCE REPORTABLE INJURIES BY 20%

There, in bold capital letters, was the stated safety and health goal for the next fiscal year.

It’s what we do. What self-respecting EHS program wouldn’t have a goal (or 10) for the upcoming year?

But goals don’t work just because they are published on white bond paper in 18 point font.

They work because of the systems behind them.

I believe in goals and write about them often.

But many goals fail.

Why? We set goals for things we cannot control (quite useless), goals work well in the short-term but fail to motivate/inspire action over the long term, and sometimes we author a goal more like a vision statement rather than a goal backed up by specific actions and systems.

James Clear and Scott Adams have written about the difference between goals and systems. Both have their place, but in EHS a systems approach may serve best in the long-term.

What works for your organization?

 

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