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How to Use Generational Differences to Build a Positive Safety Culture

How to Use Generational Differences to Build a Positive Safety Culture

by Erika Gwilt, DEKRA Insight

Erika Plumb and I share a first name and this formed our first bond. We were working together as DEKRA consultant and BNSF Safety Manager on the BNSF Montana Division in 2012. We soon discovered that we had much in common: a passion for safety, a hands-on approach, and a collaborative style. Those traits helped our Leader Advisory Team on the Montana Division rack up some key successes in leadership development, employee engagement, and safety results.

However, we also had some key differences. Much as I hate to admit it, Erika is young enough to be my daughter. We are from different generations. This means we had different expectations, work style, and communication preferences. This was an occasional cause for conversation and laughter between us, but never seemed to impact our working relationship one way or the other.

A few years ago at the Safety in Action (SIA) conference, I was discussing with a colleague generational differences and their effects on building a positive safety culture. From this discussion grew a breakout session, which Erika and I will co-present at the upcoming SIA in Chicago. During our session, called Beyond the Generation Gap, we will talk about generational differences, but more importantly, we will be leading an interactive discussion on how to use those differences to benefit organizations. We’ll show you how to focus on, identify and use the many things all generations have in common to build safety in our workplaces. We’ll look at both sides of the “Generation Gap,” and Erika will discuss BNSF Railway’s challenges and solutions as their demographic continues to shift in a big way.

This year, we also wanted to introduce some original research – and here’s where you come in. We want to compare your responses to other generational research we’ll be discussing in our session. Please take a few minutes to complete the short survey and we’ll have some fresh data from our DEKRA Insight safety community to present and discuss in Chicago.

You may complete the survey whether you are attending the Safety in Action conference or not.

Thanks for your participation, and both Erika and I hope to see you in Chicago.

Beyond the Generation Gap Survey



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Saturday, 17 March 2018