Safe Performance Coaching

As part of Network Rail’s safety vision and ‘Better Everyday’ concept, we worked with the LNE (N) Area Director and his team to design a bespoke behaviour-based safety programme to improve safety and performance in front-line leaders and their teams. The challenge within the Rail, and all safety critical sectors, is to balance productivity targets with safety. These concepts must go ‘hand-in-hand’ and should not be allowed to take precedence over one-another. The result of the consultation phase of the work was our design of the Safe Performance Coach Programme which was implemented in late 2014 and which has now been delivered to over 60 x coaches in this important new role.

Programme Construct

The aim of the programme was to develop a large pool of front-line leaders who had the skills and confidence to influence, challenge and lead safe behaviour in the workplace. The nominated staff were trained and coached to become Safe Performance Coaches within their functional areas. The Safe Performance Coach is able to combine safety awareness and performance and, using a coaching approach, influence behaviour change in colleagues and teams. The programme consists of three phases:

  • One day course that covers the key tenets of Behaviour-Based Safety within the context of their working environments.
  • Two x one day coaching sessions (four weeks apart) where a Benchmark Coach deploys on-site with the delegate to support his/her practical application of Safe Performance Coach duties within the real work environment.
  • Route Review Meetings held every six weeks to act as a central forum for Safe Performance Coaches to share experiences, offer advice and ensure continual improvement.

Wider Implementation

The pilot Programme for London North East (LNE) Route, Network Rail has resulted in 60 Safe Performance Coaches being deployed across the whole Route in a variety of front-line roles.

As a result of the behaviour change measures being implemented by individuals across front-line teams, the business benefits are having a significant impact on safety and performance. The success of the pilot programme has resulted in wider national interest and implementation across other Network Rail Routes.

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