4 Implementation Steps You Don’t Want to Overlook

During our 3-day certificate class we spend time talking about implementing the Human Performance Improvement (HPI) philosophy into an organization.  There are 8 Stages that we recommend as a guide in this process, since trying to implement change without a structured approach will increase the chance for error and failure.

Even with this 8 stage process, I have noticed 4 related steps that are sometimes overlooked or not used correctly. They may seem simple and obvious, but many have failed to notice these steps in their effort to cause change.

First of all, HPI is not a new “program of the month”.  It is very important to be clear that this is a system perspective.  Understanding the HPI philosophy and tools can be brought back to whatever production or safety program you already have in place.  So, how are you going to educate the organization on this new philosophy and perspective? You are teaching new values, beliefs, behaviors, and ways of communicating.  Who needs what training? How do you expect individuals at all levels to understand your purpose if they can’t understand what you are talking about? It is vital that this starts at the top with senior management.  If you want your organization to be successful in creating this type of change, then you need at least one person at the top giving full support to this—that means they need to be educated about what HPI encompasses!  
Once the managers, supervisors, workers, etc understand HPI don’t forget to have scheduled reminders and training.  It could be as simple as a monthly message or tip. With management changing at times you may also need to consider a “HPI booster” to make sure everyone is on the same page.


HPI Tool Usage
Simple, right?  Just use the HPI tools!  Well, which ones? Do workers “in the field” need the same tools as workers “in the office”?  Are there some HPI tools that your workers need to be using that they are not aware of? In the DOE HPI Handbook 2 there is a handy table that helps guide the user in knowing which tools need to be used.  So, whether it is job-site review, place-keeping, flagging, or peer review to name just a few, make sure that your are using the correct
HPI tools.


Tool Integration
Of all the steps, Tool Integration is by far the most overlooked step.  Tool integration requires a thoughtful approach on where to record the use of the tool.   Whether in a procedure, tool to work matrix, or many other avenues. Bottom line is–have you institutionalized the use of the tools such that the use of the tool can be evaluated and judged on its effectiveness?

Just Culture
“A just environment is all about getting the balance right between how willful violations and unintentional error are addressed in the organization.  All too often organizations do not make clear the distinctions between errors and violations. A just organization clears the smoke in the air between erring and violating”
If you want your organization to use the HPI tools and recognize error likely situations, then you need the workplace culture to support that.  Workers will not report anything that they fear will come back to bite them. You cannot punish errors out of the system! A just culture can differentiate between willful violations and unintentional errors through the use of the substitution test and culpability tree.  If you really want your organization to grow and become resilient then you need to provide the work environment where your greatest asset (workers) are able to contribute to strengthening the organization.

As I stated before, simple–right?  But, if you are having trouble implementing HPI within your organization may I suggest you look at these 4 steps and assess if there are any areas that could be improved upon.  These basic tenets are building blocks in a successful implementation plan.
Let us know of your struggles and successes!  We love sharing stories of success and learning together how to overcome difficulties.