Supervisor Leadership Skills for a Safe Workplace
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Supervisor Leadership Skills for a Safe Workplace

Learn safety communication skills to foster safety accountability, responsibility and correct safety behaviours.
4.5 (94 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
405 students enrolled
Created by Marie-Claire Ross
Last updated 9/2016
Current price: $10 Original price: $50 Discount: 80% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • 1 hour on-demand video
  • 2 Articles
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • By the end of the course, you will be able to understand your pivotal role in managing safety performance and will have a variety of skills to use, in order to engage, communicate and lead on safety.
  • In this course, you will learn:
  • The importance of being a supervisor and why supervisors are the linchpins in a safe workplace, when it comes to maintaining safety.
  • The Three inter-related factors that are necessary in maintaining a thriving safety culture.
  • 9 key skills to influence and connect with staff for better safety outcomes, so that staff at all levels feel that they are able to talk freely about their safety concerns and solutions.
  • Strategies for planning, designing and organising toolbox talks, so that staff contribute and you enjoy leading.
View Curriculum
  • Anyone with supervisory responsibilities in the workplace who already has awareness of their legal rights, duties and responsibilities and who is looking to strengthen supervisory competency.

Supervisors are the linchpins in an organisation that set the performance levels when it comes to safety, productivity, skills development and job satisfaction.

This training has been devised for companies who have got a great or "getting great" safety culture in place, but they realise employees are getting complacent with safety and that they need to re-energise and empower staff.

This course teaches supervisors the importance of their job role and that what they demonstrate and request from staff determines safety levels.  It provides supervisors with information about what makes a high performance safety culture, followed by 9 "Connect & Collaborate" Skills to improve employee safety engagement, teamwork and create a happy working environment.

This course is not suitable for those wishing to learn basic supervisory tasks or who do not believe safety is important.  It is for those who have already been supervising and want to learn some cutting edge techniques on how to engage their employees on safety.

The course goes through how to use these skills in safety meetings and includes a Toolbox Meeting Template to help supervisors encourage better safety meeting performance.

This engaging and activity based video course (with just around an hour of content) includes a workbook with activities, a toolbox talk template and a quiz.  It also provides additional training content to reinforce training via regular fortnightly emails.

The course is structured into seven main topics:

  1. Introduction
  2. The Importance of Supervisors
  3. A New Workplace Culture Model
  4. How to Connect Well with your Team
  5. 9 Connect & Collaborate Skills
  6. Running a Great Toolbox Meeting
  7. Using the Toolbox/Safety Meeting Template

This course is vital to supervisors who want to improve their ability to communicate and engage on safety matters, including making others more accountable for safety. 

It is beneficial for companies and supervisors who want to change their safety culture or who realise that there must be a better way to encourage people to speak up and talk about safety in toolbox talks.  It will also create a workplace where workplace bullying will be a thing of the past.

Who is the target audience?
  • Supervisor and managers. This is new information and is suitable for those wanting the latest leadership techniques.
Compare to Other Leadership Courses
Curriculum For This Course
1 Lecture 02:32
Welcome to "Leadership Skills for a Safe Workplace".  Thanks for joining me.

In this introduction, I go through how to get the most from this training program.

The course will take around 1 hour and it will involve you watching this video.  There are also activities that need to be done and a quiz.  Give yourself around 30-60 minutes to complete these.

Activities are highlighted with an orange background in your workbook and you╒ll be asked to pause the video to do the activity.

Before we continue, I recommend that you print out the following two attachments:

- The Supervisor Leadership Skills Workbook (so you can undertake the activities as you watch the video), and

- The safety or toolbox meeting template.

Now, let's take a look at the learning objectives/goals.

Goal: To train supervisors on how to foster a thriving workplace that is engaged with safety matters, in order to reduce injuries and align staff to a safe, thriving safety culture.

You will learn:

The importance of being a supervisor and why supervisors are the linchpins in a safe workplace, when it comes to maintaining safety.

The three inter-related factors that are necessary in maintaining a thriving safety culture.

9 key skills to influence and connect with staff for better safety outcomes, so that staff at all levels feel they are able to talk freely about their safety concerns and solutions.

Strategies for planning, designing and organising toolbox talks, so that staff contribute and you enjoy leading.

Areas Covered

1. The Importance of Supervisors

2. A New Workplace Culture Model

3. How to Connect with your Team

4.  9 Connect & Collaborate Skills

5. Toolbox/ Safety Meeting Best Practices

6. Using the Toolbox/Safety Meeting Template

Preview 02:32
The Importance of Supervisors
1 Lecture 08:25

The Importance of Supervisors

What Makes a Bad Supervisor:

  • Unfriendly and treat people differently.  They have favourites.  Tend to be highly critical and rarely provide positive feedback.
  • Create an unhappy atmosphere where people are too scared to speak up.
  • They don't care about safety or even staff.  They can often be seen undertaking tasks incorrectly or ignoring poor safety behaviours.

What Makes a Great Supervisor

  • Give positive feedback and make you feel good about how you do your job.
  • They like everyone and accept people for who they are.
  • They're passionate about safety and share safety information. 
  • They work well with people at all levels and treat everyone equally.

Research has found that the relationship between an employee and their supervisor determines how long an employee will stay in a company and their level of productivity (from the book, First, Break all the Rules by Marcus Buckingham).

Essentially, if you like your supervisor you like you doing your job. 

Managers are catalysts.  They help speed up the employee's skills meeting the needs of the company.

What do you think is the key skill that makes a great supervisor?

  • Being able to think quickly,
  • Organisational skills,
  • Computer skills,
  • Safety knowledge,
  • or being able to pull funny faces?

It's actually communication skills. 

Great supervisors are great communicators. 

Various studies have shown that positive communication relations between supervisors and employees actually improves safety performance.

The value you place on safe work practices is crucial to the level of safety at your organisation.

Great supervisors foster positive safety attitudes and encourage sharing of important safety-related information.

Great supervisors strongly support safety systems and processes and really care that all staff are safe.  They also believe that reducing injuries is achievable.

As a leader, people will look to you on how to behave correctly.

What you demonstrate and request from staff, as well as you safety standards, determines the safety level at your worksite.

7 Skills of Great Supervisors to improve Safety

1. Foster open, friendly communication and dialogues about safety.

2. Lead by example (not just words, actions).

3. Have positive attitudes towards safety.

4. Value Safety over Production Pressures.

5. Share important safety-related information

6. Enable positive communication between frontline staff and senior management

7. Never ignore poor safety behaviour.

Essentially, great supervisors create a happy, safe and trusting workplace environment whereby staff enjoy their jobs, are more productive and work more safely.

Preview 08:25

 Supervisor Skills

What is the most important skill of a great supervisor?
1 question


1 question
A New Workplace Culture Model
1 Lecture 02:38

Safety culture means the values, beliefs and attitudes employees share in relation to safety.  It is also determined by the commitment, but also both the leadership and communication styles, of management.

Let's take a look at the workplace culture model for high performance companies.  It's all about all leaders throughout the company balancing three factors for optimal performance.  Thees are unity, compassionate leadership and communication.  Balance these correctly and you hit trust - the sweet spot for high performance companies.


High performing companies are unified and have every-one working together as a team.  There is no "Us versus Them" mentality.

Humans have an instinctive desire to be part of something bigger than themselves.

Staff want to be part of a group and a successful one that's going somewhere.

It's important that you cultivate a sense of group identity.  Use inclusive language.

Encourage teamwork that works towards achieving your safety goals.

Also important is to ensure that everyone realises that they are all accountable for safety.  Not just the safety manager. 

Compassionate Leadership

We all need to feel loved and appreciated. 

It's important that companies convey this to staff.

Not just through words, but through the right actions.

Staff and even visitors, will look for visible signs at your workplace that staff are highly valued to the organisation.

By ensuring a tidy work environment, leaders ensure that subtle messages are given that only safe behaviours are tolerated.


This is where senior management reinforce the importance of unity and how important staff are to the company.

Regular, open, clear and authentic communication, is needed, through a variety of methods (email, video, face to face, print), that is driven from the top of the organisation, but is reinforced at all levels.

People love transparency and no hypocrisy.

Make sure any communication is followed up by action and avoid any ambiguity in messages.

For example: A CEO speech saying that the company will increase profitability by cutting back on safety related expenses conflicts with saying that staff safety is a priority.


If you get all these three inter-related core areas, right you get Trust - the secret sauce to high performing companies.

Staff feel safe at their workplace and will do whatever it takes to make the company (or their group) happy.

They also have a high level of camaraderie, positivity and respect for fellow workmates.

After all, when you trust, you feel safe, which is the optimum goal for a high performing culture.

Workplace Culture Model
How to Connect Well with your Team
1 Lecture 04:02

Before we go into the skills required to connect and collaborate with your staff, let's look at the research behind what actually makes a high performance team.

Marcial Losada, a psychologist, researched 60 work teams. He found there were 3 types: high performance, mixed and low performance teams that he categorised according to customer satisfaction, profitability and peer evaluation scores.

His research found high performance teams actually performed remarkably differently to the other teams.

High performing teams had:

  • High connectivity (which means they were responsive to one another),
  • Asked questions as much as they defended their own views.
  • Casted their attention outward, as much as inward (which means they were interested in other people╒s viewpoints, as well as their own).
  • Were flexible & resilient.
  • They had a high positive comment ratio of 6:1.

On the other hand, low & mixed performance teams crumbled under pressure & asked few questions.

Negative comments were made at the same ratio as positive comments for low performing teams,(1:1), while for mixed performance teams there were slightly more positive comments than negative (2:1).

Similarly, research undertaken by Keith Ferrazzi found that workplaces that have high candour have better business performance.

High candour workplaces - staff speak honestly about the risks involved at all levels of the company.

Low candour workplaces -  signify a highly politicized workplace where people do what they're told and do not question anything. Slow to make decisions.

While in research "The New Science of Building Great Teams" by Alex Pentland, Harvard Business Review, April 2012, found that there are three factors that contribute to a great team:

1. Energy - Staff members contribute well to the team,

2. Engagement - Team members communicate well with each other, and

3. Exploration - Team members continue finding our more information and creating solutions outside of meetings.

What we know about great safety performance is:

Regular, open communication and consultation about safety is a proven way to reduce injuries and workplace accidents.

How to Connect Well with your Team

Culture Question
1 question
9 Connect & Collaborate Skills
9 Lectures 26:57

9. Connect & Collaborate Skills

1. Positivity

When to Use

  • To lift morale and workplace happiness.
  • To encourage staff to achieve goals.
  • To promote a positive team spirit, when a negative complaining environment that is taking over.

Extra Resources

In the book, Positivity by Barbara Fredrickson, she found that:
1. Positivity

1 question


When to Use

  • Poor morale
  • Staff feel unappreciated
  • Need to make big cultural changes
  • Negative, complaining environment and want to make it more positive & uplifting.
  • Staff aren't collaborating and are critical of others.
2. Gratitude

1 question

Use this to help team members:

  • Understand complicated information
  • Get that it's important to take safety seriously
  • Undertake behaviours correctly
  • Listen during boring information
  • Realise that anyone can be injured and that those that think "that won't happen to me" can actually get hurt.

3. Stories and Metaphors

1 question

When to Use:

  • When staff are not accountable for safety
  • If staff aren't speaking up in meetings.
  • If you want staff to act smarter at work.
  • To increase workplace happiness, autonomy and feelings of control.

Extra Resources

Multipliers by Liz Wiseman,

4. The Art of Questions

1 question

Being a Supervisor means having to deal with complaints.

As you remember, great supervisors encourage open communication, whereby employees can freely raise safety concerns. This results in fewer accidents.

Supervisors need to make themselves available and open to complaints.

5. Handling Complaints

1 question

When to Use

When staff:

  • Aren't coming up with safety ideas
  • Are disinterested in safety
  • Appear to not be doing any thinking
  • Are refusing to be accountable for safety.
  • Have a difficult safety issue, that no-one knows what to do.

6. Debate Maker

Great supervisors have the skills to facilitate open and equal communication with both levels.

This means that if a senior manager wants to introduce a new initiative, they need to get your acceptance.

7. Working with Senior Management

When to Use

When staff:

  • Are undertaking safety procedures incorrectly.
  • Are disinterested in safety.
  • Are putting the safety of other people at risk.

Extra Resources

Conversations for Change , by Shawn Kent Hayashi

8. Difficult Safety Conversations

Difficult Safety Conversations
1 question

Human beings can be remarkably biased. Men can often unwittingly have a bias towards women at work even when they think they agree with feminist principles.

9. Removing Gender Bias
Toolbox/Safety Meeting Best Practices
1 Lecture 02:12

In this module, you'll learn some easy tips to ensure the smooth running of your toolbox talk meeting.

Running a Great Toolbox Meeting
Using the Toolbox/Safety Meeting Template
1 Lecture 07:23

Why you need a Toolbox Template

****Before you begin this session, make sure you have downloaded and printed your Toolbox Template from the supplementary materials. Refer to the template as you do this training session ****

To help you remember your new skills, I've put together further articles, a recommended reading list and video content to help reinforce what you have learnt today. Visit: and fill out your details.

Extra Resources

Transform Your Safety Communication by Marie-Claire Ross

Read more articles about workplace safety and training at:

Sign up for our newsletter at:

If you liked this training, please give it a positive review.

Thanks for you time and good luck with improving your workplace!

Toolbox Template


Toolbox Talk Question
1 question
Bonus Section
2 Lectures 00:15

Free Checklist: 18 Supervisor Behaviours that Produce a Thriving Culture

Thisis a really comprehensive checklist to ensure you recruit the right supervisors and train on the right behaviours to improve your safety culture.

Also, a great tool to assess yourself.

Supervisor Checklist

3 Factors that Influence Workplace Culture - This is another popular download.  It explains three building blocks for creating a high performance culture.

3 Factors that Influence Workplace Culture
About the Instructor
Marie-Claire Ross
4.5 Average rating
93 Reviews
405 Students
1 Course
Author, Transform Your Safety Communication

Marie-Claire Ross started her career studying people and organisations at market research companies, thereby developing a deeper need to understand how to improve business processes and systems.

After deciding to help out at a video production house for a temporary position, she grew to love the ability of moving visuals to clearly communicate detailed information, furthering her love for research into an even deeper love for communication.

For the last 14 years, she has worked with large companies in Australia to improve both their safety and training communication materials, creating large scale manual handling, mental health and safety induction training programs.

She is the author of the highly acclaimed book, Transform Your Safety Communication. Her popular Workplace Communciation Blog provides weekly detailed information to business managers who want to improve their training, safety and workplace communication.

Now, despite preferring to work behind the camera, she stands in front of it to deliver the wealth of information she has developed from her research and client projects to help companies improve their safety culture.

In her spare time, she loves to read business books (of course!), cook vegetarian food, play with her children (by getting them to read), jog and dance (but not at the same time).