Beyond Safety Week: What it Means to Value Every Voice

By Corey Kennedy, director of safety development

At Robins & Morton, we believe that every voice matters. We know that our success depends on the diverse perspectives, experiences, and ideas of our team members and trade contractors. That’s why we strive to create a culture of inclusion and respect, where everyone feels heard, valued, and empowered to contribute to our shared vision.

When Construction Safety Week revealed its theme for 2024 — Value Every Voice — we knew it aligned with the very foundation of the Robins & Morton culture— what we call the Building Forward® approach.

Through four main tenets — Collaboration, Continuous Improvement, Leadership Development, and Building a Learning Culture — we empower individuals at every level to share innovative ideas and provide feedback on our processes and how we operate, from the details to the overall outlook. Doing so encourages collaboration that fosters trust, transparency, and efficiency, which is essential to improved outcomes on a construction project, including safety.

The Connection Point: Our Human Performance Operating Philosophy

To merge our cultural commitments with the need for formalized safety processes, we created our Human Performance Operating Philosophy more than 10 years ago. It is based on the principle that people are the solution, not the problem. We recognize that human error is inevitable, and we seek to learn from it rather than placing unnecessary blame. By valuing every voice, we create a “Just Culture” and encourage trust, openness, and learning, where we can share our successes and failures, and continuously improve our performance.

This approach has been called “safety differently” because it challenges us to think beyond individual actions of compliance and recognize that the work environment that connects us influences our behavior. That environment, including expectations, pressures, culture, and our state of mind all influence the decisions – whether safe or unsafe – that we make.

Respect for People

Building Forward® has become one of the key factors distinguishing Robins & Morton in the construction industry, namely because of the healthy cultural foundation that it lays for our projects. Although a collaborative spirit and respect for others have been ingrained into Robins & Morton’s business model since its founding 75 years ago, Building Forward® purposefully creates two-way feedback mechanisms that promote discussion. This provides an opportunity for all personnel on the jobsite to voice concerns and potential areas of improvement, regardless of role, position, or company.

Valuing every voice is integral to our Pursuit of Safety Excellence®, which enables us to create innovative solutions that serve the people on our projects. By fostering a culture of inclusion and respect, we can improve by leveraging the diverse perspectives, experiences, and ideas of our team members and trade contractor partners. This collaborative and transparent approach enables us to explore new possibilities, challenge assumptions, and create solutions that meet our current and future needs.