Workplace safety monitoring tool

Good governance and workplace safety should be inseparable concepts. And yet, this week alone we have been reminded not once, but twice, that when things go wrong the consequences can not only be fatal but financial and potentially criminal. And that reaches from the bottom to the very top of an organisation.

In Germany an explosion at a chemical waste incineration plant in Leverkusen has claimed at least one life (probably more) and caused serious injuries to others; In America, officials are seeking to impose fines on four companies following a liquid nitrogen leak last January that killed 6 workers at a Georgia poultry processing plant.

Events like these, often preventable, have serious repercussions for workers, managers and board directors, not to mention the potentially irreparable damage to business brands and community relations.

In Australia, the “obligations of directors when it comes to safety are well known”. The uniform safety legislation in most states and territories contains a useful framework for directors to follow when it comes to safety governance.” (1)

Included in this framework is the following:

  • ensure there are available for use, and used, appropriate resources and processes to eliminate or minimise risk to health and safety
  • ensure there are processes for receiving and considering information regarding incidents, hazards and risk and responding in a timely way to that information

There are other elements but I highlight these two because I wonder how any organisations truly monitor their operations with a real-time reporting mechanism that anyone from the work floor to the boardroom can see?

At Nuffield Group we utilise a tool called Nu-Safe to ensure we satisfy not only our legal Health, Safety, Sustainability & Environment obligations but also our own internal cultural commitments. With this tool we can monitor key elements, flag critical action dates and flag any under-performance before it becomes a problem, allowing us to “respond in a timely way” (as per the framework).

It’s a tool we believe has wider application and one we’re currently engaged with customers on extending across a number of different industries. We believe, by sharing this solution, we can further our vision of helping create safe and resilient businesses and communities.

Want to find out more?

Contact us via the form on this website; email us direct at or Call 1300 308 257 or +61 404 852 062 


Digital learning - How employees work & learn

There are a multitude of opportunities and challenges emerging for organisations from this COVID pandemic and many relate to the manner employees work and learn. There is no blueprint for what we are facing but business leaders around the world are certainly changing strategies to adapt.

Organisations have moved quickly to recognize the practicalities associated with keeping workers safe from COVID, including the reality that many roles in an organization can be effectively completed from home.

Many companies were thrust into the transition to remote working (and learning), completely unprepared and had to adapt quickly to the new reality – and adapt they did. One of the lasting repercussions of COVID-19 will be that, while there are some businesses that may always need face-to-face interaction, many roles in most white-collar industries will shift permanently away from the traditional “face-to-face is best” thinking. With so many businesses able to maintain service levels via remote digital options, the need to go back to office-based, face-to-face operations full-time, once the pandemic is over, is neither tenable, desirable nor necessarily the most effective.

The situation we find ourselves in is quite ironic; first, many businesses found themselves digitising their relationships with customers and now they’re digitising relationships with employees. A new paradigm is required to manage this uncertainty.

So, what are the challenges of this shift?

Well, for one there’s the potential loss of individual identity, of the health and wellbeing traditionally derived from the social, altruistic, and professional interactions that were commonplace in an office environment. Organisational structures and cultures that were built around colleagues, teams, and departments operating together, now need completely re-thinking.

Companies are at the crossroads: those that capitalize on the COVID-enforced opportunities will find themselves in a good position to retain their talent and attract people when the situation stabilizes. By contrast, those that fail to change will be left behind, exposing their employees to increased risks of financial stress from having to face layoffs and closures.

People are learning how to do work disparately and with far less oversight: they are learning “on the job” what works and what does not work at home and holding virtual meetings that might have happened before but never to such an extent. This period of adjustment has required us all to be supportive of one another. Control has, to some extent, had to give way to trust.

It’s not just how we work that has shifted. It’s how we learn too.

How do we, as employees and lifelong learners, train and acquire new skills without the group-based, facilitated training sessions or classes that have been the norm for decades? How do we, as leaders, support this learning and manage the performance of our remote teams? How do we get real-time engagement and feedback?

We are now in an era of ‘Learning by Doing’ and ‘Learning by Teaching’. Instead of experienced Group-based workshops facilitated by an in-house trainer, the new model is about digital online facilitation and virtual group-based experiences.

In the past, eLearning was limited to a few individuals who had the appropriate clearance and authorisation. This has changed quickly so now anyone can create digital learning experiences and anyone can experience them.

This openness to the diversity of digital solutions will see less top-down, one-size-fits-all learning and more consultation with employees (end-users) about what online learning and working platforms should be adopted; adult learning will increasingly be done on smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

There is little doubt we are living in a new “low-touch” economy. It is time to adapt and shift our mindsets, develop skills and rethink how we make decisions to stay agile, connected and human.

Nuffield Group has built a virtual workshop capability to deliver teaching and training workshop solutions for organisations. Find out more here.

Call 1300 308 257 or +61 404 852 062 for more or email us direct at

Achieving Excellence Through Learning

Improving the performance of an individual, a team, and an organisation is critical to the success and resilience of any business. One way to achieve this is for leaders to focus on a range of simple measures that can easily be enacted and self-managed to build greater knowledge, expertise, and cohesiveness in an organisation; in short, achieving excellence through learning.

But where to start?

One of the key actions to building a development plan for a division or a department is to talk to the people involved first. Get to understand their needs and ideas on how to deliver better outcomes. It is important the investment you make yields a return for the individual and for the enterprise. So, you need to seek their buy-in.

People need to be able to relate to the topics and understand the benefits of any learning initiatives. Providing information without context is wasting resources (the information goes in one ear and out the other!). Using real-world examples, however, is a great means of providing context. Demonstrating to people how information is applied can give them a great framework for how they will use it themselves.

And, as we all know, practice makes perfect. Giving people opportunities to practice can help them confidently handle the variety of situations they may face on the job.

Great organisations are committed to learn constantly from everything they do. They use their experience and that of others to improve their performance. They are consistent in their approach and use both successes and failures as learning opportunities. Continuous learning is systemically built into a successful organisation’s DNA and infrastructure*.

How do you continuously improve?

One key mechanism to continuously improve performance is to debrief your successes and failures; spend time identifying what went right and what went wrong and what you would do differently in the future. And, importantly, conduct the debrief in a blame-free and safe environment so everyone is confident in sharing their experiences enabling you to get to the truth of the real lessons you need to learn.

Good organisations meet regularly as a whole entity rather than in departmental silos. To be effective people need to understand the whole system otherwise they only improve their part of the system. While these small improvements can be important, they do not optimise the success of the entire system. A ‘whole of business’ approach will generate a competitive advantage for your organisation.

By providing people with the opportunity to work in cross-functional teams you will get greater collegiality, innovation, and cohesiveness in your organisation. You’ll also win hearts and minds as people learn to grow their skills and develop their careers.

Nuffield Group’s IEMR team can assist your business in emergency management & recovery training. Call 1300 308 257 or +61 404 852 062 Or email us direct at

*according to Deloitte’s Global Human Capital Trends 2016 report “Employees at all levels expect dynamic, self-directed, and continuous learning opportunities from their employers”

Nuffield Group has established an emergency and crisis management capability – an Integrated Emergency Management Response & Recovery (IEMR) team – tasked to address the ‘before, during, and after’ phases of an emergency scenario. Our team of highly credentialed experts uses a holistic approach to the services it provides across risk management, emergency management planning, training, exercising, and coaching.

We provide expertise and advisory services to support an organisation, individuals and teams tasked with executing emergency management plans. This includes not only compliance before but execution during any major emergency.

We have re-imagined traditional approaches to provide more contemporary thinking in the area of emergency and crisis management. There is ample evidence on the value of investing in thinking and planning management strategies for emergency scenarios; And if nothing else, COVID-19 has taught us the value of having a plan that is not only tested but which considers a range of hazards and scenarios in order to help prevent or manage business disruption.

When framing a Business Continuity Plan, the first building block is an accountability matrix that identifies who is responsible, who is accountable, who needs to be consulted and who needs to be informed. Many organisations refer to it as the RACI model (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed). Bottom line is – if people are unclear on their roles then successful management of an emergency or disruption will be difficult, resulting in a poor performance.

There are generally four tiers of ownership and oversight of a Business Continuity Plan:

  • The Board
  • Audit and Risk Committees
  • Executive Teams
  • and Business Unit Managers

These four groups can be supported by internal and external audit teams.  It needs to be acknowledged that this is the ideal model and many businesses may have flatter structures. However, the principle of having particular people accountable for particular responsibilities is a foundational piece and the RACI model is a great tool for a cohesive and integrated approach supported by strong leadership.

Once clear accountabilities and responsibilities, and interdependencies vertically and horizontally across an organisation are established, an assessment of the critical products and services an organisation produces or delivers needs to be conducted. What are the tolerance thresholds an organisation can absorb if these goods and services are not being delivered?

A Business Impact Analysis should be conducted to identify the key facilities, equipment, materials, business systems and people (internal and external) involved in producing these goods and services. Conversations with suppliers and customers are critical to ensure a complete assessment and all impacts are fully understood. An investment in this process will enable an organisation to be creative and innovative in adopting solutions to address any identified (and emerging) problems. A focus on Business Impact Analysis outcomes will assist an organisation to develop its mitigation strategies and recovery objectives.

Following on from this organisations must document and adopt a Business Continuity Plan. The plan must be regularly updated, particularly following any disruption, so any lessons learned can be added to a review of the plan. Further, the importance of regularly testing and exercising the Business Continuity Plan cannot be overstated. Exercises must involve all business units to avoid a siloed outcome from occurring. The best results for business continuity are when an organisation works up, down, and across departments, and involves other key stakeholders. Internal and external auditors should be involved but the final document must be real and owned by the organisation. It is critical key leadership groups champion and invest in this aspect of the business.

Testing can occur on an annual basis but it would prove even more prudent to test and exercise when there are changes to business operations. This will build the skill, capability, and agility of an organisation to manage any future challenges.

A key driver of business success is Information Technology continuity services. It is important to ensure processes are in place to address the recovery of IT systems, infrastructure, and data. There is an ever-increasing amount of cybercrime and cyber-attacks on business systems – making it even more compelling to ensure these systems are resilient. Developing standards around service level continuity makes great sense, as does regular testing and reporting across the organisation.

Business Continuity is a function that has to be owned and valued by an organisation. It has to be part of the organisational way of life. It has to be owned by all and it needs to be inclusive; that is it cannot be owned by one person or one business unit. It must flow through the organisation’s attitude, DNA and temperament.

Clearly, Business Continuity Planning is the best form of insurance an organisation can invest in as the world we live in becomes more challenging, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. It needs to be seen as part of everyday business and valued as something that will enable an organisation to flourish during testing times.

Nuffield Group’s IEMR team is ready to assist your business in developing well considered and sustainable business continuity plans.

Can we help you?

Call 1300 308 257 or +61 404 852 062

Or email us direct at