In this episode Sheldon and Jez speaks about behavioral science for the workplace. With over 10 years of experience of practically applying behavioural science in business, Jez has established himself as one of the world's leading practitioners in the field. As a pioneer, Jez has always been on the frontlines of behavioural science, from being instrumental in the team that used murals of babies faces to fight crime in Woolwich, to changing handwashing behaviour in a pig abattoir in Santiago to painting pink walls to reduce unsafe behaviour on a construction site for Shell on the South Bank of London.
As an author of his latest book : Ripple - The big effects of small behaviour changes in business, Jez has documented the insights, tips and toolkits that can help business people to activate behavioural science at scale within their organisation. He is also an Honorary Research Fellow at the Dept of Psychology at City University, London, working within the MSc programme and is helping bridge the gap between academia and business.
[00:00:00.480] - Sheldon Primus
This is Sheldon Primus, the host of the safety consultant podcast during this time. We've all been tightening our belts because of covid-19. I have been as well. Recently, I found cost effective alternatives to some of the services and programs that I was using, such as email marketing, hosting services and even one of my favorites, teachable visit. sheldonprimus.com/resources for special offers to help you reduce your business overhead. If you're hosting a podcast or one of hosted a podcast and visit sheldonprimus.com/hosting for a knockout deal.
[00:00:46.140] - Sheldon Primus
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Welcome to the safety consultant podcast, I'm your host, Sheldon Primus. This is the podcast where I show you how to do the actual business behind it, being a safety consultant. So this week, I get an opportunity to talk to Mr. Jez Groom. He's in the U.K. and he is a behavioral scientist in a group of behavioral scientists. And they have done all kinds of really cool work. And we've talked about some of the things that they use with different clients as a, you know, painting the walls pink so that they could change at risk behaviors.
Or I think the wall painting pink was for unsafe behaviors in the construction site. But they also addressed other things like baby faces. They would put there in a certain area, just paint murals of baby faces. And the outcome of that was to reduce crime. So it's truly amazing the things that they were doing and still doing with Cowry Consulting and they are in the U.K., but they're going to branch out into a few other markets. So this is awesome to have him do this podcast with me.
So we talked about behavioral based science and practical techniques you could use, and we even talked about his upcoming book, Ripple, and actually I believe it's out now Ripple and that's basically the effect of small behavioral changes in business. So if you get a chance, you're going to have to look up at it was truly fun. I think you guys are going to have a good time listening to me and Jez and talking. I was up really, really early for this one because of the time zone difference.
So hopefully you could tell that I was waking up. I feel I was awake enough in this one and he kind of like pulled it, pulled the interview out of me, you know, because it's been really cool listening to him. I'm thinking, oh, man, I know this stuff with BBS and it's been awesome. Good, good conversation. You guys are going to have a good time. So with just the word from our sponsor, then we will go ahead.
In our interview with Jez Groom,
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[00:04:32.140] - Jez Groom
Oh hi Sheldon.
So my name is Jez Groom. I'm the founder of Cowry Consulting and we're a behavioral science consultancy. We're five years old and we're based in London. But I work, I suppose, travels around the world. So we work with the biggest brands and business world. So people like Amazon or Amazon, I think it's good to be the side. And also some big retailers like Tesco, Walmart and I think a lot of financial services companies. And then we also do work more physical space.
[00:05:20.130] - Jez Groom
So when specifically what I'd like to share with you today is what we've done in space, more safe environments, and how we reduce unsafe behaviour on construction sites, utilizing people science principles. And we're really, really keen to kind of grow. We grow this area and for sure, we do work on our website. So that's an employee culture change and those sort of internal programs. But this is the sort of work that really captures people's imagination. And that's kind of like the business.
[00:05:52.500] - Jez Groom
And like I said, we work in states and also like Germany, Spain, France, Spain, Italy, etc. and and then previously. You know, I've been doing this stuff in Mexico, South Africa, central sub-Saharan Africa and Asia and over in Australia and New Zealand, and the broad thinking is taking, I suppose, what was popularizes. Much theory, but really sort of 40 years worth of academic sort of science and then translating that into kind of a usable system or a usable asset, a usable set design principles to, I suppose, create better, better experiences for employees and also the people they signed before for what you were thinking, saying about the behavioral based side.
Originally, my understanding was you're not only going through the process of analysing behaviours, but then you're creating a system or even out of the box products that you are going to now use that's going to help get into behavioral mastery with the safe behaviors that if I understand that correctly. Yeah, yeah. Yes, exactly right. I mean, I think so. So some listeners might be familiar with with this popular theory and then a lot of the guys and guys and girls would be, you know, social sciences, life sciences and also psychology based and essentially taking those, but adding, I think this kind of extra layer of kind of like more creative behavioral design to kind of redesign and experience so.
Well, I suppose what we tend to do is kind of although, you know, I don't I don't particularly like the way you show them. I don't like these complicated, esoteric process. It's the same because the world's too complex and, you know, it's just just too strange. And so we follow a simple, simple sort of scientific method, which is go and observe the environment, the domain in which you're going to be operating, you know, and really understand it.
So that might be primary research, secondary research and literature that exists to go and experience it for yourself. And the combination of those things and really trying to dig deep and get get your hands dirty and try and understand what's what's going wrong and then and then start to get to the creative process. And that usually involves messiness, quite a lot of diversity in terms of skill sets, understanding to create space behaviour, design concepts that have got a good chance or potential chance of starting to change behavior for the better.
And then I suppose that's all theoretical, but generally with good expertise and intuition. But I think that's when the fun really starts, is you then go through to an intervention stage where you really sort of stress test in the real world and in as much a controlled environment as you can to see whether the designs actually work. And that can sometimes be challenging. And, you know, I think for the listeners, I think when I listen to the podcast, I thought actually, you know, contact Sheldon because I think we've been interesting work in London around construction.
And it was specific around unsafe behaviours when working at high and unsafe behaviours when your materials around the construction site. So, yes, that's kind of a process that's kind of, I suppose, the piece of work we've done. So I don't know if you've got any more questions.
So from listening to to what you're saying, it screams to me that not only do you have a team, but then you have a team that could be made up of specialists that know what they're looking for in certain industries.
So that means that they may have had experience prior to being in your team.
And then it's also screaming to me that through your analysis of actually looking at behaviours, you're probably going to be interviewing these these individuals that that you're witnessing. And that means that you're going to have either some psychologists on there so Assamese or maybe even a group that the think tank, if you will, that could say, all right, these behaviours equals these types of activities that the workers are doing. And the reason why they're not doing this is because of something as simple as, you know, this worker isn't wearing his glasses because it's hot and it's a fog about it because I've been there again, that.
So is that some of the stuff that you're your team? Because it really screams you can't do this without a fairly good sized team or incorrect system?
Yeah, I think I'm a firm believer in diversification to solve complex problems. And yeah, I think and that's diversity. An experience is an also skill set, and so, yes, the specific example that we did this work on and it's fascinating. So it is exactly as you say, that this combination so we were approached had a connection and a business, which is a big construction group in the U.K. It's Morgan Synodal. Morgan Sendhil, one of their subsidiaries, is a fit up business.
So not that kind of like the hard construction. They often once that's been built, they'll go into to this kind of shell of a building and then create all the soft furnishings. And, you know, these contracts that they do, they will be like Google or the BBC and they can be like multi million, like 50, 60, 70 million pound pieces of wood. And so they're not small and the business isn't small and they're amazing. One of the best in the business.
And they approached us and said, look, are behavior. Safety record is one of the best in the industry. But we really want to take it to this pioneering stage. And, you know, we've got, as you said, kind of like a lot of the hygiene factors. And in terms of the incidence on site, the relative, you know, that that's high level instance. They're just very, very infrequent, if not at all.
What they want to focus on was essentially those very, very small behaviours that sometimes if two or three happened at one time, it can create an incident. I'm sure your listeners will be familiar with Ridder's. So essentially it's kind of the record of these recorded incidents. So people thought thought of a platform that might break the wrist or they might take a Budka and that's typically recorded to be recorded. And so, yes, it was a small thing.
These are actually quite huge because obviously when Morganson voice may be pitching within a construction group like 16, they have to essentially go to the to the tenderer and say, look, this is our video record. So imagine this. You've got these two companies both saying that high quality, good competitive price, good track record, and then one's got 10 rewards and one's got no rewards, really. You're going to go for the one that's got zero rewards because that's the relative factor, which is important.
That's the only thing that can point to it. So you might lose 50 million pound contracts on essentially, you know, three broken risks, you know, and so so that's kind of where we were at. So so the challenge was, how can we essentially get people talk about working at high? So we essentially identified these seven seven deadly sins of working at high. And these were like when you've got a construction platform, so, you know, scaffolding platform with wheels and a ladder and essentially the sum of the behaviours simpy, I suppose, quite small.
So it might be that if you're going up and down this platform eight times a day, which might be removing panels from the roof, it might be actually putting air conditioning or electrical into the roof. You might go to a lot of times and actually to do it with some of the workers would cut corners. And what they wouldn't do is they wouldn't lock wheels because you have to lock the wheels are four times instead of three hundred twenty wheel looking exercised every day.
And actually if you don't do that, then that might be more later. You could essentially achieve the job quicker and another one might be just not locking the gate. So you go off the top, you don't lock the gate at the bottom of the top and take my time to unlock it.
And then it's really a fraction of that. And then their mind is really saving them that time.
Exactly. So it's all about essentially these kind of small factors that in isolation, you know, often they don't make a difference. But if it happens all the time and a lot happened at the same time, the problem problem, you can make a situation where they might overstretch. So sometimes they might not build a construction panel to the right height. So they might essentially get a box or they might stand on some of the top of the scaffolding to just do the ladder.
Exactly. You know, and these are the sort of things that seem so innocuous and can cause that fall and that report could put it instantly. And so so what we did was we started to try and understand why this was happening. And there was a variety of factors. And some of them, if not all of them, were very, very human and behavioural. So the first one is that our brains sometimes play tricks on us. And imagine if you've got these cornets and you've been doing it for 20 years and you've never had it, but then your brain convinces yourself that it's safe.
It basically says, look, you know, and it's just that one time they haven't done it yet. Or it might be quite interesting as you get older, like your core strength, we know that core strength. Yeah. Essentially, because, you know, essentially what it feels like. But actually, your body might not be able to behave like it did when I was 22. You might overstretch when you're 50 and remembering something did in your 20s and 30s and you're like, yeah, that's that's not true.
Exactly. Exactly. And then and then the other one is so you've got this habit and essentially, I suppose this consistency that you've been able to do what to do. And then the other one is kind of let off in the working environment, will have 20 year olds, 40 or 50 year olds and that kind of. Normalises some of these behaviors, so sometimes the 20 year olds will see the 50 year olds doing it goes well, doing 30 years, they must know what they're doing, they're OK.
And then the 50 year olds, because they're doing it and the 20 year olds, they see the 20 year olds see them that make you feel good, you know. This is what they're doing and it's never been a problem. So since you got this notion of normalization behavior, she got habitual behavior, a normalization of behavior. That's a mantra.
When you get Graddick, then you switch over to the now the culture of our organization and therefore those little things become normalized, like you're saying. And now it's not a one off event. It is actually the culture of the organization at that point.
Yeah. And these are kind of implicit implicit level of the culture. So these aren't expressed by anybody. They just kind of at a subconscious subconscious level. And then the other one is which, you know, tends to be more prevalent within guys. But, you know, guys, guys. And then when you get lots of guys together, then this is what a lot of comaraderie, very Kleeger. But there's also kind of sometimes a little bit of overconfidence and sometimes hubris that comes with it.
And and testosterone plays a key factor. We know that testosterone is a hormone. When bubbles are high, it presents us with a higher appetite for risk. And that's really important, you know, in times of stress and anxiety, what we do have to fight off, like these sorts of hormones are really, really important that allow us to thrive and survive. But actually, you know, that sort of feeling like, you know, with a group of guys who do these types of jobs, which because sometimes, I suppose susceptible to a level high level of risk, just because our hormone levels are high.
And this has been evidenced in lots of different sort of working environments where testosterone levels have been taken and then people have looked at what they're at risk. So so we had that was kind of like bringing together, I think, the psychology through observational work and conversations. And there's something really this is something we like. This wasn't just to clarify. This wasn't on site at the moment, Sindel. We were chatting with some interviews with some of the guys and and they were saying that what is interesting is when health and safety people often come around, there's often some some kind of code or language that's used to essentially switch people from that culture of cutting corners to essentially doing everything right while living.
What does anyone have? A limited screwdriver. And that's code for here.
Yeah, exactly. So in this instance, it was Kilimanjaro and essentially that that was the signal. And and it's just, you know, health and safety walking around. Thank God this is a really good picture. And actually there's just this signal that's flying around. And so we of kind of aware of that so and so. And often that's kind of like because health and safety generally are going to come with a penal compliant system, essentially going to be looking for things aren't being done well and penalized perhaps.
And we know that the fear based sort of anxiety inducing strategies can change behavior, but it's less likely to work in a sustained individual because it's actually easier for them to go ahead and do the punishment than punitive or versus truly understanding a behavior and finding out. All right, what was this trigger that created this thought, that created this behavior? And that becomes harder to do. So they go to the punitive.
Absolutely. Absolutely. Exactly right. And so we thought through that and that's when we talked earlier about diversification of skill sets, is we essentially brought together kind of these insights and we brought together a lot of different stakeholders. So we brought together they will be the health and safety teams, subcontractors, psychologists, behavioral designers and subject matter experts all together, and then essentially brought them into the world of behavioral science to say that actually, let's try and understand what drives people to do the things that they do.
So we talked about normalization and seeing other people doing a social norm, talked about habit and about how people can unconsciously do the same thing they've done for a long time. And so everyone's a really good level of understanding, a good two or three, three hour session. And then in the afternoon, we then started to introduce a number of different concepts which potentially could start to change behavior and then bring it together, kind of everyone's expertise in the room to go.
Well, that wouldn't work because, well, how could it work so very much? We call it participatory design, but so essentially bringing everyone together in a cooperative environment into a kind of a more of a, I suppose, and innovation type experience, but designing things with all of the different different expertise. We came out with a number of a number of different sort of interventions and with three that we actually went to experiment and it worked successfully. The first one was that kind of flip flop in the employee and the employer relationship.
So essentially was to say if we can get somebody subcontractor to actually. If they were health and safety executive for a morning, then they would see it through through a different lens and often kind of like the lens that you're looking through could change behavior. But critically, get those people to then interact with people that were doing an exhibit in poor pages. So we gave them essentially a script and a narrative that if they saw someone exhibiting maybe not looking wheels, then they would go over to that person, which might be a colleague or another subcontractor doing a slightly different job and sort of say to them, so I observe you doing this.
So why were you doing that? And do you know what the correct behavior is and why we have that behavior? And are you going to go and do that in the future and getting sort of confirmation all the way through commitment that, yes, I was doing the wrong thing. And yes, I didn't know that. Now I do. And yes, I'm going to do that. And that what happens is that our brains like to be consistent with previous actions because otherwise would be schizo, schizophrenic, essentially like to behave in ways which which are previous selves.
Behave then. And an inconsistency is and isn't something that our brains particularly particularly like. So actually, the next day, you know, imagine a situation where you go back onto the floor and you start to behave in an inconsistent way, in a way that the day before you've maybe talked to eight or nine different people.
Basically, if it pulls you out of your rhythm, as far as I'm hearing, instead of basically you now put them in a different state. So as their warning to or they used to see the inmate person, the subconscious was to be consistent to yourself, your actions or the pattern? Absolutely. And it's creating a new pattern, which you need to be consistent with yourself for, also with your other colleagues, because otherwise they'd be saying, well, you've changed your tune yesterday.
You're saying that it was right to do all these things. But I can see you doing the wrong things and that creates dissonance. And people don't like to be seen as inconsistent because inconsistency in the personality type means that you're not going to be able to collaborate with another group and be trustworthy because people don't necessarily know where you're coming from. So so consistency principle and be consistent with previous actions and like you say, shock in the system and getting them to recalibrate through to a different way.
It was kind of like a personal intervention. And what we did is we did a little bit of and I'd say a little bandaging. So you got free bacon sandwich and so on the days that you did this, you essentially spent half an hour, 45 minutes walking around the floor being health and safety executive. But you also got free bacon sandwich for your breakfast for your time. So there's kind of like kind of like a nice kind of like given that it's kind of like the personal sort of were you able to do this?
I know sometimes we say to to create a habit, it takes roughly one to three weeks or something at 21 days, I believe, for a habit. So is this something that you guys are able to see within a short intervention period or you're looking at this for over a month or two months or something similar to that?
Yeah, it's a very good question. So we actually did like a 16 week experiment. It was four weeks worth of free baseline measurement and then 12 weeks of intervention. And we did we did two we did two of the things and I'll touch on those. But just on the point of habit, so again, for the listeners, there's there's quite a lot of people like specificity. I think they like to go, what's the answer to this? And the answer is that.
And it's just not true with habits. So the matter analysis done like an academic literature review of all of the Habit-forming papers, it was done about two years ago and what they identified, the amount of time it takes to create a habit to essentially the range is anywhere between 14 times and two hundred and sixty five times. And the average, the average is actually about sixty five. So, so, so. And that's where the bell curve kind of peak.
So it doesn't make the news, it's just actual events, it's just events.
Because if you think about it, the world is so complex and some behaviours are easy to exhibit and embed. And another is a really, really tough so to things like old digital things that might be like, you know, liking things on Facebook, the effort required and the frequency can happen instantaneously. You can do 14 likes in the session and all of a sudden you are this is very good. And whereas if you try and drive behaviour safety in a construction site, you know, it might take longer because there's a lot of actually contextual factors driving behaviour back to the other way.
Other people do it. You've always done it. The environment is set for that. So so I think, yeah, it's kind of, you know, that that thought around 14 to 21 times to become a habit, I think is a little bit misleading for easy behaviours that I think where the environment allows you to do that in an easy way. I think that may well be the case. But I think for the majority of new behaviours and have information.
Yeah, more like 60 to 200 times before you've really embedded in. That's kind of muscle memory, and then the second intervention we did was we reengineered and you mentioned before, Sheldon, the essentially this Peno reward system. So often there's this kind of like if you do something wrong, then something bad happened. So and they had a yellow card and a red card. So if you observed exhibiting, maybe not looking the wheels or not lock in the gate or overstretching, then essentially like a yellow card and you're off like the Dayglo, you seen the show.
They're not very happy with it. And I think you're actually come back tomorrow and I look at them. And then if you're really bad, Sheldon essentially is a red card. It's like, look, you know, essentially you're climbing on the outside of the scaffolding platform when it wasn't locked and you were over stretching back on the site, you know, just to to outrageous behavior. And everyone knows. And so essentially, that's where you get the signal in systems that we saw before they sent you.
That's the workaround. So so we looked at that. And we know that actually rewarding people for good behavior is far more motivating than penalizing people for poor behavior. So what we did is we said rather rather than just having a yellow and red card, why don't we add another card and we added a gold card. What we did is we essentially gave them a gold card, which essentially is when they passed the Health and Safety Induction training site. And if they'd been working with us as a subcontractor for like twenty five years, that's the data.
So it might be health conscious since 1995, Sheldon. OK, so that's that would be a card to be named and you'd signed it and have a commitment contract on, let's say I would follow the ABCDE checklist, which we had. And then the brilliant thing was that if you're observed doing a poor behavior, you wouldn't go straight to a yellow or red. You just get your gold card taken away just for the week. So if I saw you observed bad behavior, I'd say, show them how you go.
I'll take your call. And then what happens is on a Friday, hold this thing throughout there.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. So essentially it would, it might be in the locker jup during the day but essentially it would be taken away and because on a Friday lunchtime we had in the canteen we had like a big glass bowl and everyone at the end of the Friday everyone puts their that go in and then the site manager essentially picks out one of the gold cups and they just don't, they don't know what they're going to get. So and we know that the brain is really excited by a random variable, rewards more than essentially predictable rewards.
So not knowing what you're going to get is really exciting. That's why lotteries really so so we started to treat great reward system, which wasn't fifty pounds. You know, she was like, well I don't want you to get. So we actually did it at the same time as the we call it football, soccer, soccer, World Cup and then the soccer World Cup and the first prize of the fifty five. And you see all these Ghana winning around the world.
Exactly. And Jeff Gravens, who was the first winner, essentially won this 55 in texting. Now, the great thing about it was that obviously I was like, oh my God, oh, we've got to do the right thing to win the next election. We changed it. So next week it was kind of like Japan was a Baptist or something like that. The next week it might be. And this is a popular prize. It might be free breakfast for everybody in your subcontractor from the canteen.
So like you're the hero of the week because essentially you would free breakfast for everybody. So we randomize the rewards and sometimes we know that actually be an altruistic reward. So sometimes it might be, you know, a holiday for a family of four to six. That might be very motivating because essentially to give that gift to other people that your social network. So it's not always monetary. There's no soulless gift. Sometimes it can be even, you know, oh, my God, all of this was the genius of it was this wasn't our idea by the somebody in one of the subcontractors would say it would be more motivating.
I guess everybody must have a contract to work together. So we actually designed it such that it you can stay together. Sheldon, the two of our colleagues, if you did something bad, you lost your gold card. But everybody in a subcontractor lost a gold card, too. So so what that does is it reinforces through loss aversion, everybody is doing the right thing. So and so essentially, it's like, come on, guys, we're all going to work together.
Let's not make any silly mistakes. And let's do this and say, hey, that's because if one of these is the gold card, then we're all entered into the lottery.
So from what I'm hearing, it seems like you think you've taken Skinner's conditioning operant conditioning theory. Absolutely. I mean, you've made it modernized in the way that the workers and then true, this is a game of hide it by adding a reward system that means something to these workers and then randomize it in such a way that they don't know it doesn't become well. Become something that would be an entitlement if not done right, but you guys are actually adding subcontractor's to which no one really cares that I have seen before.
Normally, it's just my employees and the subcontractors and the subcontractors are working with your employees and they're influencing behaviors with their employees. So that's a brilliant move.
Yeah. And then this is the final thing and this is the bit that captures people's imagination. And we tend to whenever we talk about the case today, it's the bit that people generally sort of gravitate to. So I was on BBC Radio four and it's kind of where the journalist goes, but we added a really interesting contextual sort of piece to it, like we designed something which was their environment. And this is quite funny. So some of the listeners might be familiar with drunk tank pink or béchamel being used predominantly in America.
And, you know, it was done essentially in jails by Baker and Miller and some of the. So I think the jails that they were operated in this or this is in the 70s. And then I think in the 80s, I think Iowa State University, that is really, really the thing, which is they painted the opposition sort of changing rooms. But the US football, they painted it in this paint. And the thinking is that we don't know for sure because color is kind of strange psychologically.
But we think that because pink is often associated with a more feminine characteristics, that actually it has this short term effect of reducing aggression through testosterone. So this is a great debate. So what we did is, you know, those canteen's on site are normally just not very nice places to go. So there's some chairs and all that. And there might be a coffee making machine or even a small canteen, but it's not great because it's on a construction site.
So what we did is we worked in essentially the twenty eighth floor of the biggest construction on the South Bank in London and redesigned the county with kind of psychology in mind. So we put in tables which were more just nicer tables, one more round tables, so people essentially could could converse. We put plants in there so we know the access to nature can calm people down. So we literally put plants on this site on the 20th. But the critical thing is we took a lot of the health and safety messages off the wall, which essentially no one reads due to cognitive overload that they just don't read them has just so many of them.
Yeah, we paint, we painted the walls, Beacom lipping. So so essentially this kind of like paint pink color in a construction site. And we did overnight. We did it within their relaxation area where they play ping pong, et cetera. And the initial reaction was told discussed. It was like the guy just like this is excuse my language. But he said, this is shit. That's what they say. Well, that's what he's going to say.
They're not going to say it's pleases me, OK? Yeah. And the subconscious subconsciously, you know, essentially was acting as a distress or in the times when they really needed it, because the last thing they need is a horrible environment where the levels of testosterone, whether in this kind of light, sit around with each other could essentially be sustained or even go higher. And actually, this was sort of calming down. And one of the things that's really interesting, I think it goes right back to the beginning of the conversation, is it was these three different elements that we put all together.
So we don't know through the experiment we conducted which of these three was the driving force? It was a kind of a combination. And we're OK with that because again again, for the listeners is often what I like when you look at these types of inventions that can often be seen as big problems. So they need a lot of resources and their high cost solutions was actually changing in a conversation with a century health and safety that was happening anyway, just wasn't designed in that way particularly well.
The rewards in it was just a flat reward scheme that no one engaged with. So that that was really designed to make that work better. And then the canteen was just a few people to know a few plants. It was huge to actually put these three together. And then what we then did was we did a four week baseline measurement and then we did 12 weeks on site and we had psychologists going up on site for different days, different floors and different hours of the day to essentially get that variability in the data, to make sure that we were capturing kind of all of the different sort of unseen pages.
And then we did like a pre, pre and post. And the critical thing was that when psychologists were walking around, they didn't have a big bed or a high vision saying, I'm a psychologist looking at behavioral science because we know that the Hawthorne effect and knowledge being quashed and Kilimanjaro, the fact that we describe essentially all they were told was the same wellbeing experts that are here to prove kind of like of work experience for us. And little did they know that in their two front pockets of.
Is the clinkers on the left hand side? They were looking for unsafe behaviors, for working on the right hand side, it was unsafe, this material movement. And essentially they were walking around, you know, in a very passive way to people. They were measuring these poor behaviors. And what we found was there was an 82 percent reduction in those types of unsafe behaviors as a result of those, I suppose, those three interventions over a 12 month test period.
When we look at the probability, the probability factors like that, the statistical analysis to look at the variability, the dataprep based and there was a one in 69 chance that was due to terms like the peak of probability. So so it's a very, very robust method. The challenge that we often get from kind of very hard core behavioral scientists is we don't really know which of those three interventions work the best. And actually, if the pink walls might be a small part of that and we wholeheartedly agree you our view is that if we could do those three interventions and we can get on safe behaviors down by 80 percent, then I don't really care.
I really get to do it unless they really want you to start one by one taking it out and then watching it for a week or two and then take the next thing. Watch. That doesn't matter. It doesn't matter. It's exactly that. And that's an academic gig. And actually when you're on the business side. So. So, so, yeah. Myself and a co-author, April Ellacott. So we've written a book which is called Rypple and this features in one of the chapters.
So if any of the readers and listeners are interested in reading more about kind of the work we do at Cowry, we wrote the book Rypple to kind of bring it to life. And this is just one of the chapters that focus specifically there are sort of behavioral and safety, but it's fascinating. And the team really see these pieces of work as kind of like, you know, these transformational kind of life changing. And, you know, they literally are sort of I suppose maybe not saving lives because because that doesn't happen so much and certainly well in the environment we work in and we're certainly helping people have a cultural safety level which creates a good experience for them at the company.
And that can only be a good thing. And I mean, so these three interventions have now been taken on as kind of side safety sort of standards. So they've been very cooperative. However, to this construction site is it might even be like a mobile unit for the canteen. They paint the walls inside of some plants and they do the reward scheme. So, yeah. So it's it's been a fascinating experience. And, you know, the next steps for us are, you know, how do we start to maybe create sort of more, I suppose, bigger and more digital ways that we can do that.
And so we're talking to Bogon Single about, you know, rather than physical gold cards, as you mentioned, I think you might be having, like mobile phone scratchcards. So actually, we can do it across Cordner every site across the world, even we could all find an even bigger lottery. So rather than going into TV, it might be within in a Ferrari, you know, and once you pull together all of the all of the rewards schemes across all of the sites, actually there's a lot of workers and a lot of money being spent.
And actually just that chance to win something pretty amazing isn't worth the wheels for. So I would imagine this is a way of doing that. Then you can actually make your your subcontractors be, you know, your your Florida side, your London side, your parricide, and therefore all of you together are working to something great that all three of you on different continents or oceans and different countries you can actually get from the same pool if you're in the same company.
Yeah, it's exactly that.
And, you know, I think what we found certainly I don't know if you found it, but certainly through the pandemic is, you know, it's obviously restricted social cohesion in terms of physicality. But in terms of digital interactions, I think people sort of bring bringing each other together more and more. So, you know, I think I've definitely benefited from that. And, you know, like I said, I've got Curtis and Roger who have connected within the states who have great behavioral science and sort of expert Michael Barnett to some great experience of Prakash in India.
I've got Carol and Sonya in Australia, New Zealand with Shalin, New New Zealand. It's just like and then I've got like Nick David in Africa and it's just like, you know, this is a great opportunity, I think, to share these sort of learnings on more of a global a global piece, because they're really simple to execute and competitively and for my purpose.
And just in my mind, we have something here in the US and I'm sure it's global because, you know, Sydney been over in. Australia is thinking this as well. He has the whole safety differently mindset, where is there's a camp out there that says behaviourist will blame the individual versus looking at the human and organisation performance, the Harpham camp, where they say, well, it was a latent condition that human activity did. So therefore, you can't blame the human for active even condition that was latent in the organisation or in the process and procedures.
So is there it sounds to me that you're you're looking at behaviours such as the Doctor Aubrey Daniels BBS system, and it seems like that's your basis. But are you also looking at systems in these systems that will like, let's say, someone who is unlocking the wheels or they're not going and closing that gate? Is there some reward that's happening that's allowing them to keep doing that behaviour? That is some sort of underlying reward as the front line supervisor praising them for how quickly they get their work done or there's something similar to that.
You seem to that where the organisation is is leading to these unsafe behaviours at risk behaviours. Yeah.
So, I mean, I didn't touch too much, too much on it. But one of the things that we did do is I mentioned we took all of the health and safety messages off the wall, which again, we had one health and safety individual, but said they didn't want to work with us. They said we're crazy. And we were like, look what you've got so many of these things. They just happen to be, right. That's right.
So that's one of the things that we did, is we know that sort of rhyme is reason. So our brains remember things that kind of kind of kind of rhyme to the camping trip was kind of like, do you see in the UK? Yeah. And we've seen this in lots and lots of these government campaigns. So what we did in terms of the system was trying to normalise, essentially planning and preparing at the same time as performing, because performance is often seen as the job and all of the other bits around get in the way of doing the job.
So essentially you say, look, looking the wheels, you say, well, I can get to do the job quicker and you kind of go put the wheels in the job and you go, why didn't you build the construction thing to the right height? And at the going, well, I just needed to get out because we needed to fix the fixes, like the quicker and you go. But that's kind of preparing a measurement. So what we did is we had some pictures and posters on the walls that basically normalised planning and preparing and performing.
So we had a system, the set at nine, 30, 82 percent of the workforce is planning ahead for the day. And that would you had a visual of somebody sitting down in the canteen or sitting down on site in a particular area, going through kind of like what the plans were and then and then to say eleven to twenty two and sixty seven percent of our workforce are preparing. And then that would show someone assembling a construction platform where it might be and then then set in the afternoon.
Majority of people are performing. So. So when what that meant was it normalise planning and preparing as well as performing. So when you, when your supervisors were walking around rather than saying, why aren't you fixing lights performing, you could say, well, the reason I'm not doing is because I'm planning and the reason why I'm not doing this, I'm preparing. So creating a word for the activity validates the activity and then normalise. So that is really, really important.
Unless you've got a vernacular to describe the activity then isn't the thing. As soon as you give it name, it becomes a thing that can then become normalised and people feel comfortable. So that's kind of a subset of the of some of the places we put into the canteen with the pink walls and anybody one. And I don't think if I was hand on heart, I don't think that was really embraced as much as we wanted to with an intervention.
But that's certainly what you're saying. And by no means we experts in behaviour safety systems, we're not we are very much approaching it kind of from a true psychological sort of what I do know. Yeah, what I do know is that, you know, behaviour is generally set by kind of three key factors. It is a kind of a simple which is kind of personal factors. So what's going on in your own mind? Social factors, what's going through the minds of others?
How is that affects behaviour and then environmental factors like what is it in the environmental domain and the context of assessing those? I think that's as much I mean, that's the kind of some of the filters that we go through to go, you know, how much of this is the person, how much of the people and how much of it is the system in the process?
And we looked at some of these things that we went through and actually seems to me like almost the undertone of a new. A linguistic programming MLP, and I'm not saying it's all the anchoring and and everything else that you would find an MLP, but it seems like some of the some of the psychology interventions that you have also will have that effect of visual cues to ensure workers they'll have giving them the language that they could use. That's also, like you just mentioned, that's also going to make everyone think we're in it together and develop a culture and then look like that's the outcome.
But it also seems like you're you're you're instilling things that that is programming. And I'm not seeing it as you're controlling these workers by any means. But the suggestions that would be kind of similar to the neurolinguistic programming system that some people have used, you know, throughout the years in bad ways people have using it. But it seems like there is a vein of that and it's working for you. So I I'm not in any way, but it just seems like like everything is not just a randomized system or just throwing up something.
So that shows that, you know, the psychology team that's looking behind all of the intervention factors are also working for current and future behaviors right now. And and that's a good thing.
Yeah, I mean I mean, on an analogy, I mean, I think, you know, I think we kind of some of those some of those guidelines are incorrect. For example, I think it's been embraced by kind of rule the baby science in which direction. And I think that's kind of where that's our starting point. We tend not to focus so much on the MLP. I think some of the MLP, some of the I think has been developed as some sort of behavioral science that kind of we're kind of iterating as we go.
And so, yeah, I would say, you know, if the listeners can can really sort of embrace and get behind kind of able sites in niche theory. And how we might do that is a softer, softer science. Essentially, you know, we follow an ethical framework. So whenever we are doing experimentation, work will go through our ethical framework, which again is in the book that we wrote, so on our website to carry. And then we also do a premortem, which is essentially looking at the potential unintended consequences of what could happen, which again, I'm sure a lot of the listeners do selves, but we're trying to make sure that you're mitigating against some of the factors because you are dealing with people's psychology as your children, not trying to essentially what we've done or do say is it a good outcome for people not fall off these things and break their arms?
I think everyone's in broad agreement that that's a bad thing. Exactly. And as long as as long as you can sit through some form of ethical governance to get to that point, to agree that, then you can then start to to to change their behavior. And as you said, a lot of these things are redecorates in a country where reengineer rewards tend to make it motivated, make it more social. But reengineering a conversation to make sure that those people are consistent with their future actions.
And these are these are all kind of soft interventions that, as you said, sometimes could get overlooked or often can be just thrown at wall to go with some ideas. But we go through a very, very structured process to utilize academic principles, experiment, test in an ethical way to get to get the results that we do.
And that's actually what we see when I see the most whenever I go into a client. And I have to it depends on the contract, how long we have together. But when I get to a client and I have to see what's working and what's not working, I look at compliance. Yes. To make sure that they're compliant with regulators. But if I could go beyond compliance, it's even better for for the client. So I was there and I see that they have some sort of haphazard system for rewarding people.
For some part of it, they're actually rewarding at risk behavior because they didn't plan it or even know the psychology behind it. And for sure. And I'm seeing this and I'm like, hold on, you guys are doing well. And I have to kind of give them a psychology lesson. And then we work together and to unlearn some of these things. And then the behavior of the workers will change. But it takes time because you conditioned them to reward them for these behaviors and now you are chocking their system and you're going to get some rebellion from them because of that.
And it's really it's one of those things that I like how you're saying that is you're truly teaching people and showing them, you know, that it's not just, you know, give out gift cards every time you have four days or five days without an accident. You know, it's yeah, that doesn't work. But it works for a little bit, doesn't it. And the. And that's the challenge, I think, which is developing a like set a system which is, I suppose, drives and bent and sustains that the behavior change.
And, you know, and I'm sure that some of the listeners will get no special gift from jazz about the pink pink walls. And, you know, if I if I was to say if we did pull it apart, you're saying, Sheldon, if we had the luxury to go, look, we can do this for like years and test all these different things at different times at the cost of huge expense. You know, if we did do that, I really do think the reward scheme for me is kind of the motivating factor, which is just by doing a good thing and it's all working together.
We've got a chance to essentially go on holiday when we get some free bacon sandwiches, and that makes our lives a little bit better. But doing the job correctly does seem to be the motivation. And then if on top of that, we've got a really nice environment that is pink, but actually it's better than it was before, which was just an awful, dirty, horrible, horrible place. And it's a nice, nice environment. It a plant.
And actually, you know, I can point to the poster on the walls now if someone says, what am I doing, the lights up, I can say, well, you know, I'm sure I'm doing the cleaning. That's what I'm doing. I'm doing to prepare because that's what we do here. And then and certainly I think. Yeah. Can you please tell us how to reach you and if there's a way for me? Because even though I'm personally based in the US, I do have listenership globally.
So how do we reach out to you? How do we real definitely. How do we get, you know, Ripple? And then also if we need to add you to our system to see if you could be a value resource for our clients, what was the process?
Yes. So I recently wrote a report myself in April. So that's available on Amazon and all the bookstores. And Amazon is a client of ours and some people that like Amazon. So some friends prefer not to be bothered by them. So, yes, it's all over. Yeah, there's there's a website called Ripple Becomes a Ripple hyphen book dot com, which you find out more without buying the book. It's got kind of a lot of background stuff that couldn't fit all into the book.
I'm on LinkedIn, just jazz group and then the business that was the founder of or I'm the founder of is Carey Consulting, Dotcom CEO w y consulting dot com. And my email address is on that. So that's certainly that. And then if people want to engage, we're always looking for new projects and to to further the new learning. And yeah, we've got really, really good team of complementary. I think. I think one of the things that we find is quite, quite young team, what female team and always looking to to complement what already exists.
And yeah, I think if any of the listeners want to get in touch and there's a good chance.
Excellent. Well thank you so much, man. I really appreciate you taking the time out and reaching out to me and and I believe in what you're doing. So that's truly an awesome project that you're doing. And it's going to save lives, even though in some ways, you know, it's not only going to, you know, stop behaved and curb behaviours, but these behaviours have consequences. And some of them will be the ultimate consequence of a child that's going to get a father or mother coming home at the end of the day is always a project well worth it.
Yeah, absolutely. You know, and I think that's the you know, going back to that final thing about, you know, doing things ethically, you know, we're using psychology and looking for good. You know, we're just making the world better. And that means that, yeah, we can sleep straight in our beds at night knowing that, yeah, we're certainly helping contribute to the communities in which we operated. So thank you for that. Excellent.
We'll have a wonderful rest of your day. I'm starting to mine. I was going to get ready for my classroom teacher.
Okay. Well, thank you so much for getting up so early for me. And yeah, as I said, yeah, half 11 at night would not be a great experience for you.
I feel really good and I'm pushing fifty next year. So when I was in my forties I was just, you know, I was getting to thirty as I should say. I was getting to the irritable mark in my forties. I'm like, oh yeah I'm done. Ten o'clock.
Yeah I know for sure. Yeah. I broke fifty last year and I'm exactly the same. Come, come five o'clock in the morning I'm open a lot but yeah.
Yeah that's me. All right. Well thank you so much. And not keep in touch Sheldon.
Bye bye. Welcome back to the podcast.
I'd like to thank everybody for listening to this one and had a good time talking to Jazz. It was really cool, just kind of getting an idea behind what the behavior based safety practical model is, because we do hear a lot about Beeb's, we hear a lot about HARP. And if you went back to my interview with Sam Goodman to Hot Nerd, I told him I'm 60 40, 60 40, I'm 60 40, happened 60, 40 years depending on the situation.
And truly, that's that's been my mindset. That's the way I even taught students, you know, 60 40. And sometimes I don't even know if I'm that. But truly, I do enjoy hearing things like that where it's fun, it's practical and some things that is completely thinking outside the box that what they're doing over there at Calvary Consulting and truly knowing that the workers are actually changing their behaviors in such a way that it's almost game of fire and fun for them.
And you heard how courageous some of those things are that they're getting. And I don't mean outrageous in a bad way, just like awesome, put me on that list. I wouldn't mind getting some of those things is pretty cool. So before we go to the tip of the week, what I do want to let you guys know is just if you have a chance to whatever device you listen to me on right now, go ahead and hit subscribe button if you're not driving and I want you to get distracted when you're driving or else we're going to have to work on your behavior there.
But you can get hit that subscribe button and just get that alert or that notice by hitting subscribe button, because I am I'm really thinking about branching out a little bit more and I'm really thinking about making sure that there's more and more episodes coming on. And the way I'm going to do that is I am thinking of going twice a week with a mini I'm kind of cheating because I'm copying a few other people's format. And I'll tell you straight up now, I am Biton your style, everybody that knows the meaning in the two episode format.
Chata to Jay Howland and Sam Goodman, you guys are inspiring me. So let's call this an inspiration there. I got to get my act together and actually do it. And I'm also going to move into more video too. So they're helping me get my act together and that as well. More Jay. Sam, I only get to see every now and then or talk to you. I have met you yet, but talk to you. But Jay.
Yeah, I'm a I'm a safety former team player. I like this format. So I really am thinking about doing this more and more, putting that out there in the universe, just putting that out there. So as far as the tip of the week, I want to step to stick to the behavioral based safety side. You guys don't hear me talking about DBS much in its in its form. But I do teach a class regarding Beeb's for the certified occupational safety specialist class.
That class actually has a BBB's model. And in that module that they have, you know, I really try to get my students to understand that it's not enough to do observations. It's not enough if you're not doing it correctly and you're not rewarding safe behavior. So the tip of the week is going to be truly look for safe behaviors, reward that, find out why people are doing these safe behaviors and then repeat that reward, then ask them, hey, you could have done something else.
Why didn't you do that? And why did you do these safe behaviors? And the thought process behind BBS's being a behavioral science is there's always a trigger that gives you a thought and then the thought is going to lead to a behavior. So you have the trigger leads to a thought, oh, it's going to lead to a behavior. So if your program of observation isn't trying to get someone to verbalize what that trigger was, then you're actually going to be fighting really hard to to decide, well, what is this individual's trigger?
I like directly before the behavior. And then you're going to end up having to get the medication after that, too, because there's still not enough for that. So you get the trigger, which leads to the thought that the thought leads to the behavior that you're observing. So just kind of break that down in your in your BBS program. And then there's also a little thing that is effectively the. See, model, there's an antecedent before the behavior and then the behavior will lead to a consequence.
So in some cases, the antecedent, I guess in all cases the antecedent is directly before the behavior. And that just means what is leading up to the trigger that is going to get the thought of the worker that says it's not OK for me to put on my seatbelt right now when I'm in this powered industrial truck or something similar and kind of figure out what that is. So that antecedent could easily be. I know we've got a safety program that says I must put on my seatbelt when I'm getting on this forklift, but I don't see anyone else in here.
That's where. And why am I going to be the only one? So I'm not saying it's that blatant, but it's there's something that is previous to the action and then the behavior itself and then the C part of the ABC mindset would be the consequence. So if it's immediate consequence, if it's a timely, immediate and severe and also it means something to this individual. So there's positive and negative consequences. So someone could actually go ahead and not do what they're supposed to do.
Safety and health best practice wise or even work rule wise or even OSHA regulation wise, and they get away with it. So that's a consequence. It worked for them. They got away with it. So that behavior gets reinforced because it actually the person got away. They they felt like, you know, this is a matter and I didn't get hurt. And that's what breaks down into two, three, four years. I've been doing this job and I've never had an incident or I've never had this thing happen to me.
Yeah, there wasn't a consequence to your here, your dummy behavior. So in this case, that's really what it's saying. That person is saying, I've been lucky for four years and I've never had a consequence, so I don't think I'm going to have a consequence today. It never happened to me. And that's the case when you're thinking of that. So the two mindsets that we're thinking here is the ABC and then that ABC is antecedent the behavior, the consequence.
And then the other thought that you're thinking for your behavior based safety is trigger behavior. Something triggered that thought that I'd get, you know, just massaged in that brain enough and then had the behavior. And so sometimes it could be closer than others. Sometimes it's a little delayed. But trigger behavior and think about that. So incorporate all those stuff into your PBS program. And then also when you're doing your actual walk through, you ever think of what's behavioral mastery to us?
Is it going to be aid safe behaviors out of ten? Is it going to be ten out of ten or whatever that percentage is? Because you have to keep the numbers right. You need those numbers in order for this program to work. It's a lagging indicator. I understand that. But if we're going to do this PBS system, so it's advantageous for you. Yes. Take those lagging, lagging indicators and then make sure that you're going to use it for good.
Don't reward them lagging indicator or else you're going to get underreporting and you get all kinds of stuff. Get yourself in this. But you want to use that as areas where we are. Here's our progressive incremental increases and then here is behavioral mastery for us. And that's truly how you're working all that stuff. All right. So if you need some extra help, then go ahead. You could get a hold of Jez Graham. He's the groom excuse me, as he is on LinkedIn.
So you just have to look up. James Groom, you could talk to any of the consultants there at Koury Consulting and contact me. You know me. So you could also reach me at Shelden and safety consultant US. And again, I want to thank everybody for listening to the show. Just like subscribe. Go ahead and check out the website Safety Consulting that. So safety consultant podcast, dot com. And if you are into becoming a safety consultant and you want to take the new and improved safety consultant blueprint course as a safety consultant group blueprint dot com, say that again, nice and clean for the record, safety consultant blueprint dot com.
And then you could take the course so that you two can find a path, a blueprint to becoming a safety consultant. All right, so that is it for this week. You'll get them. This episode has been powered by safety film.