Safety is vital to any business, but for those in the transportation industry, like Aim Transportation Solutions, it is paramount. Afterall, a single action has the potential to affect a great number of people. Aim first and foremost has always been committed to operating in the safest manner possible. However, the company wanted to take this commitment a step further by building a vocabulary around safety to further solidify it into the company culture and its daily language.
To do this, Aim held its first ever Safety Week, a week-long safety initiative that approached the topic from the top down. Aim’s safety team tasked management to engage with employees through daily discussions focused on Aim’s four core values, the very foundation of its safety-first culture: integrity, trust, accountability and commitment.
The inspiration for Aim Safety Week came from Aim Co-President Scott Fleming’s time in the Marines. During a stand-down, Fleming was involved in a week-long safety training of his own in which he communicated daily safety messages with platoon members. “I saw an opportunity to adapt what I’d learned to Aim’s corporate setting,” said Fleming. “Aim’s culture is deeply rooted in safety but this was a chance for us to bring it to the surface of our daily conversations and our daily practices.”
Fleming charged Aim Vice President of Safety Ron Bourque to launch a program based on his past experience and future vision. Bourque designed a program with the flexibility to match the diversity of each department within Aim – he gave each manager a framework from which they could tailor conversations that would relate the core values to what each department experiences day to day.
“In the safety department, the four core values have always been near and dear,” said Bourque. “We thought that rolling them out to the rest of the company in the way that we did would be helpful to further the development of our culture.”
As the program rolled out, one surprise that came to the forefront was how much interplay there is among all the values. For example, “Trust really bolsters accountability and commitment, because if you don’t trust your supervisor, the accountability, or maybe discipline, that might come from that supervisor won’t be effective,” said Bourque. “So, in the spirit of maintaining accountability, we really need trust as one of those foundations.”
One of the biggest successes to come out of Aim Safety Week was the feedback received. There were around 30 to 40 suggestions on how to both grow safety week in future years as well as suggestions on how to cultivate a safe and positive work environment in our daily practices.
“As we work through those suggestions and comments, we’re not only building a safer environment for our employees, but we’re building trust and letting them know that we’re addressing their concerns,” said Bourque.
Plans for Aim Safety Week 2021 and beyond are to push for bigger, better and brighter. As Bourque put it: “Safety is a journey, and commitment is about being in the business of keeping people safe over the long term.”