5th February 2025
Hilton London Canary Wharf
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Leadership: Assessing your own values and performance

Matt Powell-Howard, NEBOSH Head of Product Development, talks about how we can assess our leadership performance...

To be an effective manager you need leadership skills – otherwise you are just overseeing tasks and making sure deadlines are met. As a health and safety leader, your leadership skills can influence, inspire and motivate others to behave in safe ways. 

Leadership values

Organisational psychologists at the Health and Safety Executive – Great Britain’s regulator – identified a set of values associated with health and safety leadership excellence:

  • Shared vision 
  • Being considerate and responsive 
  • Providing support and recognition 
  • Promoting fairness and trust 
  • Encouraging innovation 

Two ideas to help evaluate your leadership performance

  • Talk to the workforce
    Our perception of ourselves may be very different to the perceptions of others. Diarise time to talk to workers to find out how you are performing. Assure them there will be no recriminations and ask open questions, for example, “What one thing do you think I could do to make me a better leader?” Listen to the response.
  • Self-reflection
    Give yourself time to consider your actions and your behaviours; could you have done anything better or differently? Undertaking regular CPD will give you ideas to improve your performance. 

Managing by walking about (MWBA)

Although it’s a simple premise – and may well feel informal to the workforce – MWBA can be very effective. Before you begin, consider: 

  • Frequency
    Establish and stick to a schedule. Regular, positive encounters can encourage engagement. 
  • Format
    Think about questions in advance and build off the answers to keep the conversation flowing. Good questions often start Tell, Explain, Describe, Show, What, How, Why.
  • Lessons learned
    Document your findings – this preserves information, can be shared with others and provides ideas for the future. 
  • Take action 
    If there are no outputs, the workforce is less likely to engage with you in the future. Of course, not every worker suggestion can be delivered, but let them know and explain why.

Some of this guidance is taken from the NEBOSH HSE Certificate in Health & Safety Leadership Excellence: www.nebosh.org.uk/leadershipexcellence

Visit NEBOSH at the OSH Forum by booking a 1-2-1 networking meeting.


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