Systemkey Success story: Motor Vehicle Training

Abstract: Battelle Pacific Northwest  experienced a ZERO accident year in motor vehicle accidents between 1991-1992. This large scale intervention, increasing driver attention and motivating safe driving behavior, was conducted with a staff population of ~3300 drivers across 38 states using the Systemkey™ business process framework developed by Matthew Weilert, founder of Systems Thinking Institute LLC (STI) and publisher, STI Press. These results do not imply endorsement by the US Department of Energy (DoE) or any other government agency.

The Problem

Battelle’s Pacific Northwest Laboratories Division (PNL) led all DoE in motor vehicle accidents. This was as much a “political capital” as an economic issue.

The Solution

Using the Systemkey business process framework applied to specific motor vehicle requirements, Battelle achieved an accident-free year, [no ‘reportables,’ or incidents resulting in greater than $500 damage total including labor costs] within the first 12 months of program implementation.

A customized approach was key, getting away from bland, twice-yearly “Show-up & Sign” sessions in the main auditorium with over 180 per session. Establishing strong working relationships with divisional secretaries, the researchers’ right arm, was a second vital link in the chain. Probably the most important was dropping class size to a maximum of 30 and boosting the number of sessions, so group interaction was more intimate, people felt their voice would be heard, figuratively as well as literally.

Diversity in content delivery helped as well: we taped a driving skills review session, covering local terrain and traffic patterns as well as specific DoE and Washington state regs, which third shift work teams checked out to fulfill their training objectives. Conversations occurred frequently in off-plant settings, proving that the message was reaching all levels of the staff.

Personalization is the Key

For the independent researchers scattered across the US, we took a novel—and very effective—approach, based on the remarkable results Battelle achieved. We contacted the Motor Vehicle departments of every state where PNL has staff, and combined this basic text with a customized, personally addressed letter to the staff member. All offsite staff were followed up to make sure they read and understood the material and the goal of an accident-free year.

Achieving our goal shows these individualized messages carried high credibility, creating a great sense of personal responsibility which collectively produced stunning results. The Systemkey framework drove risk reduction (no pun intended) beyond the “Assess, Document and Train” model, delivering a compelling series of messages which convinced roughly 3300 people spread across 38 states to make personal daily decisions to change previous driving patterns and meet the company target of an accident-free year.

Systemkey works with YOUR data, but more importantly it works through your people. It can work for you, if you work it through.

For more information, or to put the power of Systemkey to work in your organization, contact us, or e-mail Matt Weilert to get your whole management team scheduled for a Fabric of Facts Focus Session.

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