Minimize for Simplicity, Employees Embrace the Safety Culture

My wife recently read a book by Marie Kondo called, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. As I have mentioned before, we are on a minimalistic run. In fact, we have downsized from a four bedroom, three car garage on an acre of land to a one bedroom and two bath condo on the lake (had to throw that in there). My wife began watching her series on Netflix and eventually convinced me to watch. I went in with a sarcastic approach and an “I’m only doing this for you” attitude.

After the second episode, I became inspired! Marie uses her innovative KonMari Method to help people clear out their clutter and choose joy. I prefer joy over anything else always! I wanted Marlene to fold my shirts and underwear just like Marie does. I was inspired to clean out my closet and organize my clothes. I do have regrets on getting rid of some of my shirts from the ’80s.

I will admit to feeling a little wave of satisfaction wash over me now when I open my dresser and catch glimpses of my socks, underwear, and t-shirts in all their neatly folded glory.

My excitement into decluttering fits within a more significant movement of “simplicity.” When we began to declutter and organize, I started thinking about how I needed to do the same in my approach to creating a full safety culture. I started to review how I was creating and building programs, developing training and the content of my various conversations.

What I found was my programs were too detailed, my training was too long, and my conversations were just blah, blah, blah. It hit me that long, difficult and boring procedures, training and conversations simply created a “yawning” atmosphere. People didn’t read, listen or engage. What I needed to do was minimize to simplify. Meaning, I need to create only what was required. Eliminate the fluff in words, shorten the length of documents and delete inappropriate material.

Complex and unorganized systems create a mentally cluttered approach that slows productivity and raises the risk of injury. When safety professionals take a minimalistic approach to build a culture, we quickly insert a culture of simplicity. When things are simple, people tend to embrace the process and are engaged in the results.

Here’s what you need to do simplify:

  1. Evaluate what needs to be done. A safety professional must evaluate and prioritize what is most important to reducing risk and eliminating injuries. Forgoing all other things.
  2. Define the desired outcome. What is the ultimate end result you are looking for? When creating a policy, procedure or program, make sure you have identified your desired outcome and only address items that support that outcome.
  3. Test the process. Ask for input and feedback, make any changes and then execute. Stay away from the “flavor of the month.”
  4. Communicate the expectations. Make sure your policy, procedure or program clearly states the expectations. Never leave anything to interpretation.

Marie Condo creates joy by showing people how to declutter and simplify their lives. I believe if we declutter our approach to creating a safe culture, more employees will engage themselves in the policies, procedures, and programs and embrace the change that comes around.

MInimalism is defined as “simple living.” I think simplicity is a part of every minimalistic approach. Whether it is your personal life or your work process, when you simplify your activities, you create a simpler life. Make a commitment to evaluate your current approach and do something to simplify it!

Denis is an experienced Safety Professional with multi-industry experience. He is also an Executive Director at the John Maxwell Group, a certified leadership coach, trainer, keynote speaker, and DISC Behavior Consultant. He is a passionate person of influence committed to teaching and communicating practical principles and relevant influencing techniques to change employee behaviors and ultimately reduce and eliminate injuries.  His unique passionate and emotionally driven style resonates with many, creating a passionate desire to become an effective leader.  

You can contact Denis at for information on coaching, leadership, team and culture change, DISC Behavioral consulting or to be an inspirational speaker at your next event.

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