The occupational environment covers an essential component of human life. Therefore, organizations should implement safety and health programs to foster a safe and healthy work environment. Providing a conducive workplace environment creates healthy, satisfied, and motivated employees, who enable the achievement of positive economic outcomes, sustainable competitiveness, and profitability, and contribute to economic growth and social development on a national, regional, and global level. Exxon Mobil Corporation is one of the world’s largest energy providers and chemical manufacturers, providing energy that supports growing economies and enhances living standards globally. This paper explores the role of leadership skills, workplace teams, and partnerships in improving safety and health and assessing and reducing hazards.
Managers are the prominent persons to design and improve working conditions that guarantee employees’ safety and health. Although executives plan, lead, coordinate and control work activities, they largely influence general working demands and control and social support, which strongly affect workers’ health. Therefore, since leadership skills are essential in managing health and safety in workplaces, leaders should have several traits, including communication, creativity, delegation, and motivation, which enable them to interact with their subordinates freely. Accordingly, leadership skills influence working conditions and allow leaders to decide on changes needed to improve the workplace and work environment (Cooper, 2015). Additionally, leadership skills enable managers to foresee how various strategies and policies can promote health and safety. Moreover, they allow leaders to lead by example, take total commitment towards safety issues, and regularly conduct risk assessments. Consequently, these aspects assist in determining the level of safety and health within an organization.
Excellent communication is one of the leadership skills that contribute to the management of safety and health in Exxon Mobil Corporation. Effective verbal and non-verbal communication is key to ensuring a healthy, safe, and productive work environment in an organization. As Chikono (2017) explains, leaders should have good communication skills to ensure vital information is understood. As Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety Manager in Exxon Mobil, communication skills help me communicate the expected standards and goals for safety and monitor and recognize negative and positive safety behaviours. As a result, holding communications has enabled Exxon Mobil to manage safety and health issues affecting the workers and reduce injuries reported.
Delegation skills have also contributed to the management of health and safety issues in Exxon Mobil Corporation. These skills allow leaders to ensure that certain duties are assigned to specific individuals who have the required expertise and experience to operate particular equipment and systems (Mathebula & Barnard, 2020). In Exxon Mobil, delegation skills help create a collaborative work environment as it enables administrators to ensure that everyone on their team knows their contribution towards a project. Additionally, these skills would allow leaders to bring out the best in their employees and improve certain areas. Moreover, delegation will enable managers to save time as it decreases delays in achieving tasks. Consequently, these skills have helped Exxon Mobil manage health effectively and reduce the number of reported injuries significantly.
While creating a high-performance workforce has become vital, leaders must inspire their employees to perform beyond their task requirements. Consequently, new leadership concepts, including transformational leadership, have emerged. Korejan and Shahbazi (2016) explain that transformational leadership motivates staff to become responsible and perform exceedingly. Leaders with this style understand workers’ needs and encourage and inspire their subordinates to innovate and create change that will positively contribute to their future success. Although transformational leadership does not assign duties from the top, it develops employees’ potential to understand the organization’s main aspects. Thus, transformational leadership encourages workers to find other innovative ways of attaining goals.
As a manager at Exxon Mobil, I would apply transformational leadership concepts to manage health and safety issues. For example, I would use inspirational motivation, which refers to the extent to which leaders can inspire confidence and motivation in their followers to encourage them to perform beyond expectations, to ensure I have a clear vision for the future, communicate expectations of the group, and show commitment towards the attainment of the safe and healthy work environment (Korejan & Shahbazi,2016). This application will reduce confusion among workers and encourage them to put more effort into their duties. Consequently, the personnel will significantly contribute to the enhancement of Exxon Mobil’s safety and health program.
I would also apply the individualized consideration concept of transformational leadership. Since every employee has specific needs and desires, I would use individualized consideration to recognize these needs, listen to their concerns, offer the needed support, remain empathic about their situations and backgrounds, and reward them for their creativity and innovation (Korejan & Shahbazi, 2016). Additionally, I would use this concept to understand how the workforce perceives safety and health issues they face while at work. This concept will help me better understand what needs to be changed and the challenges employees face while implementing the required changes.
As the Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety Manager for Exxon Mobil Corporation, I would also apply transformational leadership’s intellectual stimulation concept to effect change in safety and health programs. According to Korejan and Shahbazi (2016), this concept requires transformational leaders to involve their subordinates in the decision-making process and stimulate their efforts to make them as creative and innovative as possible. Therefore, I would apply this concept at Exxon Mobil to challenge assumptions, take risks, and solicit employees’ ideas. As a result, I will ensure that I implement only the best ideas to enhance the company’s safety and health program.
I would also apply the idealized influence concept of transformational leadership when a change is needed at Exxon Mobil Corporation. As Korejan and Shahbazi (2016) note, this concept enables transformational leaders to become positive role models who demonstrate a charismatic personality that inspires others to become leaders. By applying this concept, I will ensure I lead by example, take risks, and follow the organization’s core values and ethical principles. Consequently, I will manage to build trust with my subjects. In turn, the employees will develop confidence in me, which will allow easy implementation of safety and health programs in the corporation.
Although employees perceive risk assessment as a managerial task, Exxon Mobil’s workforce can play various roles in assessing reducing hazards that are resulting in injuries. For example, they can recognize present or anticipated dangers and report them to the management to ensure they are prevented before they occur. Additionally, they can conduct periodic inspections in their work sections to identify new or recurring hazards. Employees can also categorize similar injuries, illnesses, and incidents to determine their underlying causes and safety and health program’s shortcomings. Moreover, workplace teams can alert their supervisors or managers about perceived risks if they do not understand the required measures to reduce these risks. Furthermore, workers can cooperate to enable leaders to foster a safe working environment. Besides, workplace teams can provide feedback concerning the already implemented safety and health programs’ effectiveness to identify where they need improvement (Wachter &Yorio, 2014). As a result, Exxon Mobil will effectively manage and reduce hazards that have led to the recently reported injuries and minimize absenteeism.
As a manager at Exxon Mobil Corporation, I would use various strategies to motivate workplace teams. For example, I would use positive reinforcement by acknowledging the employees’ contribution to the implemented program’s effectiveness and thanking them often. Additionally, I would utilize workers’ feedback to re-evaluate the safety program and make reasonable and necessary changes the teams recommended. Moreover, I would set clear goals and vision and explain them to the teams to help them understand their contributions to achieving the objectives (Mattson, 2015). Consequently, the implemented safety and health programs will be enhanced, and the reported cases of injuries will be significantly reduced.
Government agencies will perform various roles in preventing health and safety risks to workers and dangers to the surrounding community. They will establish regulations and outline the requirements that companies should follow and meet, such as ordering all organizations to install protective equipment like fire extinguishers. Additionally, government agencies will ensure the communities have enough resources, such as medical screenings, to aid the implementation of safety and health programs.
These establishments will offer medical services to community workers when needed.
Media organizations and healthcare facilities are the two community partners I would keep informed about emergencies. Media companies would ensure that the involved communities get timely information about the crises and overcome the situations. On the other hand, healthcare establishments will offer the needed medical services and educate the victims on how they can protect themselves and improve their overall wellbeing.