Non Punitive Policy
NOTE: This post is from one of our frequent contributors to this blog, "Birdseye59604."
A non-punitive policy is not a "get out of jail free" card or an organizational excuse to deliver inferior quality job performance. A non-punitive policy represents accountability and excellence.
A Safety Management System (SMS) includes a non-punitive policy as a tool to collect operational data and establish an open communication door. It is possible that an organization drifts away from quality and fall into a trap that there is not enough time to do the job right, but that there is enough time to do the job twice. A non-punitive policy is a tool to discover operational drift and quality of service, since customer service is variable with operational decisions made by employees.
In a non-punitive environment there is a just-culture, or a safety culture of how to apply a job performance tool to instil employee accountability.
Simplified; a just –culture are categorized into 3 areas;
a) Human behavior, or Human error as a negative input
b) At-risk behavior
c) Reckless behavior
Human error is when a person applies an action that is different than the normal procedure. E.g. an airport vehicle operator has a plan of action to stay between the marked boundary lines, but unintentionally moves across an assigned line. Crossing this line is a reaction of a person in response to an external or internal stimuli.
At-risk behavior is when a person makes a decision to deviate from a procedure. E.g. an airport operator has a procedure in place to stay between the marked white lines when travelling from one point to another point. However, the vehicle operator makes a decision to deviate from the marked boundary lines and take a different route.
Reckless behavior is when a person makes a decision to put someone or something in harms way. E.g. an airport vehicle operator crosses the boundary lines, speeds towards equipment or people and then makes a sharp turn to avoid contact.
Accepting at-risk behavior leads to behavioral drift. Two stop signs on a two way road implies it's a one way street.
With a non-punitive policy in a just-culture a possible Corrective Action Plans (CAP) applied to these human, organizational and environmental factors, are to console human error, coach at-risk behavior and punish reckless behavior.
When CAPs are completed, apply a cost factor of time spent on organizational behavior reports to analyze how human factor incidents affects the profit margin. Without a non-punitive policy organizational behaviors are unknown and hidden costs.
Reckless behavior is to use a vehicle not suited for the job or condition.
In a just-culture employees know their duties, roles and responsibilities and are able to make choices which delivers high quality customer service.