The aviation industry has reached an unprecedented safety level. This is an outstanding achievement taking into consideration that global air traffic is on the rise and every new aircraft becomes technically more sophisticated. Of course, one of the reasons for this achievement is superior technology. However, without a crew that performs well technology would be useless. A considerable body of evidence indicates that one reason for this strong safety track record in aviation is due to airlines conducting Crew Resource Management trainings as means to improve team performance. Initially inspired by management as a team development intervention, Crew Resource Management has become a de-facto standard in the aviation industry. Is it time for management to re-adapt what the aviation industry has developed to the next level?
In investigating accidents, most professionals determine that many of the reasons why they occur is due to human error. However, research shows that most accidents occur due to a failure in systems rather than people (Reason, 1990). This CQ Dossier describes how the utilization of a systems approach can reduce workplace accidents.
This CQ Dossier focuses on how organizations can effectively use High Reliability Teams to promote safety. Effective teams are social in nature with team members having high task interdependency and shared, common values (Salas, Cooke & Rosen, 2008). High Reliability Teams have the ability to promote safety through task-relevant knowledge, high levels of communication, and adapting to the environment. This dossier describes why High Reliability Teams can promote safety and the importance of safety promotion through teams.
High Reliability Organizations, also called HROs, manage to consistently deliver high performance over a long period of time in an extremely challenging environment. Learning the hard way is no option for HROs as they operate in areas where any mistake can have severe consequences. On top of this HROs manage to quickly adapt to changing circumstances and come up with innovative solutions to complex problems (Bierly et al. 2008). As managers from the private and public sector we were wondering what lessons we could learn from HROs. Starting from here, we had a look at research and theory behind HROs and derived five evidence-based practices you can implement in your organization.