Many of you know what it is like to receive a CSD report. The first thing you see is the scores. But what if the scores are low?
It appears that on board some vessels, the crew feels uncomfortable and wavering/uncertain when they get a CSD report with low scores. It raises questions like:
Handling low scores can be sensitive and difficult. Therefore, people often ask us: What should we do about the low scores?
Our suggestion is to involve the crew and discuss the low scores during the crew dialogue:
By involving the crew in the discussion and analysis of the scores, the on board leaders show that they are open to crew feedback and genuinely interested in the crew’s opinions and views. This is an important step towards creating an open and trusting atmosphere on board.
Safety Delta is about developing the safety culture, not about getting high scores
“My Captain now doesn’t mind if we get low scores in the CSD. What’s important to him is that we put our honest answer.”
It is our impression that many on-board leaders do a good job handling the low scores in a constructive and positive manner. However, also a few worrying stories have reached us:
One unfortunate crew member has shared this story, which shows how handling low scores in a poor manner can have severe consequences.
“The Superintendent came on board and asked all crew why we have a very low score in the CSD report. The Captain answered on our behalf and told the superintendent that we did not understand the questions. Honestly, I understand the questions, I did not speak anymore.”
The Captain’s reaction is very concerning, as it undermines the crew’s answers and disclaims the entire CSD report. The reaction is counterproductive in terms of establishing an open and trusting culture where the crew dare speak up and answer the survey honestly.
In our view, low scores should actually be appreciated: Low scores are a sign of a healthy and honest culture, where the crew dare answer honestly and be critical towards their own safety culture.
So, next time you get a CSD report with low scores, look at it as an honest foundation for discussing and identifying relevant development initiatives together with the crew.
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