Earlier this month, the second annual Jones Lang LaSalle Safety Week took place, involving 8,000 contractors and client representatives in a variety of workshops and other activities. This Asia Pacific-wide campaign was focused on promoting the importance of strong health and safety (H&S) behaviour in the workplace.
There is an escalating view on H&S in Asia Pacific. However, much of this still originates from a number of high-risk sectors. For example, most organisations in the oil and gas as well as chemical and construction sectors have stringent H&S policies in place, as the consequences of failure can be catastrophic or fatal.
In relatively low-risk environments such as the corporate office, a strong H&S strategy is often still disregarded. However, its potential impact—ranging from increased costs, reduced employee productivity and reputational risks—could be significant. Having a well-executed H&S strategy could produce a significant positive impact on the bottom line (Fig 1).
Jones Lang LaSalle’s latest Corporate Research report, ‘Making occupational H&S part of your organization’s DNA’, highlights some of the main challenges and crucial success factors when rolling out an H&S change management process. For example, how adopting best practice communication, employee participation and platform building can help avoid pitfalls derailing change initiatives. Such major barriers can be cultural (e.g., local market practice and legislation), operational (practical issues such as limitations in multitenant buildings) and organisational (lack of understanding, financial and management support).
The report also focuses on the essential position that corporate real estate (CRE) teams have in driving this change. Our 2013 Global Corporate Real Estate Survey shows that the role of CRE executives is quickly evolving. New strategic demands from the C-suite ask not only for improvements in asset and portfolio productivity, but also for placing people productivity as part of their ever-widening basket of responsibilities.
This is for good reasons. Tasked with providing a healthy, safe and productive workplace, CRE teams are uniquely placed to facilitate and drive the change management process (Fig 2). The cultural change needed to progress toward a more engaged H&S behaviour requires involvement across the full spectrum of an organisation. The accelerating collaboration between CRE professionals and other corporate functions provides them with the ability to make the required connections and to influence all parts of the organisation.
Read more about this and other findings in Jones Lang LaSalle’s report, ‘Making occupational H&S part of your organization’s DNA’.
About the author
Alex Colpaert is the Research Manager for Jones Lang LaSalle’s Corporate Research team, based in Singapore.