UNLESS one is getting a bit long in the tooth and very British, the chances are that most of us are aware of the “high-five” greeting. The writer has a toddler who uses it a lot.
It’s a very American expression and much used by celebrities. Look it up in Wikipedia and you discover that it is “usually meant to communicate mutual satisfaction to spectators or to extend congratulations from one person to another”.
So, in the context of a job safely accomplished, perhaps a shift handover on a rig floor, the value of high-five should become immediately apparent. And Nabors Drilling has harnessed it to good effect in the US.
The Nabors programme was developed by Randy Smith Training Solutions, a leading US specialist in safety training, human factors and leadership training and which has satellite operations covering the North Sea (Aberdeen), Colombia (Bogota) and Egypt/North Africa and Middle East (Cairo).
In their presentation to the Houston conference, Jade Strong (special projects manager – results learning), and Rodney Foreman (HS & E director) of Nabors highlighted injuries to body parts – typically hands, head, feet, legs and arms.
They then described the clearly positive impact of the High Five programme across the company’s US operations. A 34% drop in hand and finger incidents was recorded in 2007 compared with 2006. This is, surely, an excellent start.
High Five comes across as intrinsically simple, and that’s essential if people are to be coaxed to change their ways. Training is short and obviously to the point. In any case, long, complex messages so often lost on the individual are avoided; so is the setting of objectives.
Strong and Foreman said: “This programme held the attention of the rig crews and also involved them in further steps as the programme was rolled out in individual and group participation, with the ultimate result of buy-in from the crews.”
Other notable one-liners in their presentation included “The High Five campaign, in my opinion, is a great tool”. Also, “Easy to use, easy to train, easy to advertise”.