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May 19, 2023

Specialty Contractor
500,000 To 1 Million Worker Hours

Photo courtesy of UMC
UMC’s pride-based safety program empowers all employees to speak up and act.


Building upon its successful safety standards, UMC incorporated psychological safety into its pride-based safety program. This is a concept where people are physically and psychologically safe in their work environment. They are empowered to speak up and act, knowing that everybody is working toward the same goal and support.

One of the best definitions of an excellent safety culture, even in a chaotic situation that is in the absence of direction, in changing conditions, everybody knows exactly what to do. One of the best ways to describe this is a military rescue team in adverse conditions. Still, they go forward with confidence, knowing that they have a mission to complete and that everyone on the team is pulling for the success of the mission, and that under no circumstance will any team member be left behind. This mindset and mentality are key to having the most effective workforce possible.

Another way to describe the concept is by telling a story; every team member knows how the story is supposed to end because they’re all working together to try to make that story a reality. In a film, we often treat the workforce as extras; however, we focus on making each team member feel like a main character. The protagonist knows how they contribute and help successfully complete the mission. This is not a training program but a different way to engage individually with each team member.

It will take some time for the concept to be fully incorporated throughout the organization. UMC has piloted it with its foremen and shared the concept to its peers in industry training, where UMC has garnered rave reviews. UMC already sees a considerable change in motivation and engagement. These micro-missions keep every member driving towards common goals with unlimited support. Another aspect is that all decisions and all resources are utilized with the mission’s success in mind with 100% involvement.

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