NRG: High Reliability Organisation

To operate safely and reliably, NRG adopts the characteristics of a High Reliability Organisation (HRO).

Personnel and management strive for the following five characteristics.

Focus on unexpected incidents
To be able to work reliably, safely and professionally in an unpredictable, dynamic and complex environment, unexpected incidents must be detected in good time. For this reason, management and workers actively focus on subtle signals. They see faults and near-faults as learning opportunities. Staff and managers report unexpected or unsafe events or problems. These reports are actively encouraged and evaluated so that we can learn what can be improved.

Do not simplify
In organisations where staff are very experienced, there is often a tendency to simplify incidents. This tendency is greater if there are many routine activities. In a High Reliability Organisation, simple explanations are not considered satisfactory. Employees conduct themselves in such a way that unpleasant consequences of unexpected incidents are prevented: people are critical of each other, listen well and enquire of each other. Routines are avoided; mutual respect is essential.

Primary focus on the operational processes
To perform well, managers and staff have proper knowledge of the business’s entire operational process. Employees are a link in the entire chain: a broken link affects the whole chain. They are aware of this. People keep each other informed about how the process is going and the current state of affairs, so that they can react flexibly and foresee potential problems more quickly.

Be resilient and tenacious
Management and staff have an arsenal of procedures which enable them to act effectively in diverse situations. This also demands continuous training and schooling. The organisation must be continuously learning. Knowledge can be utilised depending on the situation. Through formal and informal contacts and by maintaining relationships, managers and staff learn from each other and always draw attention to the most minor concern. Failures are opportunities to learn.

Have respect for expertise
Knowledge and experience are valued in High Reliability Organisations. This expertise is used in unexpected incidents. The most experienced employee takes the decision and acts. It is obviously important to know who has this expertise, to enable rapid intervention in problem situations.