Bright ideas to engage our... older gentlemen workers in H&S
I love the pockets of resistance, they have practical points of views about situations... once you can get them talking. I will generalise and say that these groups are problem solvers and don't like being told what to do. So present a problem and get them to solve it.
I recommend a consensus approach. Consensus is not 100% agreement, it is a right to have your say and be heard, but the majority still rules. They might not be able to vote on what the end goal is, but they get to choose a path to get there.
I ran a workshop with a lot of older gentlemen, I targetted one that walked in with that glint in his eye (aka the troublemaker). After introductions, I then specifically invited him to play a particular role in the upcoming discussions of being grumpy and cantankerous even though it was likely to be contrary to his calm and kind demeanour. How could he refuse!
This achieved two things:
1. a bit of laughter to start the meeting,
2. and it gave me the right to check in with him on sticky issues to get the 'other' point of view.
We had a great open and honest discussion because it wasn't expected that everyone was going to play nicely. People had a right to be grumpy but to exercise that right they had to speak up which lets you explore where the obstacles are to achieving the desired outcome.
From there, lead the group discussion to where you want it "I hear what you say about obstacle xyz, so given obstacle xyz how would you achieve goal abc?"
"I've been in the industry 30 years... (and so on)" You: "That's awesome! Then how would you achieve goal abc, particularly with less experienced people involved?"