HSEQ: The 3 Key Arguments To Convince Your Top Management

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Being an HSE or Quality manager in a company requires many competencies acquired through years of experience. One must be rigorous, a good communicator, and proactive to engage all employees and executives in your approach. The main objective is to ensure the safety of all stakeholders and guarantee a great quality of performance and the sustainability of your Quality Management System. This task represents a significant challenge for HSEQ managers.


How do you engage your top management to get financial and resource support? And how to communicate and get your message across as an HSEQ manager?

The challenges associated with the HSEQ functions


Often perceived by employees as a hindrance to the company’s development, with a role of control and repression without a real return on investment, the HSEQ manager nevertheless plays a vital role in the sustainability of the business.


This role comes with high responsibilities and ensures the balance between regulatory compliance and internal policy with productivity requirements, without forgetting issues related to the employees’ health, safety, and well-being.


Each stakeholder, whether a client, management, production managers or operators, has specific needs that necessitate consideration.


Therefore, the first major lever to engage all employees is communication:

  • Listening and considering the needs and difficulties of each individual.
  • Pooling this information.
  • Transparency on the company’s overall performance and management.
  • Teams’ participation in safety procedures.


Who is better than the operators to have the technical skills, knowledge and process specificity while being aware of the difficulties encountered? Therefore the operation teams are the best individuals and mean to work collaboratively on adequate preventive and corrective measures implementation.

A rigorous “Safety Culture”


As mentioned in our previous article “Safety Leadership”, to engage all employees in a preventive approach, it is essential to establish a real safety culture within the organisation and ensure that top management is leading the process.


Your best ally will be your communication skills, risk management, and prevention leadership. You will need to find indisputable levers to establish your management policy, whether by engaging employees in a change and evolving process or convincing top management to provide you with the resources you need to make the organisation a great model for HSEQ performance and management.


In many circumstances, corporate culture is reduced to a document shared within the organisation displaying the vision and values. Posters, paper policies, or oral communication are not enough. It’s not about displaying values relevant to most companies but trying to stand out from the competition.


The whole concept and aim are to involve and engage all stakeholders in the approach, to reflect, build, and improve processes daily. This will help with the understanding of difficulties and challenges faced in the organisation and everyone can contribute their thoughts and proposals for improvement. An internal policy must not be enforced or imposed, it is built based on regulatory, political, and technical references and frameworks.


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What are the 3 arguments to convince top management?


Financial leverage


The best way to engage your management is by seeking cost savings and productivity gains. As an HSEQ manager, you can focus on the costs caused by occupational accidents and illnesses.


  • Costs of absenteeism


You can highlight the costs of inaction by focusing on the fines and legal penalties, negative media attention, loss of productivity due to absenteeism and equipment damage, and damage to the company’s reputation.


You can rely also on concrete data to show the costs of absenteeism. According to numbers published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US, it was estimated that absenteeism cost companies around $225.8 billion. In the United Kingdom, Public health estimated the costs of absenteeism to be around £100 billion. And according to an international comparison of the cost related to occupational accidents and illnesses in European countries was estimated to be €476 billion yearly.


Therefore, based on factual data and figures, you can convince top management to invest financial resources in safety actions and measures. This will lead to fewer accidents, incidents and illnesses, higher retention rates, a gain in productivity, and the company’s reputation. All this can be shown in the sustainability reporting, and the good scores will attract additional investments.



According to estimates, companies incur quality-related costs amounting to as much as 15 to 20% of their sales revenues. This means that subpar products and services are responsible for almost a quarter of a company’s earnings being lost. In the manufacturing industry, a product failure represents a direct financial loss.


Samsung initiated a worldwide recall of all Galaxy Note7 smartphones in 2016, following numerous reports of battery malfunctions that resulted in overheating and even explosions. The company voluntarily recalled 2.5 million units, resulting in a loss of approximately $5.3 billion.


No company wants to resort to product recalls, which are a significant and expensive undertaking. By calculating the cost of poor quality (COPQ), organisations can better understand the extensive expenses linked to inadequate product performance, subpar services, and flawed processes.


Implementing a quality cost management plan requires investing in effective resources, whether human or material. This may incur a cost in terms of prevention or detection, but it will soon be recovered through the reduction of non-quality costs.


Legal leverage


Criminal liability in the event of an accident is not to be taken lightly, as it can impact the company’s financials, the reliability of its activities, and the brand image. Beyond the costs that may be incurred, the credibility of the company and its leader can be called into question.


To raise awareness among your top management, rely on publicly available case law on the internet. You can use these cases to plead for your own HSE policy advantages to avoid any legal penalties that may be caused by non-compliant equipment, procedures or anything related to the business operations.


There is nothing like a good example to illustrate your arguments to your management!


Organisational leverage


Many HSEQ initiatives typically involve laborious and time-consuming administrative procedures. Therefore, the time saved by using suitable tools such as digital technology and tools can be significant.


Centralisation and sharing of information, data analysed through dashboards, reports automatically edited and generated, tracking and monitoring of training and authorisations, deployment of a global action plan: all this is made possible through dedicated solutions that facilitate the daily work of HSEQ managers.


Take time to learn, and check client testimonials such as those made available by software publishers like BlueKanGo. You will thus have a greater impact in convincing your superiors to invest in an effective HSEQ policy.

Raising awareness among your colleagues or convincing your top management is not easy, especially when it comes to changing and evolving practices or seeking financial investments. It is up to you to find the tools that suit you and the sources of information that will illustrate your arguments. To summarise, communication is the key to being a driving force and seeking the information will convince your top management to invest in a new, innovative and successful HSEQ policy.


To convince your management, go further in managing your dashboards with BlueKanGo and its apps.

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