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102 Safety Management Systems for Airports Aviation industry associations State and local government Other airports Labor unions Local schools and colleges Institutes Other units of the airport organization Media Do not rely on getting media coverage to promote your campaign because this cannot be guaranteed. 6.3 Cascading Meetings "Cascading meetings" is a technique that allows for a more dynamic communication environ- ment that will inform employees and increase engagement by providing a clearer line of sight between their day-to-day efforts and safety issues being discussed at the airport. With cascading meetings, communications are passed down through the hierarchy in a consistent manner, and all employees have a chance to be heard as they discuss the operations and changes taking place. The objective of cascading meetings is to improve communication within the airport organ- ization. It should be a two-way process, with feedback from lower levels going all the way to the top. Discussion topics may include any safety-related subject, for example: The airport's vision, mission, values, and principles SMS processes Continuous improvement actions SOP Safety objectives and performance indicators Specific safety issues and lessons learned Safety promotion Cascading involves each manager sitting down with his/her immediate team for a series of meetings. These meetings should enable everyone at the airport to understand and become aware of the discussion topic. Suppose the airport needs to discuss its vision and values to strengthen its safety culture. The basic concept is to cascade level by level throughout all departments until every staff member understands and is committed to the ideology of the airport. In this case, the effort is normally annual or periodic extending over a number of years. Leading a Cascading Meeting The managers should lead the meetings with their teams. Using a facilitator may not be effective. In the example previously described, it is important for team members to hear about the airport's ideology from their direct leaders, who should be committed to the airport's policies and goals. When using an outside facilitator to lead The leader's purpose in these meetings is to cascading meetings, make sure you have promote discussion among team members. The a skilled person that is trusted by the leader should stay out of the discussion as much as employees. possible after the initial explanation. Talk only as necessary to keep the team members talking.

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SMS Operation 103 The leader should not give the impression that the airport's vision, values, and principles are being rammed down employees' throats. Commitment will come only after employees have vol- untarily accepted those principles following open and frank discussions. Each meeting leader should explain, give examples, and discuss what the airport's ideology means to him/her; how- ever, the leader should not engage in a long tirade about the ideology should be adopted. The Cascading Process Cascading is a top-down, bottom-up discussion process that progresses through the organi- zation one level at a time. The first series of discussions is between top managers and their next level of managers. As shown schematically in Figure 13, the Executive Director meets with the heads of departments, then additional meetings are held between each department head and the head of each section within the specific department, and so on. At the end of each series of discussions, the safety issues in the airport are passed down to the next level for discussion. Proposed changes and Cascading meetings are most effective for unanswered questions will go up until they are organizations like large hubs. Smaller airports resolved or answered. Attendees at one series of will benefit little from this technique; how- discussions will become leaders of the next series. ever, they should still hold meetings to discuss The actual number and length of the meetings their safety issues. should be determined by the local organizational structure and situation. Cascade meetings may be used within a specific department or section of the airport. For example, when discussing safety objectives of the operations department, discussion will take place among staff within the operations department. Rationale and Pitfalls Most airports have a range of communication processes in place for cascading information via meetings, email, newsletters, intranet, message boards, and so forth. But the emphasis needs to be on two-way communication. It is assumed that corporate messages are received, under- stood, and supported, but all too often, the true message gets lost in transit. Not everyone finds time to read the newsletters and emails. Executive Director 1st Level Head Head Head Dept A Dept B Dept C 2nd Level Head Head Head Head Section A1 Section B1 Section C1Head HeadSection A2 Section B2 Section C2Head Section A3 Section B3 Section C3 etc. Superv. Superv. Superv. Superv. Superv. Superv. Superv. Superv. Superv. Superv. A11 Superv. A21 Superv. A31 B11 B21 B31 Superv. C11 Superv. C21 Superv. C31 Superv. A12 Superv. A22 Superv. A32 B12 B22 B32 Superv. C12 Superv. C22 Superv. C32 A13 A23 A33 B13 B23 B33 C13 C23 C33 Employees Figure 13. Cascade meetings process.