The seven cultural characteristics have all been carefully chosen to help your organisation be high performing and create a positive, safer environment for all. You can read about the different characteristics below and download a guide for each to help you think through how you can improve this aspect of your culture.
If you have already completed the Organisational Culture Assessment, you should use the bespoke report to help you identify priority areas to focus on.
Safeguarding, child and human rights prioritised
Everyone has economic, social, and cultural rights. As well as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights – which applies to everyone - there are some specific rights that apply to groups of people who need greater protections, such as children, people with disability, and women and girls. Prioritising human rights means doing everything you can to make sure rights are respected. An organisation that actively prioritises safeguarding and human rights, is far more likely to understand and respond to risks and concerns.
Accountability links to safeguarding in lots of ways. It is about leaders taking responsibility for safeguarding in the organisation. It is about everyone understanding their shared responsibility to create a safer environment by behaving appropriately and challenging poor behaviour. It provides a check and balance to power – and abuse of power is often at the heart of safeguarding cases.
An inclusive organisation values everyone, treats them with respect , and welcomes a diverse range of inputs and opinions. This means everyone feels listened to – on general issues facing the organisation – and on safeguarding concerns as well. If people feel included, they are more likely to trust and use the systems you have to safeguard them. And if those systems are built with input from a diverse range of people, they are more likely to work for everyone.
When people feel psychologically safe in an organisation, they are more likely to feel safe to challenge poor behaviour, whoever is behaving badly, from the most senior to the most junior. They are also more open to admitting errors and learning from them, as well as taking the initiative – which will help your safeguarding system get even stronger. Finally, people who feel safe are more likely to reach out for help when they need it.
An organisation that fails to learn, is likely to repeat mistakes that may lead to harm. Learning from experience, from other organisations – and from safeguarding cases – is essential for an organisation to strengthen their approach to safeguarding. Individuals also need to learn and develop in their roles, to be more effective, including in relation to safeguarding.
When decisions are shared widely so that staff and athletes can understand them, when information is readily available for everyone, and when an organisation is open to outside scrutiny, it is much more likely that gaps are noticed and addressed, and that people have the information they need to recognise safeguarding risks and concerns.
Safeguarding concerns often arise when something has fallen between the cracks. An organisation that encourages collaboration between teams, leaders and with outside organisations is less likely to have those gaps that can be exploited to harm and abuse.