The Sopranos Smallgoods’ Human Resource Management Portfolio

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Executive Summary

The Sopranos Smallgoods faces challenges of enforcing a workplace safety culture in its business operations. While there is a commitment by the senior management, motivation to implement the present regulations that aim to ensure workplace safety for workers is lacking. Based on this fact, this report defines workplace safety culture and the reason for embracing it in a company like Sopranos Smallgoods. In addition, it evaluates the responsibility of the company for ensuring that there is the protection of employee health and wellbeing against accidents and incidents. The protection should also help the company realize increased financial performance as employees commit more to their work because they do not spend time off work. This report offers five key recommendations for the company to follow to ensure that Sopranos Smallgoods can achieve the full benefits of its workplace culture. The recommendations are the use of model employees to enforce safety rules and promote compliance, providing sufficient time allowance for delivery of work targets, concentrating on increasing employee safety knowledge and developing safety thinking. Others include differentiating safety-related behaviors and safety outcomes, as well as increasing spending for workplace safety. The report also provides compelling reasons for the company to follow the recommendations.


Safety culture refers to the systematic prevention of unintentional occupational injuries in the workplace (Florczak, 2002). It also concerns the result of individual and group values, approaches, perceptions, capabilities, and outlook of behavior that determines the commitment to, or the proficiency of health and safety management within the establishment (Florczak, 2002). The establishment and enforcement of a safety culture is a moral obligation for managers. In addition, it is vital for organizations that aim to operate in a globalized world (Kotzé & Steyn, 2013). Smaller companies like Sopranos Smallgoods run a high risk of having safety problems because of their inferior risk management capabilities. While they may invest adequately in health and safety at the workplace, they may do so out of ignorance of the available risks (Huang, Leamon, Courtney, Chen & DeArmond, 2011).

Health and Safety Regulations, the Responsibilities of Employers

Different countries also have laws that ensure firms comply with workplace safety regulations. According to Nahrgang, Morgeson, and Hofmann (2011), the management’s commitment to health and safety in the workplace are necessary. However, the researchers clarify that management is a broad term. It can refer to different levels existing in an organization. The commitment for safety has to be available at different levels of management, including the middle management and front-line supervision levels.

Research by Tombs and Whyte (2013) explains that the principle of deterrence is missing in most corporate settings. Many organizations opt for self-regulation and internal systems of compliance when enforcing workplace policies, instead of going for strict enforcement of law (Hart, 2009). Another alternative is to go for more intense surveillance. One contributing factor to this situation is the fact that businesses are increasingly facing reduced regulatory obligations of governments unless they are operating in strictly hazardous industries. Thus, it is understandable that many businesses fail to achieve a high level of workplace safety, despite their use of appropriate regulations or systems (Parboteeah & Kapp, 2007).

How a Safety Culture Can Improve Safety Behaviours of Employees

In many companies, the indirect costs associated with workplace injury are greater than the direct costs. Therefore, there is a need for senior managers to pay attention to the issues. In fact, in many studies, such as the one reviewed by Huang et al. (2011), there is evidence to show that increased spending on workplace safety and improvement in workplace safety has a positive association with increased productivity, reduced cost, retention, and increased satisfaction among employees.

The general understanding of researchers and management practitioners is that workplace accident are due to human acts of commission or omission. Therefore, interventions must address the human element as much as they seek to avail of other techniques and resources for dealing with the problem. The interventions include offering training and other sensitization actions described in the following recommendations to increase a sense of workplace safety coherence among the employees (Hodkiewicz, 2010). A sense of coherence refers to the extent to which individuals have prevalent and dynamic feelings of sureness that their internal and external environments remain foreseeable and there is a high likelihood that things will work out, as well as sensibly be expected.

Recommendations for Sopranos Smallgoods

It is important for Sopranos Smallgoods to follow the recommendations because the company exhibits a high risk of having incidents listed in the Liberty Mutual Workplace Index of 2006 as the most common. The leading causes of injury include overexertion, falling on the same level, bodily reaction, and falling to lower levels. Others are being struck by an object or against an object, highway incidents, repetitive motions, caught in or compressed by equipment, and assaults or violent acts (Huang et al. 2011).

Use model employees to enforce safety rules and promote compliance

Sopranos Smallgoods needs to use peer sensitization programs to enhance workplace safety standards. Employees and line managers or supervisors need to have the motive to obey the safety rules and regulations. Evidence from Postlethwaite, Robbins, Rickerson, and McKinniss (2009) indicated that lower safety deeds were observed when employees had lower levels of cognitive ability and conscientiousness. As a result, it is important for organizations to exercise caution when hiring such individuals, as long as safety is a primary concern of the organization.

Provide sufficient time allowance for delivery of work targets

There is growing research evidence suggesting that although companies have appropriate policies on work policies, the plans end up failing because actual job performance is affected by workplace pressure (Goh, Love & Dekker, 2014). Workers face shorter deadlines. As they cope with the target demands, they compromise on their safety. There is a sufficient need to incorporate the impact of production pressure when making rules or implementing safety programs as Sopranos Smallgoods.

Concentrate on increasing employee safety knowledge and promoting safety thinking

If Sopranos Smallgoods focuses on increasing its employee knowledge in the consequence of unsafe workplaces, then it can benefit from individual employee motivations to embrace workplace safety. Employees will gain an understanding of why rules and other safety protocols are used in the organization and appreciate the existence of the rules. This will increase the compliance, as claimed by Roughton and Mercurio (2002).

Differentiate safety-related behaviors and safety outcomes

While the company continues to measure safety outcomes, such as accidents, injuries and fatalities to evaluate its performance regarding workplace safety, it needs also to consider safety behaviors. Looking at safety behaviors will enable Sopranos Smallgoods to come up with effective interventions that address the laxity of individual employees in observing safety rules. In addition, the company should separate the safety performance of the supervisors from their other job performance (Boone, van Ours, Wuellrich & Zweimüller, 2011). This way, the organization will be able to evaluate individual safety culture performance in relation to personal and professional attributes, such as cognitive ability and personality.

Increase spending on workplace safety

After differentiating safety performance outcomes and motivations from the rest of the business performance parameters, Sopranos Smallgoods needs to allocate more funds to realize its objective of reducing risk of harm. This action will also cause an increase in financial performance. According to research done by Huang et al. (2011) on American companies that did not consider their sizes, participating companies reported that there was an increase in more than four dollars back to the company for every dollar spent on improving workplace safety.


At the individual level, different factors influence people to respond positively or negatively and passively, in some cases, to work dangers and safety medications. The paper indicates that the fundamental psychological issues that can affect workplace safety are cognitive abilities, personality traits, and work-wellness. The results of the study of workplace safety confirm that employees who have not been involved in workplace incidents or accidents are also the ones that are most likely to have a salient high score on the sense of coherence compared to those who have been frequent victims of accidents. Based on this finding, Sopranos Smallgoods’ management must consider increasing a sense of coherence among its employees. All the recommendations presented in the report consider the fact that employee attitudes towards workplace safety are critical to the success of any intervention program used by Sopranos Smallgoods.


Boone, J., van Ours, J., Wuellrich, J., & Zweimüller, J. 2011. Recessions are bad for workplace safety. Journal of Health Economics, 30(4): 764-773.

Florczak, C. 2002. Maximizing profitability with safety culture development. Amsterdam: Butterworth-Heinemann.

Goh, Y., Love, P., & Dekker, S. 2014. Editorial for special issue – ‘Systems thinking in workplace safety and health’. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 68: 1-4.

Hart, S. 2009. Self-regulation, Corporate Social Responsibility, and the Business Case: Do they Work in Achieving Workplace Equality and Safety? Journal of Business Ethics, 92(4): 585-600.

Hodkiewicz, T. 2010. Workplace safety in action. Neenah, Wis.: J.J. Keller & Associates.

Huang, Y., Leamon, T., Courtney, T., Chen, P., & DeArmond, S. 2011. A comparison of workplace safety perceptions among financial decision-makers of medium- vs. large-size companies. Accident Analysis & Prevention, 43(1): 1-10.

Kotzé, M., & Steyn, L. 2013. The role of psychological factors in workplace safety. 56(12): 1928-1939.

Nahrgang, J., Morgeson, F., & Hofmann, D. 2011. Safety at work: A meta-analytic investigation of the link between job demands, job resources, burnout, engagement, and safety outcomes. Journal of Applied Psychology, 96(1): 71-94.

Parboteeah, K., & Kapp, E. 2007. Ethical Climates and Workplace Safety Behaviors: An Empirical Investigation. Journal of Business Ethics, 80(3): 515-529.

Postlethwaite, B., Robbins, S., Rickerson, J., & McKinniss, T. 2009. The moderation of conscientiousness by cognitive ability when predicting workplace safety behavior. Personality and Individual Differences, 47(7): 711-716.

Roughton, J., & Mercurio, J. 2002. Developing an effective safety culture. Boston: Butterworth-Heinemann.

Tombs, S., & Whyte, D. 2013. The Myths and Realities of Deterrence in Workplace Safety Regulation. British Journal of Criminology, 53(5): 746-763.

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BusinessEssay. 2022. "The Sopranos Smallgoods' Human Resource Management Portfolio." December 1, 2022.

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BusinessEssay. "The Sopranos Smallgoods' Human Resource Management Portfolio." December 1, 2022.