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Team collaboration

Everyone home safe every day

Network Rail has made a safety promise to employees; to get ‘Everyone Home Safe Every Day’. Our behavioural change management programme helped to embed this promise across Network Rail and transform safety standards.

  • Service 1

Network Rail (North West and Central)

  • Service 1


  • Service 1

2021 - 2022

Key features and benefits


people participated in our listening exercise, designed to provide open and honest insight into daily safety challenges faced


sessions delivered, ensuring we gained a broad reach of opinions from frontline staff, senior leaders, and a range of teams

One leader’s BIP led to an 80% increase in communications with their team about the management of internal incidents

The insights informed the development of a behavioural change management programme which has improved safety techniques and decisions

In addition to the survey data, 1,600 verbatim comments were documented and used to inform our findings

The challenge

Network Rail’s North West and Central region is undertaking a safety revolution over a period of five to fifteen years. This commitment is set out in its safety promise to employees, to get ‘Everyone Home Safe Every Day’. Drawing on our behavioural science expertise, Costain is helping Network Rail to drive improvements in standards of safety.

Initially, Network Rail wanted to understand the challenges its people face daily when it comes to safety. The infrastructure owner wanted to hear from employees about internal factors which help colleagues to work safely, as well as identifying anything preventing best practice.

Costain was brought in as an independent party to enable Network Rail to obtain honest and open feedback from its people. Part of a two-step process, our initial ‘listening exercise’ produced great insight by providing qualitative and quantitative data. The findings were subsequently used as the foundation for our behavioural change management programme, which is currently being implemented on behalf of Network Rail.

Listening exercise

We adopted a collaborative approach from the start – working together with our customer to prepare a consistent set of questions for our ‘listening exercise’. The surveys were conducted between January and February 2021.

Interviews were conducted virtually in small groups, via Teams, across the North West and Central region. Each session set out to determine the existing safety culture. A range of employees were asked about their views, opinions and experiences of assurance, capability, communication and risk.

To ensure we gathered both quantitative and qualitative data, we supplemented the core questions with a small number of additional questions. These additional questions were tailored to the individual’s role. For example, frontline staff were asked if they felt they had the right tools, materials and time to do a job correctly, and whether people “do what they say they will do”. This resulted in 1,600 verbatim (anonymised) comments being recorded, collated and studied by Costain, to supplement the core survey data. Focus groups took place, as needed, between 04.30 to 00.00 hours, to fit around employee shifts and ensure the sessions did not interfere with their work.

Delivering behavioural change

Based on the findings, we produced a comprehensive report, with clear recommendations for areas Network Rail could target to help achieve its safety strategy. Working together, we rolled out Costain’s proven behavioural management programme to leaders, giving them the skills, knowledge and tools to create behavioural change and deliver new standards of safety.

Participants receive coaching from Costain to help them think about the sustainable behaviour changes required and how that aligns to the company’s safety promise. The course requires them to complete five modules examining behaviour, consequences, feedback and shaping. The shaping phase involves having a goal, identifying the steps towards the goal and reinforcing progress. It is assessed by online coursework and participants achieve certification on successful completion of the training.

The outcome

Teaching participants about human behaviour and successful interactions based on data and evidence empowers them to bring out the best in their people. Leaders put these learnings into practice by creating a bespoke workplace behavioural improvement plan (BIP), which they are then responsible for delivering with their teams. Leaders work within their consequence chain – addressing topics they can influence and changes they can implement. One leader’s BIP led to an 80% increase in communications with their team about the management of internal incidents.


Learn more about Costain's behavioural change management programme

“Behavioural management has allowed our leaders to understand the environment they create and behaviourally engineer a new one. This has not just improved our safety decisions but allowed us to be more holistic and understand that ‘safety behaviour’ does not happen in isolation. “We are now monitoring the benefits of the behavioural change projects and we are creating our next phase of the plan with the aim of having sustainable and behavioural plans across our region to help our people succeed.”

Nick Jordan, Head of HSE Improvement NW&C, Network Rail


Contact and social


Lee Davies, Client director
01628 842 444
[email protected]