‘Beautifully balanced’: KLM staff as ambassadors of safety culture

Security is a theme that plays a crucial role in countless businesses, whether this concerns physical or digital security. So, you're bound to want to know whether your employees have taken that security awareness to heart. In particular, you want to know whether they also act accordingly.




Public Transport


Tomorrow minded people

Date published

4 maart 2021

theme tomorrow minded people

Reducing the number of security incidents

If security is a truly deciding factor in an industry, that industry is aerospace. KLM looked for ways to reduce the number of security incidents concerning sick leave – they were already among the top of safe airlines. This resulted in KLM asking Conclusion to develop a programme that went above and beyond e-learning. To that end, we expanded the role of human intervention in security – known in professional jargon as Human Factors – to create a future-proof, security-aware team.

An app as an instrument of change?

Within our ecosystem, this specific customer request was linked to our knowledge and expertise about didactics and behavioural change. Based on this assignment, we came up with a suitable project name with its own branding, designed a complete programme with a physical awareness campaign, an app to raise the bar, and consolidated insights gained on return days. We also created a movement among employees: “Zo doen we dat bij KLM!” (This is how we do it at KLM) For our efforts, we received the GOLD prize for the best learning technologies project in the commercial sector at the prestigious international Learning Technologies Awards in 2020.

State the priority demand

Veilig&Vlot (Safe&Quick): That’s the name of our project for KLM. With it, we state the priority demand that influences which actions KLM employees take each day. They have no shortage of knowledge on safety protocols – it goes without saying that nobody starts their workday with the intent of working in an unsafe manner. However, safety and getting on with the job (efficiency) are constantly competing for prioritization in the hustle and bustle of daily routines. Quickly getting that suitcase into the luggage hold before the plane departs may contribute to customer satisfaction – which naturally increased – but it does not contribute to Human Factors.

Balancing safety and speed

KLM employees continually make decisions under pressure. This pressure does not mean choices between ‘on or off’, but rather in the large grey area between safety and speed. To reduce the number of safety incidents, employees must understand how their actions affect safety. We wanted to give them a better feeling for the right choices in both known and unknown situations, while also recognizing the context of their work. Because it’s not that easy.

Learning based on everyday dilemmas

We opted for a three-phase campaign process.

  • Phase 1: we kicked off with a multimedia awareness campaign, focusing on the entirety of the ‘Ground Services’ chain at Schiphol. The campaign tasked employees with responding to safety at work and to the impact for themselves through the use of entertaining tools such as an old-fashioned camera, narrowcasting on all screens, and stickers on tables to map the KLM chain.

  • Phase 2: the launch of an app called ‘Veilig&Vlot’, in an accessible, Tinder-like environment. We showed employees categories of hundreds of dilemmas that they recognized in their day-to-day work and which were both selected with the input of employees and assessed by safety experts. For each dilemma, the user was tasked with swiping ‘yes’ or ‘no’ and they were also offered an ‘escape’ option for when they didn’t know what to answer. This made it safe for employees to provide the ‘wrong’ answers and gave KLM insight into which topics their employees thought were difficult. After each practice round, employees were offered insight into their behaviour on these themes. We used three types for this purpose: ‘Safety first!’, ‘Vlotte vogel!’ (Quick birdie), or ‘Mooi in balans!’ (Well-balanced). This use of language helps contribute to the experience of the app as a fun thing to practice with, rather than a training or examination tool.


Ownership of your training process

The use of an app on a device chosen by the user is as far as possible from the traditional classroom learning setting which most KLM employees are used to. The app makes them assume ownership of and responsibility for their training process. The selected language and design of the app also avoid any association with traditional learning or e-learning methods.

  • And that brings us to phase 3: getting in-depth. This is when the participants and their supervisors (the shift leaders and team members) enter into talks concerning the challenging work situations where there is friction between safety and quickness.

Mindshift for tomorrow

The Veilig&Vlot campaign was immediately embraced by the management team, partially motivated by these clear figures:

After two weeks, 25% of employees had voluntarily completed the training process and were compliant
Over 7,000 employees participated
Over 780,000 swipes were made
89% of employees achieved a score of ‘in balans’ (balanced) or ‘veilig’ (safe)

Furthermore: after an initial increase in the number of reported safety incidents, the actual number quickly and noticeably dropped. We contributed to this. Naturally, there are many safety initiatives which also contributed.

However, the figures do not tell the whole story. The main conclusion is that the project had an enduring impact on individual and company performance where safety is concerned. After practicing with the app, employees feel more confident when taking ‘real-work’ decisions. Veilig&Vlot gained a key role in KLM’s safety culture. This means that it both contributes to today’s safety as well as to a shift in mindset for tomorrow.

Tomorrow-minded people. 
This is how we work towards it from our ecosystem

Conclusion serves its clients through our unique ecosystem of IT and business oriented companies. Each one is an authority in its field. By deploying such expertise in a targeted manner, we work to help you become resilient, agile, and distinct.

In this client case, Bright Alley | Conclusion played a central role.

How do you give your employees wings in the event of change?

Eefje Albers

Director Bright Alley
Business Done Differently Powered by Conclusion
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