National Stafety Month - 2021 - What Was Learned In the Past Year?
By Susen Trail | 06/23/2021
Who Doesn't Love Change?
Actually, I don't know anyone who would say that they love change. But most of us recognize it as a necessary part of growth, both personally and professionally. In early 2020 many of us suddenly found ourselves both working and living within the same four walls. Surveys show that this increased productivity in some while decreasing productivity in others. I've worked from home for most of my Industrial Hygiene career and the year I worked at a company in an office was a bit of a nightmare. I'd just get in the groove when I'd be called away or someone would lounge in my doorway to share the best gossip.
Change is inevitable and the choice many are facing is:
- Back to the what? The same processes, including what you now realize were inefficiencies?
- Or, lead your employees on a new Safety Journey?
Our employees have new skills, created new habits, learned how to minimize the distraction of overdue laundry to get the work done that moves their company forward. What has the company learned that made it possible to survive, or even thrive, in the business crushing, economy starving rules imposed to reduce contagion of COVID-19? Yes, we are going to tell you and, as usual, we will show you how Simple Safety Coach was designed to help you keep your head above water in any crisis.
- Transparency. When employees are offsite, it is more important than ever to increase the quantity and quality of information pathways so no one is left in the dark about what new goals have been defined and new work operations have been developed. As the National Safety Council says in its Leadership Blog Series on Embracing Change. When explaining a new set of operating guidelines or realigning expectations, the key to greater understanding and acceptance is to explain the "why" behind the decision.
- Have you noticed that people are getting less and less tolerant of Zoom meetings over 15-30 minutes? You were in your jammies working and then realized you had 15 minutes to get dressed (at least from the waist up,) make yourself presentable, and wait for the link to connect. We’ve learned to skip the gossip, get to the heart of the matter, identify the tasks, split them up and get back to our comfort zones with new to-do lists in hand. Frequent and topic oriented/goal centric meetings create energy and purpose. Some managers learned the fine art of delegating and oversight and are ready to carry that over into the new workplace. Those that didn’t, may have burned-out last October.
- Tolerance for employees as they defined their own solutions to the new challenges brought about by working from home. Many of us saw co-worker's homes, kids, spouses, and pets for the first time. Managers saw and appreciated the flexibility and commitment of employees carving out space, time, energy to give 40 hours or more to their company. Building a new trust in employee commitment to the betterment of the product and the company. It was always there, but now it became more visible.
OK, as I said, I would be connecting what we learned over the last year to how we designed Simple Safety Coach. Those of you who have subscribed are well aware of how easy it made social distancing, employee Health screening, creating transparency for work efficiency, and increasing employee impact on safety while reducing their actual square footage of work areas. So, for the rest of you let us tell you our edge on competitors.
- We centralize all Safety Data, Programs, and Activities on the same accessible dashboard for each site. Not only can our clients increase transparency, where employees can give praise and support, they can also see reported unsafe conditions, current prevention activities, upcoming changes, leading indicators, and more that gives them a context for their safety culture.
- Our clients' employees use mobile apps and our 12 paths for traceable, rewardable, employee contributions to Safety from wherever they are, when they see a way to contribute.
- Report an unsafe condition from a phone or tablet in their work area.
- Praise an improvement, or co-worker's contribution.
- Pitch in with ideas they've had about an unsafe condition that's been a thorn in their side for years within 30 seconds, including pictures, in their work area.
Don’t consider 2020 a step backward! We may have been physically apart but in many ways we are a leaner, tighter, productive force ready to move into the next phase of our Safety Journey!