Change is Everywhere, But Nothing Has Changed About Staying Safe
As a virtual safety change management speaker, I know that in these uncertain times, nothing is more important than staying safe on the job. Unfortunately, because of stretched resources, layoffs and communications in the “new normal,” staying safe is harder than ever.
I’m not alone in that opinion.
EHS, the international developer of environmental, health and safety management software said in their April 21, 2020 blog, Why Safety Is More Important Than Ever During Tough Economic Times, stated:
“During a crisis, your business will only survive if you can keep your employees engaged and motivated. One of the key ways to keep teams engaged is to stay unified, and the only way to do that is by showing employees that you care. You need to show them that they are valued and that you’re ready to go to bat for them.”
Engaged and Motivated
How are you keeping your employees engaged and motivated about safety with all of the changes going on around them? How are you showing them that you care?
Are you determined to go the extra mile make a difference? Does your vision for a safe workplace match the difficult forces of change?
Safety is not a casual exercise; it must be daily focus of everyone in the organization.
Due to the corona virus pandemic, the majority of safety departments are having to make do with less. The way safety messaging is being conveyed has also changed. Safety talks are often virtual rather than in-person, or at best, in-person and distanced with masks. It is easy to lose touch.
Melissa Raffoni, writing for the Harvard Business Review (May 1, 2020), talked about the obstacles created by trying to communicate virtually. Among the several points mentioned in the article, she emphasized:
“For some, it’s uncomfortable…for many of us adults, who didn’t grow up with that same [virtual] technology, it [communication] can still be quite uncomfortable. This lack of comfort makes it harder for some to open up, connect, trust, and communicate with each other virtually.”
Safety, as we all know, is an agreement to look out for one another and for ourselves. Raffoni continued:
“Interpersonal dynamics are harder to manage [virtually]… You can easily lose people’s attention. It’s challenging enough to engage people in a face-to-face meeting, but virtual meetings often come with a plethora of new distractions.”
In these changing times, when safety is more important than ever, when we must be engaged and motivated, conditions have caused many of us to be less trusting, less communicative and easily distracted.
This combination could be an extremely hazardous or even deadly combination of factors.
Overcome the Forces of Change
The only way to keep the workplace safe in difficult times is by meeting the challenge head-on. This means that everyone in the organization must develop a safety mindset. The organization must be determined to communicate safety by every virtual means possible and it must strive to find a way to convey the messages in person, whether socially distanced, wearing masks in one-to-one meetings, whatever it takes.
Finally, overcoming the changes that are affecting safety takes grit; we must all be resolute that despite the challenges, our daily goal is to protect our most important asset: the lives of every individual in our organization.
Scott Burrows, Safety Speaker, is available for virtual or in-person sales meetings for associations and organizations. Contact Scott today through this website or by calling: (520) 548-1169