Search Results for: Communication

SCnSP – Obsolete Safety – Part 2

♦♦  CULTURE   &   SAFETY PERFORMANCE  ♦♦
Nov 2017
     

Obsolete Safety (2)

the right people
+
the right questions
=
useful answers

communication

     

Ask better questions.
Ask the right people.
Don’t make assumptions.

These are some of the points I made in Obsolete Safety (part 1).
So here are some questions for you and your leaders.

QUESTIONS re SAFETY (the overall culture):

  • Who owns safety?
  • Who drew up the safety strategy / policy / budget and lifesaving rules ? Now: Ask the first question again.
  • What happens when your employees walk through the gate (both when coming to work and going home)?
  • How are you measuring safety, via the rear view mirror (looking at the past) or the windscreen (looking to the future)?
  • What keeps you awake at night, in terms of safety?

QUESTIONS re H&S REP’S specifically:

  • How happy are you with the contribution / engagement of your H&S Reps?
  • How proactive are your H&S Reps?
  • How happy are you with the people volunteering as H&S Reps?
  • Can your H&S Reps solve basic safety problems at the coalface?
  • How happy are you with the two-way communication in safety?

Picture: Disruptive safety call to action icon

It’s easy to dismiss this with a “Been there, done that.”
However, I urge you to do it again and this time, ask the right people.

Run a few fully facilitated focus groups. Mixed groups consisting of EXCO members, managers, supervisors and H&S Reps work best, but your existing culture will determine whether or not you can do that. Take care to not fall into the trap of ‘analysis paralysis’, though. Talking to even a small number of people will quickly give you the answers.

Give serious consideration to the Disruptive Safety approach [1] to transform your workplace safety.

[1]   Disruptive Safety™ promotes a futuristic approach to safety which shifts the safety paradigm from ‘Preventing wrong’ to ‘Ensuring right’.

ESSENTIAL LINKS

Icon: Jurgen-Antzi with a mike

Disruptive Safety™ and The Safety Rep’s Survival Guide  –  what it is and why you need it

Let me help your staff reflect upon, recommit to and be responsible for championing your safety culture.

Search the S.H.E. ATM  –  for safety and wellness answers, tools and methods

Contact Jürgen

Copyright: Jürgen Tietz
Terms of Use

«  prev

next  »

 

SCnSP – The Weak Signal

♦♦  CULTURE   &   SAFETY PERFORMANCE  ♦♦
Nov 2017
     

The Weak Signal

signals

     

We’re surrounded by signals all the time, from radio, TV, mobiles and, nowadays, wi-fi. It’s getting to the point where there’s so much noise that we only hear the louder, specifically-targeted messages. The weaker signals just get lost, unless we move to a better spot so as to hear more clearly.

This analogy applies to many relationships, whether it is in the family through parenting, or in organisations through leadership, or in politics (Gupta). When there is power, or a hierarchy, at play, the situation often becomes one-sided. The one who is in power talks and expects the others to listen – a case of “Do as I tell you.”

In an organisation, the leadership has the strongest signal. They have direct access to wi-fi and call centres, while the people who ‘push the buttons and use the tools’ can only use the much weaker signals. The wi-fi is made up of policies, procedures, papers and all sorts of instructions. It’s all top down, one-way communication and often complicated by conflicting and inconsistent signals such as “Safety First and Zero Harm, but meet the Production, Costs, Quality and other Targets first”.

The Suggestion box, BBS observations, H&S Rep reports and other tools and techniques used to connect with the people who ‘push the buttons and use the tools’, are the equivalent of the call centre. You hear clearly: “Your call is important to us, and will be attended to shortly … For quality purposes the call will be recorded … We are currently experiencing high call volumes … Please hold … ”. In the end, the call is logged but seldom leads to ACTION.

The weak signals are always there, if we care to listen carefully. Everytime there’s an enquiry or investigation into a serious incident or injury, we hear these weak signals clearly. They often start with “We” followed by “told; observed; reported; requested; asked; complained; warned you” and similar action words. Often the organisation’s culture weakens the signals further by virtue of the fear of speaking up or taking a stand, all kinds of threats, blaming and shaming, a lack of action and priority or being taken seriously.
These weak signals require little effort to pick up on at the time but, if lost in the noise, can lead to serious consequences.

Picture: Disruptive safety call to action icon

Take a careful look at the different signals inside the organisation. The Critical Success Factors for a better reception are:

  • Create a climate which rewards weak signals, even if they turn out to be false signals.
  • Make it personal with a name / photo.
  • Provide prompt, direct feedback.
  • Show that the weak signals are being taken seriously and are making a difference.
  • Give the people who ‘push the buttons and use the tools’ a REAL VOICE – a voice which will be heard and taken seriously – a direct line to the CEO’s or MD’s. The climate will change dramatically. All employees, without exception, own a mobile device, often even a smart phone and are using free apps like WhatsApp. So what’s stopping YOU?

ESSENTIAL LINKS

Icon: Jurgen-Antzi with a mike

The Safety Rep’s Survival Guide  –  what it is and why you need it

Let me help your staff reflect upon, recommit to and be responsible for championing your safety culture.

Search the S.H.E. ATM  –  for safety and wellness answers, tools and methods

Contact Jürgen

Copyright: Jürgen Tietz
Terms of Use

«  prev

next  »

 

SCnSP – Obsolete Safety – Part 1

♦♦  CULTURE   &   SAFETY PERFORMANCE  ♦♦
Mar 2017
     

Obsolete Safety

(Part 1)

obsolete printer

     

It was with great sadness that I had to pull the plug on my HP990 CXI. It was this printer that enabled me to self-publish over 550 copies of my first book (some 210 000 pages). Over its 17-year lifespan, it processed close to 2 tons of paper. I feel a real sense of loss, because, to use an old cliche, they just don’t make them like this anymore. On this trusty printer’s death certificate, the technician wrote: “Obsolete. No spare parts available anymore.”

Obsolete.

It’s one of those killer words. It originates from the Latin obsolescere meaning “to fall into disuse” – a very handy adjective for anything that is determined to no longer be of any use. It can be applied to words, factories, computer software, ways of thinking – anything that has, usually, been displaced by a newer, shinier innovation.

Let’s consider workplace safety, in the light of obsolescence.

As far as I’m concerned, if you’re still using Heinrich’s pyramid[1], or your safety systems are based on compliance, near misses, Zero Harm and Safety First, then your approach to safety in the workplace is obsolete. A harsh judgement? Perhaps, but it’s true. (Heinrich’s empirical findings date back to the 1930’s!)

So what’s the answer?

It’s not a new (computer) system, but rather, being willing to adopt a fresh approach, to look at things from a different angle / perspective. And not because it’s cool or the current trend, but because you recognise that what you have in place is obsolete.

Resistance to change

We like to stay in our comfort zone – the place where we know what to do and don’t have to work too hard to get it done. It’s tough to admit that what we’re doing might have been superseded by something better. My VW Beetle was a most wonderful vehicle. I hung onto it for years and years, even though it was outdated. Compared to today’s cars, it’s performance and reliability, fuel efficiency, emissions, driving comfort and safety were poor. Still, I loved the “Volksie” sound. It was hard to let it go.

Change is inevitable

One of the constants of our life, as we know it, is that everything that is being done today will be done better, faster, more cheaply and more safely, i.e. more efficiently, in the future. That’s because change is driven by a mindset of “we want it and we want it now”. This is true not only of photography, banking, transport, music, communication, food consumption, or any other field you care to think of. It’s true of Health and Safety too.

The way to go

Disruptive Safety™ is a solution-based model which totally transforms the way in which workplace safety is approached. It’s about moving The Elephant (safety culture) and getting everyone to really own safety. A key component of Disruptive Safety™ is the manner in which H&S Reps are engaged, viz. by shifting their attentions so that, instead of focusing only on prevention and compliance, they also apply a proactive approach of making sure things go right.

Picture: Disruptive safety call to action icon

Examine your safety approach.

Ask better questions. Ask the right people. Don’t make assumptions or be complacent. Are you doing the same things over and over but expecting better results?

Now answer the question: Is your safety approach obsolete?
If yes, then you’re ready for Disruptive Safety™. Contact us if you want to know more about it.

[1]   Herbert William Heinrich’s 300-29-1 ratio, also known as Heinrich’s triangle, pertaining to his premise re the foundation of a major injury.

ESSENTIAL LINKS

Icon: Jurgen-Antzi with a mike

The Safety Rep’s Survival Guide  –  what it is and why you need it

Search the S.H.E. ATM  –  for safety and wellness answers, tools and methods

Contact Jürgen

Copyright: Jürgen Tietz
Terms of Use

«  prev

next  »

 

GM – World Safety and Health Day at Work 2016

++  WORLD HEALTH  &  SAFETY AT WORK DAY  +  28 April 2016  ++
Mar 2016

What is your total cost of absenteeism? I know one of your dashboard figures is most probably injuries and damages, but subtract that from the total cost of absenteeism, and you’ll find that the remainder is the cost of wellness. Now you might say: “That’s not my problem, that’s HR’s problem”, but you’d be wrong. There’s a direct link between safety and wellness: employee health -> productivity -> injuries -> absenteeism  [1].

     

WORKPLACE STRESS:

A Collective Challenge

graphic depicting workplace stress

     

Some stats:

  • Absenteeism costs the SA economy around R12-16 billion per year.
  • On average 15-30% of staff could be absent on any given day. Take your annual salary bill and do the sums!
  • One day’s absence can cost a company 3 days’ worth of salary  [2].
  • 2 out of 3 employees who fail to show up for work aren’t physically ill. There are a whole host of reasons  [2], with stress and sleep disorders being the “top cause of lost work time”.

The theme for the upcoming World Safety and Health Day, on 28 April 2016, is:

graphic showing World Day for Safety and Health at Work - 28 April 2016

The abstract below, from the ILO site  [3], details the issue of stress very nicely. Your HR / Wellness people should be able to relate to this:

Today, many workers are facing greater pressure to meet the demands of modern working life. Psychosocial risks such as increased competition, higher expectations on performance and longer working hours are contributing to the workplace becoming an ever more stressful environment. With the pace of work dictated by instant communications and high levels of global competition, the lines separating work from life are becoming more and more difficult to identify. In addition, due to the significant changes labour relations and the current economic recession, workers are experiencing organizational changes and restructuring, reduced work opportunities, increasing precarious work , the fear of losing their jobs, massive layoffs and unemployment and decreased financial stability, with serious consequences to their mental health and well-being.

And it’s not only in the office but also in the plants, as highlighted in David’s story in the DHHS publication, “Stress at Work”  [4]:

The nature of work is changing at whirlwind speed. Perhaps now more than ever before, job stress poses a threat to the health of workers and, in turn, to the health organizations. For weeks David had been plagued by aching muscles, loss of appetite, restless sleep, migraine headaches and a complete sense of exhaustion. At first he tried to ignore these problems, but eventually he became so short-tempered and irritable that his wife insisted he get a check-up. He told the doctor: ‘Since the reorganization, nobody feels safe. It used to be that as long as you did your work, you had a job. That’s not for sure anymore. They expect the same production rates even though two guys are now doing the work of three. We’re so backed up I’m working twelve-hour shifts six days a week. I swear I hear those machines humming in my sleep. Guys are calling in sick just to get a break. Morale is so bad they’re talking about bringing in some consultants to figure out a better way to get the job done.’

ACTION

Here is your chance to do something about safety and health in your workplace.

I’m not putting any pressure on you (just giving you a gentle push) … 28 April is around the corner.  It’s an ideal opportunity for you to call me in to do my presentation addressing Safety and Workplace Stress. I’m your guy!  [5]

[1]   “Absenteeism Management“, OCSA

[2]   “Causes and Costs of Absenteeism in the Workplace“, Forbes

[3]   ILO: World Day for Safety & Health at Work

[4]   “Stress at Work“, CDC, DHHS (NIOSH) Publication Number 99-101

[5]   Re-energise & sustain your safety, health & wellness efforts

FEEDBACK

Your comments and feedback are always welcome!

Contact Jürgen

LOOKING FOR SOMETHING?

Try searching for it or use the search topics feature

Search the S.H.E. ATM
Copyright: Jürgen Tietz
Terms of Use

«  prev

next  »

 

SCnSP – Safety First … Really?

♦♦♦   SAFETY CULTURE   &   SAFETY PERFORMANCE   ♦♦♦

In this series, I share with you my thoughts on Why Safety Is An Issue For Most Companies. One of the Things We Must Address If We Want To Improve Our Safety Performance is to assist our frontline managers as they strive to pilot for success on the wings of safety.

SAFETY FIRST … Really?

The Frontline Influence on Safety Culture

Wherever I go, I hear Safety First. I have yet to come across a company where people will say safety comes second or, heaven forbid, last. They all say safety comes first, because it is the right thing to say, especially in a formal audit. It is also the message that you find in the mission statements, values and other directives generated in the board rooms.

But, what happens, there, where the cookies are made and the rubber hits the road? Does safety come first at the coal face and on the shop floor?

Often, in reality, at the heat of the furnace or in the back alleys of the factory or at the thumping production press or deep underground at the end of the night shift, safety does not come first. For those people who ‘push the buttons and use the tools’ and those who directly manage them, it is a different story. Safety has to compete with many other issues and priorities.

You might be thinking, “Has Jürgen gone nuts? Is this man who lives and preaches safety making concessions?”

Let me explain.

In most companies, there are a multitude of thrusts (often 20 or more) pushed down the organisation to drive the business forward – output, costs, quality, productivity and continuous improvement, personal performance and empowerment, research and development, to name but a few. Then there are compliance issues, laws and regulations, systems and procedures and hundreds of rules and standards, plus the need for accreditation and branding. Each department in head office, including Safety, issues instructions, requests for information and sundry other requirements. All of this has a direct and overwhelming impact on frontline managers and their teams. One of the most frequent complaints I get from this level is that they are ‘forced’ to manage on their seats instead of on their feet and that output and costs are most important!

"First and second line managers are the critical links in bringing a company’s culture to life. At Pfizer, these frontline managers strongly influence the day-to-day working environment of about 80 percent of colleagues."[1]

I could not agree more, especially a company’s safety culture.

The best way to describe the job of the frontline manager is to compare it to that of a surgeon. The surgeon cuts open the patient on the operating table to remove a tumour. He/she has to keep an eye on the vital signs, watch out for bleeding, make instant decisions and balance all the options. There is no time to read the manual and there are no second chances.

In a similar manner, safety is just one of many concerns that the frontline manager needs to take into consideration. This means that we have a responsibility to help the frontline managers to manage the total risk and balance the priorities within the limited resources at their disposal. Why? Simply because, often, when safety is held in the balance against, for example, production, it is the safety ball that will be dropped as it is perceived to have the least direct consequences. This is a tough call for us safety professionals, especially when it comes to influencing and supporting the safety culture at the frontline.

For many years I have used the analogy of an airplane to illustrate to the people who ‘push the buttons and use the tools’ how all these business elements, including safety, need to work together in order for the company to prosper.

picture of an airplane showing how various business elements work together for prosperity

The engines are those things which drive the business forward and result in profit. These are normally Output, Costs, People, Continuous Improvement and the like. Depending on the kind of business, sales & marketing, research & development and customer service & support also add to the profits. The key message here is balance in the thrust provided by all the engines. You cannot fly if you put all the power on say the Cost engine and throttle the other engines in the process.

The airframe consists of the wings and the fuselage. The wings represent safety and support the engines. The wings have to be strong and flexible at the same time. In addition to that, the wings provide the lift, critical for the plane to remain airborne and reach a safe cruising level.

Safety does not directly contribute to profits,
but it supports all those activities that do
.

The fuselage consists of those items which you will normally find in the company’s values and mission statements. These include Quality, Care & Respect, Fairness, Honesty & Integrity, Communication, Teamwork, Excellence, Accountability & Reliability, Innovation & Creativity and Recognition & Rewards.

The dashboard of the airplane shows the pilot (frontline manager) the target – what is the destination, cruising height & speed, direction, as well as other critical parameters. In order to use this information, there has to be constant measurement and feedback to the pilot so that appropriate action can be taken timeously to ensure a safe flight.

ACTION

  • Use the above analogy of an airplane to explain to all employees why safety plays such a key role, but that it also has to be balanced with all the other priorities.
  • Organise facilitated workshops with the frontline managers to ask them what you, as safety professionals, should be doing to help them with SAFETY. Give them “Einspruchsrecht”[2].
  • Change your approach to toolbox / safety talks. Rather than glossing over safety for a few minutes every day at the start of shift / production meetings, hold a specific session once a week or once every two weeks and dedicate half an hour to focus purely on safety. Prepare a number of specific toolbox talks for the frontline manager to use to focus on safety.[3]

[1]    “Shape your culture, shape your company’s future“, Ian C Read, Pfizer.
[2]    “Einspruchsrecht” – a person’s right to partake in decisions which affect him/her.
[3]    DIY Safety

RELATED LINKS

Put on An Overall

Under the Knife

Toolbox Talks – Ask me for help with these, in need.

FEEDBACK

Your feedback and comments are always welcome! Drop me a line!

Copyright: Jürgen Tietz
Terms of Use

«  prev

next  »

 

SCnSP – Manslaughter or Murder?

♦♦♦     SAFETY CULTURE   &   SAFETY PERFORMANCE     ♦♦♦

In this series, I share with you my thoughts on Why Safety Is An Issue For Most Companies. One of the Things We Must Address If We Want To Improve Our Safety Performance is to examine our behaviour when driving and working and be ruthlessly honest about our true concern for the safety, not only of ourselves, but those around us.

Manslaughter or Murder?

I am not talking here about the Oscar Pistorius trial or pre-judging the case with a guilty or not guilty verdict.

I am talking about using a cell phone!

Talking and texting (SMS) on a cell phone, while operating a machine, plant or equipment, like cranes, trains and planes, or while driving vehicles, is a major safety hazard. Just imagine being the cause of a fatal accident as a direct result of talking or texting on a cell phone. An astute prosecuting attorney would argue that keeping your cell phone on while driving constitutes intent and that hence you would be guilty of, at least, manslaughter! This might sound harsh, but the reality is that taking your eyes off the road to look at your cell phone screen, even for a few seconds, can result in you being directly responsible for the death of another human being.

Before you read further, I strongly urge you to check out Jill Konrath’s blog and the video link in her post (see Related Reading [1] below), to see what happened to her husband, Fred, and to Dave and Leslee Henson as a direct result of a driver texting while driving. Pay particular attention to “The eye-opening facts on distracted driving“.

www.stopthetextsstopthewrecks.blogspot.com

Cell phones, as enablers of instant connection, are a communication and networking blessing, but at the same time, they are a safety curse. There is nothing so important that it justifies compromising safety. Nowadays, we behave as though the world will come to an end if we don’t immediately answer a call or read and reply to text messages! Nonsense! What happens when you take a flight? The airlines insist you switch off your phone, period. Believe me, the world goes on for the next hour or even 10 hours. Calls and messages must (and can) wait. Why not adopt the same attitude when driving or operating machinery and equipment? And talking of air planes, how safe would you feel if you knew your pilot was texting on his / her cell phone while busy landing the plane you’re traveling in?

In the quest to save time we go for multitasking, which is another issue compromising safety (see Related Reading [2] below). Texting while in meetings has become a widespread practice and is now a habit which has spilled over into driving. Furthermore, the issues arising from using cell phones are valid in any situation where people “push the buttons and use the tools”. A ringing cell phone or a text alert breaks the concentration and tempts people to take their eyes off the ball / road / process. Cell phones should be PARKED while “on the job”.

ACTION

Park the Phone Before You Drive!

  • Share this Safety Tip widely and with all your employees, especially the video in Jill Konrath’s blog. Make a copy available for your employees to take home and share with their families (contact me if you need help with this).”
  • Review your company policy for cell phone use in your operating plants and when driving vehicles. This goes also for company-issued cell phones. Become tough with people who violate your “NO CELL WHILE DRIVING / OPERATING” instruction.
  • Why not suspend the ‘licence’ for six months if anyone’s caught using a cell phone while driving / operating a company vehicle / machine or while driving on your company property. That will send a clear message that you are serious! Alternatively, send them on paid leave for a week, to do duty at the ER of a local hospital.

PLEASE drop me a line telling me what you are doing in your company so I can let Fred and Leslee know / show them the good which is coming out of their tragedy.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Heartfelt thanks go out to Fred and Leslee for going public so others might learn from their experience, and to Jill Konrath for writing on this important subject of the dangers of texting while driving.

RELATED READING

[1]   Jill Konrath: “Avoid this Killer Strategy at All Costs”   Blog   Video

[2]   Jurgen Tietz: “Do Not Disturb

[3]   “Stop the Texts, Stop the Wrecks

FEEDBACK

Your feedback and comments are always welcome! Drop me a line!

Copyright: Jürgen Tietz
Terms of Use

«  prev

next

 

SCnSP – Leadership Responsibility (Rot at Top)

♦♦  CULTURE   &   SAFETY PERFORMANCE  ♦♦
Feb 2013

In this series, I share with you my thoughts on Why Safety Is An Issue For Most Companies. One of the Things We Must Address If We Want To Improve Our Safety Performance is the role of leadership.

     

The Rot Starts At The Top

Leadership responsibility in safety

Picture: conductor of orchestra

     

Leaders have to be like the conductor of an orchestra. They select the music, dictate the tune and tempo, and ensure that all employees practice the safety habits so that together they can deliver a masterpiece.

There are, of course, other aspects as well, like setting expectations, holding each player accountable, giving feedback and recognition, etc. Nonetheless, the leaders have to invest their most precious resource to do all of this, namely their TIME. They have to be VIP’s – Visible, Involved and Pro-active – to show their employees that they are serious about safety. This is a tough call because there are so many other issues demanding the leader’s time – costs, quality, productivity, customer service …

The leader is accountable for the safety strategy, for looking ahead to what will be done tomorrow (rather than what is being done today or, even worse, what has been done yesterday!), for thinking, visualising the goal and for formulating the plan of how to get there.

There are 3 key habits which the leaders have to practice in this regard:

  1. Leaders have to formulate and communicate the safety vision and strategy. This is critical. For employees to follow, they need to know where the leader is heading and how he/she plans to get there.
  2. Leaders have to ensure that a culture of taking ACTION, in terms of safety, exists in the organization. Nothing kills the commitment and engagement in safety as quickly as a lack of ACTION. When employees see that nothing is being done about safety incidents or observations, then safety will not be a priority for them either. Taking (safety) ACTION goes way beyond pasting the SHE Policy on the walls!
  3. Leaders have to review the safety strategy. If the desired / anticipated results are not being achieved, then doing more of the same is not going to help. The leader has to look for different ways of doing things and the review should be ongoing, not only once every two years.

ACTION

Here is my challenge to you.

Use the download from my web site dealing with “Vision & Strategy” to examine what you have in place in your organization in terms of your safety strategy. Use the technique in that write-up as a checklist to formulate or review your safety vision and strategy.

It is important that leaders understand that changing the SHE culture is a transformation process and not an event. It takes years to implement such a culture change on a sustainable basis. Most companies run these short-term campaigns like ZERO ACCIDENTS, SAFETY FIRST, NO INJURIES, etc., but do not have a strategy and long-term plan in place.

The first step in formulating a safety strategy is to do the diagnostics. Look at the links below for excellent examples of what I am talking about – plus an outstanding communication effort by the NPC (National Planning Commission):

BTW. As active, adult citizens you should take an interest in what the NPC is doing to shape the future of this country!

SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

Contact Jürgen

LOOKING FOR SOMETHING?

Search the S.H.E. ATM
Copyright: Jürgen Tietz
Terms of Use

«  prev

next  »

 

About

Jürgen “YEBO BABA” Tietz

 

Professional Speaker

Engineer

Coach

Jurgen Tietz: The "Yebo Baba" Effect

Thought Leader

Survivor

Author

Authority on communication and people behaviour, especially across cultures.

Fluent in isiZulu, English, German, Afrikaans.

37 years’ experience in SAFETY, mass production, manufacturing,
mining and productivity improvement.

Creative, innovative, and unconventional PARADIGM SHIFTER.

Able to engage those people who make it all happen
–  the ones who ‘push the buttons and use the tools’  –
and leave a lasting impression with SAFETY messages that ‘stick’.

Developer of the MIRROR TECHNIQUE and a SAFETY range of COOL TOOL™.

Delivers customised presentations and workshops that are dynamic, interactive and fun.

Sorry, I’m busy

Often when I try to meet up with a client towards the end of the month, I get the “Sorry, I’m busy with the monthly report” excuse. I’m deliberately saying “excuse” because we make time for what is important to us. Let me explain further.

writing reports

The monthly report is an issue for most safety professionals / safety managers. At the end of the month, they have to report to the EXCO or board about the SHE issues and performance for that month. It is an activity they dislike intensely, and hence procrastinate over. The deadline hangs over their heads like a sword and it is a mad scramble to get all the information together and to then compile the report.

For many, the report is like a composition competition – choosing the right words and content so as to make a favorable impression on the bosses. The irony is that the report is a rear view mirror exercise and often not even read.

Here are some tips to make it easier:

  • Keep it simple and factual. Less is more in terms of words. Provide links the reader can click to get more detail (a standard practice).
  • Focus on actions completed and results produced.
  • Have a standard template or framework and fill in the information.
  • Delegate the responsibility for each section to one of your subordinates. This splits the burden. If you’re working online, it’s easy to share the document.
  • Set the deadline for information to be submitted to you to one week before you have to submit your report.
  • Make notes on the template throughout the month, whenever a noteworthy occurrence takes place.
  • Set aside a fixed time to compile the final report and stick to it. The more time you spend on writing the report, the more you will be inclined to “waffle”.

The report is a safety communication tool. It is not an end in itself. Treat it as such.

Be safe – the SIMPLY SMART way,

Jürgen

1 person likes this post.

SCnSP So Many Meetings, So Little Time

♦♦  CULTURE   &   SAFETY PERFORMANCE  ♦♦
Aug 2012

In this series, I share with you my thoughts on Why Safety is an Issue for Most Companies, or, putting it differently, Things we Must Address if we Want to Improve our Safety Performance. Under the microscope today is our effective (or not!) use of time, in particular when it comes to meetings.

     

So Many Meetings, So Little Time

Picture: Panel of experts in a meeting

     

All of us have to deal with meetings in one form or another and, to a larger or lesser extent, for all of our lives. Especially in safety, meetings seem to be a primary mode of operation for many companies. If they have a safety issue / problem / incident, they organise a meeting.

Meetings can be a blessing or a curse. A blessing, if they are well run, productive and achieve the results we are looking for and cannot otherwise achieve. A curse if they are not necessary, turn out to be a waste of time, involve mostly hot air (talking), create confusion and do not lead to people taking responsibility, especially for ACTION.

Most people suffer from the meeting paradox: “We don’t have time to prepare for effective meetings, because we spend too much time in ineffective meetings.”

Time is the most precious resource we have and, the more senior your position, the more precious it becomes. We all have this finite resource of 24 hours, relentlessly ticking by. That is why it is such a tragedy that people waste it in unproductive meetings. If you do not believe me, have a look at this short video for some horrifying facts and figures around meetings.

I believe that every company would greatly benefit from employing a

meeting “PIMP” = “Performance Improvement and Measuring Professional”.

In terms of the law (OHAS ACT 85 OF 1993 S17 – S19 and MHAS ACT 29 OF 1996 S25 and S35) we have no option. We MUST have safety committees and therefore meet. However, how we do this and how well we use this time is up to us.

The biggest problem is that we do not prepare for these meetings and that the members of the safety committees (this applies equally well to other committees and meetings) do not play their proper role in these meetings.
As a general rule, 50% of the time should be spent preparing for the meeting (including thinking time), 20% attending and partaking in the meeting and the remaining 30% to take action and follow up on and close out agreed actions.
Furthermore, we do not make it crystal clear who owns the action, what the result should look like and by when the action should be completed. Often, it is not even clear who owns each item on the agenda.

ACTION

Resolve TODAY to take the necessary action to transform your meetings from a curse to a blessing.

My guidelines for effective meetings will assist you with this.

free
Download

Acknowledgements: Thanks to Graham Edwards for planting the seed and so inspiring me to write about time vs meetings in relation to safety.

ON OFFER

Picture: COOL TOOL Facilitation Playing Cards
COOL TOOL™ Facilitation Playing Cards

These playing cards encourage thinking and participation by all during meetings and when planning critical work. Cards are a fun medium with which everyone is familiar and do not require special skills, thus removing barriers to use. The 52 cards cover Communication and Understanding, Thinking and Shortcuts, Attitude and Recognition, Responsibility and Planning.

Enquire here

Why not let me be the “Meeting PIMP at your next safety committee meeting at the EXCO level.   To take advantage of this offer, answer my 10 Questions about your operation’s safety needs and send them to me.

SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

Contact Jürgen

LOOKING FOR SOMETHING?

Search the S.H.E. ATM
Copyright: Jürgen Tietz
Terms of Use

«  prev

next  »

 

Jurgen Tietz brings you Safety: by the people, for the people
Need a keyword?

H&S Rep Workshop

H&S Rep Training
The
Not Just Any
H&S Rep Workshop
that’s for everyone.

Read about it here

Share this page

Find me on

Connect with Jurgen Tietz via FacebookConnect with Jurgen Tietz via LinkedIn

Join the revolution

Disruptive Safety
The Safety Reps Survival Guide handbook