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Safety Tip #2 in the series


The purpose of this series is to give struggling-but-eager SHE professionals and practitioners, who are working for financially-constrained companies, pointers on how to get the safety awareness message across to both management and workers, on a shoestring budget.

Today’s topic, PURPOSE, introduces the concept of SERVANT-LEADERSHIP: Your role as a manager is to HELP those who work in your organisation to do their jobs properly and safely.  Your PURPOSE is to “Be a FACILITATOR, not a COMPLICATOR”.

‘n boer maak ‘n plan**

You’ve heard this phrase how many times?  “Make a plan”.  “Find a way.”

Timken Wire QuickFix / ShortCut

And if you don’t help people, they will – with whatever is at hand or can be found or is within their means – wire, cable ties, tape, cardboard, plastic bottles and sheeting, wood.

(There’s alot of innovative energy when workers experience pain or want to make their jobs easier or their work lighter or don’t have the resources to do their jobs the right way.)

Admit it. You’ve seen it.

When I walk about in companies, I especially look out for the wire-tape-cardboard quickfixes. When I see them, I know there is a lack of support from management:

  • a lack of resources, often time and money
  • a lack of standards or enforcement of standards, allowing poor standards from home to be brought into the work place
  • a lack of presence, guidance and supervision
  • a lack of monitoring and control and management-on-the-feet (MBWA* or GOYA*)
It’s empowerment gone wrong.

You can’t make sure people understand the consequences of makeshift solutions, short cuts and poor standards, UNLESS you are providing what they need.  

You can only hold them accountable when the HELPER-FACILITATOR-MANAGER has done his / her job.

If you’re going to empower the worker (and you should), you have to provide the resources, guidance and standards.

Go WALK AROUND ground-zero – the shop floor, rock face, coal face.

ASK the people who push-the-buttons-and-use-the-tools:


DO NOT ASSUME you know what they need.  Just ASK!

* “MBWA” = Management By Walking About       * “GOYA” = Get Off Your ‘Ass’
** If you would like to read the story “Boer Maak ‘n Plan”, you can request it here.
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© Copyright: Jurgen Tietz
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