COMMUNICATING WITH CLARITY TO KEEP A SAFE WORKPLACE
You may have a room full of employees who would be considered the best listeners on the planet, but if you, as the manager, are not communicating well, their talents are wasted. Your crew is only as good as their leader, and your methods may benefit from the following thought processes.
- 1.GET TO THE POINT Don’t ramble. Your team will shut off the message if it is lost in several minutes of chatter. Think about it. All of us have someone that we have learned to shut out because listening is too challenging. If you are in front of someone with whom you need to exchange information, don’t start off by telling them about the ball game, the wreck you saw on the way to work, or your dog’s latest antics. Relay the news that they need to hear. If you want to chit-chat aftewards, then do so, but make sure that while you have their undivided attention, they get the most important part of the message.
- 2.DON’T CLUTTER THE MESSAGE Once you have given them the necessary information, stop. There is no need to give them loads of minute details. They don’t need to know that the parts you ordered are stuck in Idaho, or that the wrong pieces came in. They need to know when the parts will arrive and what you would like them to do in the meantime. Is there another assignment they can work on, or some cleaning that can be done?
- 3.BE CONCISE AND PRECISE If there are specifics that they need to know, then be sure that they get every drop of information relating to their task. If you know that a certain work area will be challenging and that they may need a skyhook to hang that first tie off point, then let them know that you are aware of the situation. Tell them what you want them to do in order to get that area squared up for safety. Don’t leave them hanging, or ask them to figure it out if you already have a plan. Explain exactly what is needed to make it work.
- 4.THINGS GET DONE WHEN YOU COMMUNICATE When employees know what is expected, it is much easier to accomplish the task. Productivity goes up, morale improves, and work is safer for everyone. Nobody is guessing what you want them to do or what you consider the safest way to get it done.
- 5.SHOW RESPECT WITH YOUR COMMUNICATIONS It is much easier to bring people on board with your ideas when they understand the reasoning behind them. If you have come to the conclusion that your approach is safer than others but know that it may take a little more time, then you need to let them know that you realize this and that you feel it is a good investment. Remember that your employees are always thinking, too, and they may have an idea worth listening to. Be flexible, listen carefully, and bring the conversation to a conclusion with respect.
One of the real challenges with dynamic supervision is that you, as the leader, must stay involved. Safety is everyone’s job and you must take your part seriously. If you do, you will win the respect and cooperation of your team, and everyone will go home safely.
Complete Safety is here to help you and your business. From any HSE compliance needs you might have to system design for your entire organization, we’re here to help you achieve your goals. We are located at 108 KOL Drive in Broussard, LA near Lafayette and can be reached at 337-330-2933 or on our website at www.complete-safety.net.
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