Tuesday, April 21, 2015

What's the plan?

It’s been said that “if you don’t know where you are going, you’ll probably end up somewhere else.” Correct.

To get where you want to go, you need a plan. When it comes to safety at your workplace there’s no doubt about the importance of a plan.

Why? Because when it all hits the fan – and at some point it will – having planned ahead is a lot better than fixing up afterwards. Think about it.  Once the barn door is left open and the horses are running wild is no time to write a plan for when that happens. Better to create a plan and never have to use it than not have one at all.

Keep in mind that a plan is not just a bunch of words on paper. There are some specific things it needs to be if it’s going to work. And if it’s a safety plan, it better work.

First of all keep it simple. People need to understand it to be able to implement it.  Avoid jargon, technical terms and keep it real. Make sure it’s realistic. Can the actions outlined in the plan actually be taken under the circumstances? Be specific and be complete. Remember the circumstances under which you will have to use this plan won’t be normal. Anxieties will be high and things will be happening fast. A plan will provide much needed direction when emotions are running high. Ensure that all employees are actively involved in the creation of your safety plan. Get their input, their feedback and their buy-in.

Ask yourself a few questions? Does this plan meet the needs of your employees? Is the plan a one and done review and then stuffed in a drawer somewhere? Is it interactive? Does it get people involved? Does it work? Has it been tested?

Think about it. Safety is far too important to be an afterthought. Be proactive and be prepared.

Posted by MJ Thomas

Friday, April 10, 2015

Greatness begins by being different

Let me begin by saying that the following thoughts have nothing to do with our normal topics. No industry musings or thoughts on workplace safety; just some reflections on “making a difference” and someone who did. Here goes…
Greatness begins by being different

Mr. S., one of my college professors told me that all the time. It seemed logical since HE was so different. He was animated, loud, not fond of following rules and was certainly an expert at pushing limits. His classes were pretty darn amazing.

There was no hiding in his marketing class; it was small, maybe ten or 12 people. No lowering your head, hiding behind a book; when you walked in the door you were fair game.  He would always find that certain little thing about you that made you stand out; your strength and then make you work it like you were training for a marathon.

He decided my strength was public speaking. What? Did he not see the shaking hands, the sweat rolling down my face, the “deer in headlights” look? Apparently not because the next thing I knew I was on the speech team competing at a national forensic tournament.  It was one of the best experiences of my life and it prepared me well for my career. I remember it like it was yesterday. Without that “nudge” from Mr. S., I would have missed out on all of it.

So what’s the point? Good question. Recently learned that Mr. S. passed away and with that knowledge came some flashbacks. It just seems to me that the ability to have that kind of positive impact is a gift; a gift that probably each and every one of us could pass along to a family member, friend, employee or colleague. What a different world it could be.

Posted by MJ Thomas