JLN Associates - Your Safety Team. | What Type of Manager Are you?
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What Type of Manager Are you?

What Type of Manager Are you?

written by John Nickerson, JLN Principal

As leaders of our companies, we are tasked to make decisions on a variety of subjects, programs and processes. At some point, it will inevitably require decisions on how your organization complies with the myriad of regulations and statutes that make up the laws of our state and country. As a decision maker, you will most undoubtedly be asked to consider numerous aspects of compliance with some of the factors being productivity and cost.  In last month’s Safety Brief, Josh Ierna, from my team, shared with you the cost aspects of an accident. This month, I would like to share some philosophical thoughts on how we choose to handle the training of our staff. In other words, what kind of a manager are you?Many years ago, in the early years of my career, it was made clear to me, by my mentors, that, “training and education was the key to program success”.  Most of us would agree with that statement and move on. The key to success is not just providing the proper safety training, but that it is that which hits the mark, and will be identified as realistic and valid to a worker’s daily routine and job tasks.

This philosophy laid the foundation for another key phrase that was drilled into my head when preparing technical training items for my peers and clients; for training to be highly effective, it needs to be developed and implemented in a manner that, as trainers and program managers, we ensure “training is developed and implemented and will actually be working in the work force”. In short, “train as you work so you will work as you were trained”. I am sure this will mean different things to different persons depending on your management role within your organization. I have always interpreted this philosophy to mean; for a student to really understand something, they need to be educated about the subject (classroom or OJT technical review) with additional practical activities such as ‘hands-on’ practice. For example, if we train a person to use a
4-or 5-gas meter through a power point presentation that tells them how to power it up, read the screen and what the screen means, we are giving them useable information. But, have we actually taught them how to use the meter in a way that the student would associate with their job? In most cases, the answer is, no. We taught them to operate it in the classroom setting, but did not take them into the lab and operate the meter to perform the functions we need the meter to perform, such as confined space atmosphere assessment. The training that is solely in front of a screen with section upon section of power point did not train the worker in the manner in which they work. Proper training requires additional practical skill sets to be proficient on proper sampling techniques, data collection and physical operations of the meter.

As our society has added more regulation to keep our workers safe, the art of compliance has become more challenging for managers, directors, and company presidents. Last month, in this newsletter, Joshua Ierna presented a number of regulation changes. These changes require management to update programs and provide training to their employees. Decisions need to be made on how the training will be provided to workers. Our society pushes us to be productive, so we look to ‘check the box’ to prove we have met that requirement. For some managers, there is a rush to comply through the ‘power point method’ to exhibit they are being effective in training their employees.
However, are we training our employees like we want them to work, so they will work as they are trained?  Are we giving them the skills and hands-on training to be successful with what OSHA had in mind for any of the existing or newly implemented requirements?
When faced with determining the course of action for training your staff….be sure to think the need through.  Consider what truly needs to be accomplished, and then assess your training service. Determine: will my team be getting a lot of book knowledge along with the physical skill sets to work safely? If you don’t know, feel free to discussthis with any of the JLN Team we can assist you in making these assessments and ultimate decisions. The training programs at the JLN Safety Training Center include knowledge sessions and hands on practice elements.  The OSHA 10 and OSHA 30 programs utilize practice elements to practice safe lock out tag out, confined space, fall protection and hazard control.
As a decision maker for your safety programs, consider the JLN team, at our facility or your facility, for your safety training needs.
We look forward to hearing from you!