Accelerating trends in employee expectations, remote working, e-commerce, and automation mean that the way of work will change forever, not just because of the pandemic. Are you, a Health and Safety leader ready to coach, challenge and support your businesses throughout this shift?
Martin Bardle, Global Health & Safety and Quality Compliance Director at Reckitt, is a highly respected and valued expert within HSEQ. His webinar on 13th July covered:
What are the immediate priorities for an HSEQ leader now?
How does the Health and Safety leader create an environment to coach the business?
How can the health and safety function provide a return on investment in an increasingly complex working environment?
“As HSEQ leaders we need to navigate, at pace, multiple health and safety issues at the same time. Whether that’s the translation of legislation, guidance on human rights issues in emerging markets, or human resources working on site and remotely; they will need to have advice and information ready at the blink of an eye. It’s critical to develop a taxonomy of skills. The future of work will consider where we work, how we work, what skills we need, and what organizational culture we need. Culture in this new dynamic may be the factor people are most concerned about. How does the H&S leader maintain and improve the ‘this is the way we do things around her’ H&S future culture?”
A recording of the webinar is shown below:
Martin’s points from the webinar:
Don’t think about the future as some faraway horizon, and the future is here! You need to navigate, at pace, multiple health, and safety issues at the same time.
Whether that’s the translation of legislation, guidance on human rights issues in emerging markets, or human resources working on-site and remotely, business leaders will need to have advice and information ready at the blink of an eye.
You must develop a taxonomy of skills.
None of this formal training teaches you to take a company through uncertainty, remain focussed and remain fit.
Ensure that you understand what it takes to Lead, Inspire and Enable through normal and uncertain times.
Martin speaks that the future of work will consider where we work, how we work, what skills we need, and what organizational culture we need. Culture in this new dynamic may be the factor people are most concerned about.
His opinion is that people within (and outside) his profession do not prioritize developing their broader leadership acumen as much as they get their Health & Safety qualifications. It may be because obtaining the technical qualification is a priority/essential – i.e., job adverts, Chartered, Grad, Diploma etc. – how many say, must be a decent person, you can obtain the quals, but person fit is most critical?
How you translate your technical skills into useable information for a CEO to act upon is key.
It is easy to say H&S personnel need to work on their presentation or communication skills, but the long term infrastructure isn’t there to support them. Martin had a coach and mentor early on in his H&S career, and he gave him the advice and navigation skills to develop and pursue his long term goals.
To conclude, during the pandemic, we have seen an accelerated shift away from the traditional command-and-control leadership style, authoritative leadership detrimental to psychological safety to consultative and supportive leadership behaviours, which promote psychological safety and a positive team climate, the H&S leader has a leadership part to play in this. We never know how our impact affects the losses we prevent, so we must offer a return in other areas. Through your engagement, you can demonstrate (Shadowing a leader) that the highest likelihood of H&S safety occurs when a team leader first creates a positive team climate, through frequent supportive and consultative actions, and then challenges their team; - without a foundation of positive climate, challenging behaviours have no significant effect.