With the month of Movember now closed, we continue our conversations on Safety, Health and Wellbeing.
In the world of work, I (we) frequently hear and use the word “Value”, perhaps we talk about Value Engineering, Value Added Tax or the Value Chain and so on, but what does it mean to make someone feel valued and why should we bother?
In the workplace, I suppose the “why bother?“ is easy to answer, people who feel valued are far more productive than those who don`t, but surely there has to be more to it than that?
We must never forget the positive things we do (or have done) for others, remain long after we are gone. Therefore, it is possible to leave a meaningful legacy as well as watch those around you grow and make positive contributions to their work including their safety, health, and wellbeing.
So how to do it?
If you are genuinely interested, you could buy a book on the subject, you may choose to follow someone “inspirational” on social media or easier still, just Google it.
There is of course a low cost, minimal effort/maximum return way of making someone feel valued and that is to take a positive interest in them.
In the context of Health, Safety and Wellbeing, ask the person what they are doing (or better still what they are about to do), ask about the potential risks, who might be harmed and how?, what might the consequences be and how can we prevent these things from happening?
This will involve active listening (a surprisingly beneficial skill to learn) and using the other persons words (even more beneficial) to help them find their own solutions, thus they are adding their own value to themselves and will own their own solutions.
A positive example of using someone`s words in this context might be if you ask someone “what are you doing today?”, the reply might be “I am building a scaffold here”. Your next question should really be built (pun intended) around “what are the risks when you are building the scaffold here?” and from there take the conversation from what is happening through to the solutions whilst also discussing the consequences and using open questions.
This process is the foundation of our people focused “It`s OK” programme which is all about helping people create ownership of their own solutions.
Whilst at times we all need to be told what to do and importantly at times stopped from doing unsafe or unhealthy things, the overarching principle has to be that if you tell someone what to do and how to do all the time, they are less likely to “own it” and will value it less.
The bottom line is people value the things they own, so give it a go.
Give people something to own i.e. their own safety, health and wellbeing!