By NZISM Secretary
Kia ora koutou katoa members and supporters, For those of us who have been fortunate enough to spend time with Nippin Anand, he has given us much to consider. In this increasingly fast-paced world of work, it often feels like a luxury to take time out of our busy schedules to learn or reflect on our work practices. These past few weeks have enabled me to reflect on several areas of my professional practice, and I would like to share some of these thoughts with you.
How often do we listen to those around us? How do we ensure the voices of those who are not loud enough, get heard? How often do we go up against those who may be more senior? How far do we push back to get unwanted information heard? Ensuring workers have a voice about health and safety is an important role of the H&S professional. Creating an environment where people can speak up means making sure that when they do, action is taken.
Recently, my team and I had an experience that I have learned from. We had been working on a new initiative and it had been through a few iterations and committees for feedback. We had worked hard to get it ready to hand to our developers and at the final stage, one of my team mentioned the content didn’t make sense to them. Rather than taking time to work through it, I made several assumptions and pushed on with the initiative. Consequently, once the developers got hold of it, the same questions were raised. We had to revisit the work and discovered flaws in our logic, and a lack of clarity of information.
Upon reflection, there were a few factors that lead me to act this way:
- We were time constrained and working to a deadline.
- It had been through many people and no-one else had raised the issue.
- The content was an area where the team member didn't have a lot of experience.
Although I like to think we have an environment where people are heard when they did speak out, I didn’t take the time to walk through what we were trying to achieve. It was a great lesson to learn and one that Nippin’s session helped me reflect upon. I made assumptions and did not provide an opportunity for questions to be adequately addressed and understood. How do I ensure this does not happen again if I cannot pinpoint what got me to that point in the first place?
Time to reflect and review what works well and what doesn’t may be the single most important thing you can do to develop as a professional. Without it, we will continue to make the same mistakes and not understand what contributes to our successes.