In times of intense change or crisis the need for a flexible workforce means more inductions, not just new staff but those existing workers redeployed to take on another internal role.
While we want temporary workers out doing their role, it’s important to maintain strong induction and safety procedures to keep our people safe.
Below are three opportunities for Safety and Human Resource Professionals to consider during this time.
Health and Safety inductions for employees need to be completed for all workers to ensure the safety of everyone in the workplace. During times of heavy staff change over there may be a requirement to speed up these processes to get workers on the job faster.
One way to speed up the safety induction process for casuals or temporary employees/contractors is to develop a simple DOs and DON’Ts checklist.
Rather than put temporary workers or casuals through training on complex equipment, vehicles or substances that they may never use, consider putting this on the DON’T TOUCH list to avoid complicated training with short term team members.
Ensuring that the new employee has understood the instruction is of course still necessary, however the speed to complete the induction can be much faster.
To keep everyone safe, a buddy system is an effective way of avoiding additional risking during this time. Your buddy system may be a simple mix of experienced and inexperienced workers to speed up the learning curve. Especially if you implement a lead and teach model in your two person teams.
Inducting your experienced worker into their role in this relationship will be key to ensure effective sharing of knowledge, modelling of best practice and can also improve camaraderie for new workers.
A simple checklist for your leader is also a good way of having them step through each area of the business’s operations you would like highlighted across their time in the buddy system.
When teams are separated by distance whether working from home or on multiple sites, the need for quality communication increases.
Toolbox meetings and team discussions should continue during these times and it’s important not to default to the written word as your only form of communication. Emails and texts make it difficult to know if you’ve been heard and understood. Regular phone based communication is better, but is no replacement for face-to-face discussion.
Live streaming remote workers, via Google Meets, Skype or Zoom etc, into a group discussion is a fantastic way to ensure people feel included and understood, it’s also a great way to ensure that normal work practices continue and for employees to understand that even though they may be working remotely, it’s still business as usual.
We would encourage you to catch up as a team multiple times through out the day to ensure a feeling of continuity to the work day. These may be no longer than 10 minutes at a time, but will ensure productivity and morale stay high.
As you know, it’s at times of crisis, change and stress that accidents are more prone to happen, so staying vigilant regarding safety induction and employee health during this time must remain a primary focus of all Safety Professionals.
While these are 3 areas that you can look at to sharpen your processes during times like these, we know that you will have even more strategies that you’re using already within your own role and we would love to hear them.
Please comment on this article by sharing what’s working within your business and how you’re innovating in small ways to adapt to an ever changing environment. What’s currently happening in your work space? Let us know and if you need support or options on flexible employees. Please contact us direct to discuss your specific situation. We’re available to help.