It is that time again… a time of reflection and planning.
2018 was challenging. Probably one of the most challenging years in my career. But it is in struggle that we grow and mature.
If I could wind back the clock and change some of the actions that created the challenges, would I? Absolutely. Because there are those whose lives were forever altered.
However, that is not a luxury that any of us have. So instead, we plan!
What can we do differently in 2019 in order to achieve our Goals? The starting point is to have Goals! And those Goals must be SMART!
In case there are some of you that aren’t aware of what SMART Goals are they are:
So, things like “I am going to have a great year!” don’t count. There is nothing specific or measurable about that statement. So dig deep, and figure out what it will take to have a great year.
Of course, every year our goal is to have fewer incidents than the year before. But what are we going to do, what actions are we going to take, to make that aspiration into an actual SMART Goal? In case you are wondering, it will not be achieved by the actions of one. It will require the actions of ALL!
Some goals that would help us achieve that end result, if everyone did it, are:
I will speak up when I see someone creating a hazardous situation. I will no longer turn a blind eye because they “aren’t my responsibility”.
I will take the time to talk to someone that is putting themselves or others at risk. I know they may not understand the hazards that are being created, so I will share my knowledge with them.
I will actively participate in training that is being offered to me. I may have a personal story that someone else can relate to that will keep them from being injured on the job site.
I will not knowingly allow myself or others to drive while distracted. So, that phone call, that text, that email, that Facebook post… it can wait until I am to my destination and safe.
These are actions that can be taken every day by every one of you. And if we ALL did it we would reduce the risks in our workplace to ourselves and to others.
All that is required is for you to remain alert and care enough out your partner to speak up.
For many of us, today or tomorrow marks that last day of work before our official “Holiday Break” begins. And with that I want to leave you with just a few reminders.
Relationships are the most important thing to remember during the holidays.
This time of year can add an enormous amount of stress to everyone. There are more “obligations” that we suddenly find ourselves committed to… Holiday Parties, Family Dinners, Holiday Cards, Gift Buying, House Decorating… All of these traditions and rituals can be fun and can create great memories. But they can also add unnecessary stress to our lives so remember it is the relationships we have with others that is most important, not those traditions. If it stops being fun and meaningful, then do something different.
Here are some ways you can help manage holiday stress:
Change or Update Traditions – This should be a time of joy and happiness. If those “Traditions” are not providing that joy and happiness then it is time for something different. You are not obligated to send the 10-page Christmas Letter about your perfect year. You are not obligated to decorate 100 perfect sugar cookies. You are not obligated to hang a single decoration. If those are not things that bring you joy, then skip them. Find new ways to celebrate the relationships in your life.
Change your “Christmas Dinner” – Who ever said it had to be a fancy laborious ordeal? I mean, if you love cooking and having folks over, by all means do it. But if that is something you hate, order pizza or Chinese food or eat hot dogs… the thing is, it is your day, your meal. You are the one that should be enjoying it.
Minimize the Decorations – If rearranging your entire house to hang some ornaments isn’t your thing, then skip it. I assure you, the Decorating Police will not come knocking at your door.
Spend less on Gifts! – This one is a big one. Of course we all like getting fancy expensive gifts, and lots of them. But it isn’t necessary. Agree as a family on a price range and a number of gifts. No cheating! Do not go over either of the pre-determined amounts. Spending more money than you have on a gift that will be “cherished” for 10 seconds is stress-inducing for months. Don’t do it.
And if you really want to change things up, think ahead to next year. Think of all the money you would normally spend on gifts, decorations, dinner… and start saving it. Now, think about really changing traditions! Take the money you would have spent on a “thing” and spend it instead on a “memory”! Take a trip with your family instead. Plan it together.
In so many ways this is a season of joy. We get to spend some extra days with those we love doing the things we enjoy. Many of us pack up the cars with our families and luggage and head out across the state or, for some, across the nation to spend this time with family that we haven’t seen in several months. Or, if we aren’t driving there, then we are hopping on a plane and heading there. Of course, there are some of us that won’t be heading out anywhere because we will be hosting the joyous occasions at our homes so the family and friends are coming to us.
Whether you are heading out or staying in chances are the “Holiday” has already started. You are spending time thinking about what to pack, what to buy, where people are going to be sleeping, how you will fill those happy hours…or get through the dreaded ones (come on, I can’t be the only one that has those moments…okay may it is just me).
The point it, your mind is already somewhere else, focused on something else. And that is where the Holidays create hazards in the work place.
We want you to enjoy your Holidays with your family. We want you to spend the time laughing and eating and relaxing. But in order for you to do that we need you to stay focused while you are here at work.
If you are a supervisor, make sure your crew members are focused on the task at hand.
Spend more time than usual discussing the THA. Review it throughout the day and if something changes in the planned task make sure you review those changes.
Spend some extra time with your crew to make sure they are “fit for duty” for the day, or even the moment. And remember “fit for duty” doesn’t just mean “not impaired”. Holidays aren’t always joyous occasions for everyone, so some of your crew members may not be mentally or emotionally fit for duty. Take the time to talk to your crew members and make sure they are focused on their work.
Check in with your crews at the end of the day and talk about the after-hours activities, like safe driving tips and responsible drinking and the hazards of distracted driving. Even things like how to safely fry a turkey. All of these things are important.
If you are a crew member, help keep your co-workers, your friends, focused on the task at hand so that we can all enjoy our holidays. You know them better than your supervisor does because you work closely with them every day. You know when their head isn’t on the task so reel them back in if needed. Enjoy the conversations about the upcoming activities during your breaks, but while working, don’t let those plans be a distraction.