I regularly speak with hundreds and hundreds of EHS professionals. Many aren’t happy in the profession. They feel undervalued and stuck in a cycle where nothing is ever complete, finished, nor working “just enough” to allow them to move on to the next challenge. To many, Sisyphus was an EHS professional as well.
How do you make your team feel valued and become more productive? After all, you probably can’t increase pay or give bonuses…what do you do?
Adam Grant, a Wharton researcher, conducted a study on a university call center. The callers solicited telephone donations for university scholarships. The callers’ weekly average, at the beginning of the study was $185.94. In the study group, some callers met with scholarship recipients. They discussed the students’ classes and the impact made by the scholarship. The talks lasted only 5 minutes. A month later, the callers who’d met the recipients were spending twice as much time on the phone and had raised their average to $503.22.
They had connected with their work.
How can we connect EHS professionals with their work? Here are a few ideas.
Encourage them to get out of the office and into areas their work touches. Meet workers who have been saved by fall protection. Interview those with near misses. Talk with families impacted by work injuries.
Grant found substantial increases in both productivity and “felt purpose” by adding 5-minute conversations with students.
Maybe we can also find 5 minutes?