Concise and quick communication is one of the most effective skillsets in an organization – when it’s going well, processes are smooth and efficient; however, on the flipside, poor communication leads to disorganization, inconsistencies, tedious processes and even potential safety issues. With a workforce that is more widely distributed and mobile than ever before, supervisors are facing extreme communication barriers. Handwritten logs, manual phone calls and time-consuming processes are just a few of the obstacles that could have an effect on safety in the field. As the expectations of customers rise and the number of incidents grows- safety is more important than ever before.
Let’s take a deeper look into how an active approach toward improving company-wide communication is a step in the right direction to keep safety issues at bay.
Save the paper and pen for your love letters
In today’s world of technology, there are only a few items left that are handwritten- a prescription, greeting card or notes left on the kitchen counter. While that might seem like a stretch, you get the drift. Log books or forms with critical inspection or assessment information following an event are probably not on the list. When time is of the essence in responding to an emergency- or even daily planned events- using potentially outdated info and having to flip through a paper list lends itself to potential misinformation and disorganization.
Another added benefit to embracing technological changes and empowering employees through communication is increased employee engagement and morale. Just like your personal or professional life, when you are more aware or ‘in-the-loop’ there is a greater sense of involvement and participation. A well-informed employee has a much greater propensity to practice more efficient and safe work habits. Seems like a winning combination!
Luckily, because of the innovative wave that is hitting the utility industry, as well as many helpful utility professionals, there are now tools available to streamline manual processes – and many utilities nationwide are reporting successful results.
Proactive vs. Reactive
The day you get into a car accident is not the best time to make sure you are covered with adequate car insurance. The same principle applies to responding and reporting during emergency events. Through proactive planning and automated communication, there is increased visibility and awareness out in the field. A Tennessee based water utility reports they are able to send customized emergency messages to employees with the click of a button. “Once an alert goes out, [the software] prompts employees to let us know that they got the message, and we can quickly track and report on number and kind of responses.”
As you can see, the trifecta of communication strategy, preparedness and safety can have a major impact on your business. Transparency and full situational awareness are the goals, and having an automated process could be the toolset you’ve been looking for to overcome that last hurdle to success.