Typically, the holiday season is a time to disengage from work, ‘refresh’ and enjoy some well-deserved time off with family and friends. However, when it comes time to return to work, how do you ensure that your team shift out of ‘holiday mode’ and refocus on their work environment and the tasks at hand—including any potential risks and hazards that might jeopardise their personal safety and the safety of their colleagues?
1. Take time out to acknowledge holiday highlights
Dedicating time to share holiday stories creates an opportunity to connect with your team on a personal level, helping to build affective trust and drive positive team interactions and performance. It also provides a basis for discussions around staying safe at work in order to enjoy future holidays and time with loved ones. This doesn’t need to be disruptive and could be as simple as spending a few minutes at your team meeting to quickly recap one or two things you each enjoyed over the break.
2. Recap and refocus on organisational, team and personal goals
The start of the year is a great time to remind your team of the organisation’s vision as well as team and personal goals. Refocusing your team on the what, how and why of their day-to-day tasks helps to provide purpose, encourages engagement and motivates individuals to take personal ownership over their performance at work.
3. Remind your team of the importance of being ‘switched on’
When it comes to switching out of ‘holiday mode’ and back into ‘work mode’ it’s important to remind your team of the reasons they choose to stay safe at work. With up to 95% of workplace incidents primarily caused by the choices we make, it’s critical to ensure team members remain vigilant and actively manage the hazards and risks in their environment. Take the time to remind your team of safety tools and procedures, and their role in ensuring that everyone returns home safe at the end of the shift.
While simple, these three techniques provide a sound starting point for leaders seeking to refocus their teams for a safe return to work. Bringing safety to the forefront and investing in a more engaged workforce not only results in greater risk awareness, increased vigilance and reduced inefficiencies, but also leads to measurable bottom line benefits including reductions in injuries and incident investigation processes.
Preparing your team for a safe end of year? Download our complimentary My Safe Break toolkit.
Sentis specialises in safety culture measurement and transformation. Experts in applied psychology and neuroscience, Sentis helps organisations to enhance and move beyond compliance to empower employees to work safely—not because they have to, but because they want to. Offering assessments, training, coaching and consulting, Sentis has helped more than 300 companies and 150,000 people think differently about safety since 2003.