There’s a lot of ground that can be gained by encouraging water cooler chat. Sitting for hours in front of a desk is frowned upon by the Mayo Clinic, Orthopedic MD’s, your personal trainer and Dr. Google. And while you’re up…
Ok, in Michigan we call it, “safety meeting.” You know, someone (me) decides it’s time to stand up and discuss an ad, a current event that is not religious or political, or what we wore, ate, or did last night; we discuss who was there, why they were there, important stuff like that. Engaging-reacting and talking is critical to employee outcome. Employees need to feel like they’re constantly growing and getting better at what they do. It’s the time to offer feedback in near real time. Management comes off as human, approachable and even friendly.
Starbucks calls it, “open forum”, where administrators gather to have open and honest discussion of human events and how to make changes.
Southwest Airlines calls it, “shout-out”, publicly praising employees who have gone above and beyond at work.
Safety meetings re-energize your group; you must make employees feel comfortable speaking their minds, and you have to make it clear that they can do so without fear of criticism and judgement.
Because open forums foster an open, safe space for communication, this will most likely help your staff bring great ideas to the table.
Shout-outs enable employees to get to know each other better. Play office games, go to happy hour, and allow your staff to interact throughout the day and outside of work without having to worry about being watched.
I liked some of the ideas promoted by a human resources platform that included:
Promote transparency and collaboration
Offer healthier options at work
Give people “inside” information
Celebrate personal wins
Praise your co-workers
Bring in an in-office motivational speaker
I intend to include some of these proposals at our next Michigan office safety meeting. The bottom line: Let’s keep it safe out there folks!