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How Frontline Supervisors Are Like Professional Jugglers

Supervisor tasks

What do frontline supervisors and professional jugglers have in common? According to Ray Prest’s latest article in Safety Decisions, they have to keep a ton of stuff in the air on a daily basis. 

The big difference is that when supervisors let something drop, workers can get hurt or killed. Supervisors play a key role in the success of any on-site safety initiative. And few supervisors have what Prest calls the 

dizzying array of skills in their toolbox to complete their job successfully, from the ability to remember layers of compliance and operational requirements to the intricacies of communicating up, down and across the organization [as well as] reporting, scheduling, task-setting, skill-coaching, problem-solving, relationship-building, culture-building,and climate setting.

It may seem like a tall order to give every supervisor in your organization all the knowledge and ability they need to truly excel in their role. But Prest argues that there are areas to focus on that will give you the most bang for your buck. Because safety training for supervisors is limited, providing key skills and insight can be a shortcut to safety improvements.

If your supervisors are stuck in a safety circus, give the article a read and learn how the right supervisor education can transform how they perform their job. Because as Ray says:

You don’t need your supervisors to break any world records to get the job done. But developing their communication skills and situational awareness will certainly help your safety record. Be sympathetic for the frontline chaos they wrangle and try to be the ringmaster who orchestrates the support they need.

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