If anyone knows the power of soft skills in the EHS industry, it’s Tim Page-Bottorff. For years, he’s written and spoken about the benefits of using humor to improve the efficacy of safety training.
And after working and speaking with thousands of safety professionals, he’s identified a noticeable gap in many safety management systems: soft skills. Most health and safety folks have a good working knowledge of compliance requirements and hazards. But despite that, Page-Bottorff has noticed an alarming trend: safety pros are still struggling to capture the hearts and minds of employees and get their vital buy-in to the company safety program.
In particular, Page-Bottorff has identified three key soft skills (interpersonal skills that can influence how your message is received) that he believes can be transformative for EHS professionals.
His recent free webinar, Soft Skills 101: Three Essential Personal Attributes for Safety Professionals, shares those soft skills giving a practical tour of what they are and how they can be deployed to maximum effect in the workplace. It’s also an engaging mix of insight and advice, offering attendees the chance to “come away with the skills and knowledge to add a hefty dose of engagement to their next training sessions, improving both the quality and consistency of safety outcomes.”
Here are three ways to get the most value from Soft Skills 101: Three Essential Personal Attributes for Safety Professionals
Discover Several Overlooked Safety Skills
As safety managers prepare for an upcoming training session, certain aspects take up a lot of mental real estate. The content of the safety training is the most obvious example, and with good reason as there is a great deal of required info. Ditto with PowerPoint presentations and other visuals and handouts. On the flip side, presentation skills and other engagement techniques are often overlooked.
This is true in safety training, and it’s also the case more broadly in the safety industry. Specific knowledge is prioritized over people skills. And while understandable, it does leave some room for improvement.
There’s an old saying that you can’t fix a problem until you know what it is—and that’s absolutely the case here. You need to find out what you were overlooking and this webinar will give you an overview of some essential soft skills so that you can evaluate how well you can currently execute them, and whether you might be able to take your safety career to the next level by improving on these engagement techniques.
Bring Others Up to Speed on the Value of Employee Engagement
No safety professional is an island, and executing an effective safety management plan in a large organization requires the help of many others, including upper management and shift supervisors.
How are all they faring when it comes to using soft skills to engage employees? One of the best ways to tell is by asking them to watch the webinar and then talking to them about it afterwards.
This will help get them up to speed on the value of employee engagement. Plus it will provide some secondary benefits as well, first, by making safety and engagement a topic of conversation at your company. It can also get everyone on the same page by providing a common framework for understanding this important issue to ultimately reveal its central role in company strategy. And because there’s no charge to sign up for the webinar, it’s easy to use it as a reference point, go back and watch sections of interest, or share widely with your colleagues.
Embed Soft Skills in Safety
Having a general understanding of personal engagement techniques is great, but it’s far better to embed it as a core value in your organizational safety management practices.
While the webinar isn’t enough to do that on its own, it can act as a catalyst for making that happen. It can also be a cornerstone in your efforts to enshrine soft skills as a key feature of safety. The road to getting your company to prioritize engagement and people skills can be long, but this webinar is a great place to start. And as Tim Page-Bottorff shows in his presentation, the effects of finally getting workers to believe in safety can immense.