Our New Way of Working Requires a New Way of Leading
We are never going back to how we were! While this is the nature of progress, the pandemic accelerated change in ways we never imagined. It brought to the surface humanity's need to change quicker than any of us could conceive. Everything we do is now altered including how we communicate, socialize, shop, travel, use healthcare, and technology. Every facet of our lives - especially work - is different.
Work has evolved to offer those whose work is computer-based an opportunity to work at home, in the office, or in both locations (hybrid). While individuals in many other industries don't have these options, their workplace has changed, too, with advanced technology, robotics, and AI.
How we work now brings many challenges that we are just on the cusp of discovering and learning how to manage. Employees need better pay, better benefits, more support, and flexibility to manage the complexity of work.
What's more, the pandemic spotlighted many employee struggles that were previously taboo to discuss or ignored until they became a crisis. Today, employee physical and mental well-being is finally in the forefront, requiring a drastic change in organizational leadership approaches.
A wise business associate of mine, Jen Croneberger, founder of the HUMAN Leadership Institute/JLynne Consulting Group, 4x TEDx speaker and a Performance Psychology expert has identified the need for a fresh style of leadership aligned with the present-day working world.
Jen uses the term "B.R.A.V.E." to represent the characteristics today's business leaders need.
Belonging- recognize belonging as the gold standard and the ultimate goal as it pertains to diversity, inclusion, and equity.
Resilience- Flex your resiliency muscle by powering through creating a better way forward.
Authenticity- Authenticity is about more than just being real. It's about being consistent, sincere, honest, personal, open, and humble.
Vulnerability- Use vulnerability to harness the power of emotional intelligence. Embrace the power of human connection.
Empathy- Master the art of empathy. Listen deeply and empower compassion with others.
Jen passionately believes B.R.A.V.E. leaders are critical to help us emerge from the hardships of these past few years because they put our "humanness" first, especially at work. B.R.A.V.E. leadership has never been more important than it is now and the conversations surrounding these topics are never more relevant.
Add Another E.
At Worksite International, we value these five tenets. I'm challenging leaders, however, to add another E. for Ergonomics which is the human-centered design of work.
Several reasons justify today's executive leaders recognizing the importance of human factors and ergonomics as the sixth tenet of Jen's B.R.A.V.E. equation.
As defined in Worksite International's Ergonomics Process Influence Model and Well-Workplace Model, the use of ergonomics influences employee well-being, safety, workers' compensation, disability management, facility planning, purchases, technology and more.
Ergonomics considers the physical, cognitive, emotional, sociotechnical, organizational, and other relevant factors, as well as the complex interactions between humans, the environment, tools, products, equipment, and technology.
When incorporated into day-to-day operations, ergonomics improves employee morale, helps them work safer, more comfortably, and with better performance, contributing to a healthier workplace.
Who is Your Ergonomics Process Leader?
Pandemic aside, employers should understand the important relationship between B.R.A.V.E. and Ergonomics. One is integral to the other. Both positively affect your people.
We believe it's time for a new role to emerge, that of the Ergonomics Process Leader (EPL). The Ergonomics Process Leader is someone who brings broad capabilities to inspire, empower, and lead people by applying the science of ergonomics at an organizational level.
The EPL is responsible for integrating ergonomics in all processes affecting an organization's people. It is a critical role for leaders in HR, Safety, Risk Management, and others responsible for employee well-being, health, and safety at companies with 300-5000+ employees.
The EPL ensures effective communication of the ergonomics process, employee participation and engagement, availability of ergonomic evaluations to all, solution implementation, management accountability, and tracks all outcomes to measure the return on investment. They oversee the organization's ergonomics process.
Who in your organization is ready to step up and be a B.R.A.V.E. Ergonomics Process Leader? Is it you?
To learn more about becoming a Certified Ergonomics Process Leader, register for the free webinar, How to Succeed as an Ergonomics Process Leader.