As an EHS professional, it can be common practice to focus on the problems of the day: knocking out inspections, analyzing regulatory or policy requirements, evaluating work tasks and doing our best to influence team members who have priorities that often compete with our objectives.
But, in this state of focus, it can be all too easy to overlook the tools that might help us step back from the fires and approach work more strategically.
- We allow ourselves to tinker and waste time creating (or fixing) the 12 spreadsheets we use to manage our programs.
- We stress about the stack of papers piling up on our desks.
- We waste countless hours sending and receiving emails in an effort to “track” on the corrective actions assigned out to team members in other departments.
Our wheels keep spinning, while our programs inch along. But that’s only because we focus on the work and overlook the tools. As a result, we often complain we “don’t have enough staff.”
But is that really true?
Having worked with companies and EHS teams all over the globe, I can honestly say that the biggest difference between high performing EHS teams and teams that have some room for improvement ISN’T HEADCOUNT. It’s the EHS management software that they use.
Sure, headcount matters. But software matters more.
Case in point: A single global EHS manager equipped with a full-suite EHS management software can often achieve more than an entire team of site or regional managers equipped with spreadsheets and basic inspections/incident management software. That’s because full-suite EHS management software allows for the decentralization of EHS while also improving the level of organization and visibility across the organization. You can do more with a whole lot less (especially in this post pandemic workplace).
That leads me to a question: Why are so many EHS teams equipped with spreadsheets, basic inspections/incident management tools and half-baked EHS software?
Well, in my opinion, it’s because many EHS leaders ask for headcount, not software.
They default to fighting the individual fires with firefighters instead of strategy. That’s not a dig on anyone; it’s just the approach to EHS strategy that many of us learned while rising through the ranks.
But what if we changed our approach and focused 2022 strategies on investing in the tools that we use to fight the EHS fires? If we asked for things like Intelex, ehsAI or even Industrial Scientific real-time sensors, what might we be able to accomplish in our programs and careers?
Well, why not find out? Go to any one of the websites for the companies I just mentioned and request a demo. Take the time to see what’s possible in 2022 and how you might be able to upgrade your EHS tools.