Category: Critical thinking
Thinking critically can reduce workplace injuries.
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Workplace injuries impact a business’s bottom line. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) estimates that employers pay almost $1 billion per week for direct workers compensation costs alone, which include compensation payments, medical expenses and legal services. Indirect costs such as training new employees, investigation time and lost productivity are often three to six times more than the direct costs. Getting employees to think critically about safety is paramount to reducing workplace injuries. Company safety managers can motivate employees to keep safety on their minds by implementing hands-on, activity-driven programs to reinforce safety goals and objectives.Safety Skits
Let employees take center stage by performing a skit to emphasize a safety message. Whether monthly or quarterly, set a schedule for regular safety meetings and have each department take a turn to create and perform. An employee-led meeting promotes teamwork and allows employees to become part of the solution rather than sitting through lectures. Skits can be lighthearted role-playing exercises that deliver the safety message in a positive, entertaining manner that helps employees retain the information.Safety Slogan Contest
Treat the safety program like a marketing campaign. Host a contest and challenge each employee to submit a creative safety slogan, based on a central theme, that captures the essence of the company’s commitment to maintaining a safe working environment. The winning slogan could be printed on T-shirts, hardhats, posters and badges. Award the creator of the slogan with a safety-related prize such as steel-toed boots or paid tuition for a career-related workshop. A slogan contest provokes thought and helps employees focus on the importance of workplace safety.Videos and Quizzes
Host a monthly health and safety video viewing. Humorous videos are a great way to reinforce a message and entertain at the same time. Several companies produce Occupational Health and Safety DVDs for workplace safety programs that also include quizzes and other materials to emphasize the message. Businesses can select videos related to their specific industry so employees can practice skills linked directly to their expertise. Watching a video offers a unique approach to safety and keeps employees interested in the safety message.Celebrate Milestones
Setting safety milestones, whether a period of time worked without a recordable injury or an employee’s personal accomplishments, is important to measure the success of a safety program. Recognizing strides in safety is a crucial way to boost morale and motivate employees to continue safe practices and acknowledge employee collaboration. Meeting safety goals is worthy of a celebration. Celebrations can range from catered workday events with speeches and award presentations to Saturday family-centered picnics, and they should be employee-focused and not management-driven to keep the celebration beneficial. When employees feel valuable and useful, it reinforces that they are making a difference and ensures continued safe behaviors.About the Author
Based in Wilmington, N.C. Melissa Warren has been writing professionally for more than 10 years. Her work has appeared in “Our State” magazine and other regional publications. Warren holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a certificate in professional writing from the University of North Carolina in Wilmington.Photo Credits
Examples of critical thinking in the workplaceExamples of critical thinking in the workplace
Cody 01/08/2016 10:58:57
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When it comes to team building activities for the workplace, organizations are sometimes at a loss—what team building activities to do?—even wondering what benefit team building activities actually have for their employees and for the workplace. Why is this?
Managers think team building activities are a waste of time. This is false; according to this Harvard Business Review blog post from renowned leadership guru Marshall Goldsmith, team-building activities are at times less than efficient (the post has excellent tips for creating a more effective process, by the way), which could give rise to this mentality. However, team-building activities, when done right, are more critical than ever.
“Team building activities can’t be done virtually or across cultures.” False – This blog from Wharton indicates that although challenges may exist with more diverse teams coming from more diverse locations, that actually makes team-building activities in the workplace (virtual or not) that much more important.
It is critical to differentiate between a group of individuals and an actual team, the difference being that teams rise above groups, with the existence of a shared purpose and shared commitment. This stems from knowing who is on your team, how they work and behave, and how to engender commonality, trust, and drive.
So here are three team building activities for the workplace to help bring groups to the level of ‘teams':
With these team building activities for the workplace, your teams can take a new approach to efficiency, communication, creativity, and accountability. It’s clear that team building activities are here to stay (and they should be), so the goal must be to maximize their effectiveness.
For more tips and activities check out some of our other eBooks:
Its not just for geniuses. Everyone can learn to think creatively, analytically, and quickly with brain-boosting activities for the workplace.Unimaginative. Risk-adverse. Prone to group-think. These are not just empty complaints about todays employees. A recent article in Newsweek found solid data that proves a creativity crisis is plaguing America. Yet critical thinking, the ability to approach a problem both analytically and creatively, is the bedrock of success for companies and their people. Fortunately, its a skill that can be learned. The Critical Thinking Tool Kit aims to get employees thinking better and faster with 35 hands-on activities and ready-to-use assessments. Team members work on challenging assumptions, brainstorming divergent ideas, and then pinpointing the ones that best benefit an organization. And theyll learn to do it in real-life speedquickly! The training exercises in The Critical Thinking Tool Kit offer an invigorating departure from the everydaywith the potential for big payoffs in the form of enhanced on-your-feet thinking, innovative problem-solving, and profitable idea generation from everyone on the team.
Part of our best-selling 50 Activities series! These ready-made games and exercises make it easy to address the sometimes intimidating topic of "e;ethics"e; in the workplace. The 50 proven activities vary in length from 15-60 minutes and are organized into five sections: Ethical leadership; Ethical corporate citizenship; Ethical salesmanship; Ethical management; Ethical teamwork. Each activity comes with step-by-step guidelines that make implementation easy: A timeframe, overview, purpose, group size, room arrangement, materials, method, discussion prompts, quotations, alternative ways to present the material and points of interest. 50 Activities for Promoting Ethics within the Organization employs a variety of training methods including case studies, quizzes, handouts, buzz groups, role-plays, panels, assessments and more.
I seem to run into a little snag when I'm tasked with training a new employee. I think part of my issue is that I have a hard time describing technology things to a person who's computer literacy who is below my level. The other part of the problem is that I'm unable to effectively communicate to my trainee how to think critically about what they just learned.
For example there are certain tasks that require use of multiple software. I kind of see these different software as sets of skills.
For example, the password manager allows the trainee to access their different credentials across all our platforms without having to remember a million passwords. Or rather, the skill of retrieving your credentials.
While another "skill" required is the ability to navigate the file system on pc. Or the skill of navigating the hierarchical structure of our web based management application. And any additional software available to the computer such as word or excel, so on and so forth.
When I train the trainee I usually am tasked with training them how to accomplish the task successfully.
This may involved teaching them how to use the password manager, how to understand the file system, how to use the web based management software and so on. The problem arises when I have to train the trainee on a new task.
Some of the tasks are the same. Retrieving the credentials, navigating the file system.
However it seems that whatever I am doing, I have to re-describe the individual steps to do those tasks that I consider, previously covered, such as retrieving the credentials, or how to navigate the file system.
It's like a step by step guide that repeats these basic tasks.
I feel like my trainees aren't able to compartmentalize each skill as separate entities that come together to make a whole.
If I take the example of baking bread and making toast then it would be as if they see it like:
When they should see it rather like this
So that if they wanted to just make toast from already baked bread, they don't have to bake the bread again.
For some reason teaching the skill to Copy and Paste is understood fairly quickly, as it's something that works with most applications the same way with few exceptions, but teaching something that is specific to a piece of software, aka, password management software seems to be difficult.
So finally, what's the question? Is there a teaching/training paradigm that can help compartmentalize different skills, as a series of them are are being taught as a whole of something greater.
There is nothing special about the way a programmer "thinks" that makes them better/worse/different than other professionals. Programmers don't have a monopoly on abstraction or generalization. Whats going on here is a training problem or perhaps an issue with a particular individual. Programmers are every bit as vulnerable as others to rigid/non-general reasoning (ever hear of the "golden hammer" problem?). – teego1967 Oct 13 '14 at 11:41
@teego1967 - You're making a lot of assumptions about my answer. I made no claim to a monopoly on this type of thinking and indicated that the OP is apparently dealing with a group that "is" having difficulty grasping these concepts. You make it sound like I think programmers are perfect. – JeffO Oct 14 '14 at 16:13