Being an effective EHS leader means juggling lots of documents, tasks, and due dates all at once.
To help you get it all done, we’ve compiled a list of five tips that’ll help you be more efficient in the New Year:
1. Delegate effectively
Productive leaders know that delegation is crucial when workloads are heavy. Tasks like audits and inspections are good candidates for delegation, since they can easily be assigned and completed at the facility level.
It seems obvious, but the key to effective delegation is communication. Employees need to regularly communicate about the status of assigned tasks so there are no last-minute surprises.
Put a system in place to inform workers of deadlines, make sure they have all the tools necessary to complete the work, and follow up on assigned tasks. Whether you accomplish that manually or with EHS software, delegation can be an effective way to get more done in less time.
2. Prioritize your to-do list
With so many tasks staring you in the face, it's easy to get overwhelmed and hard to know where to start. Instead of starting at the top and working your way down, productive EHS managers start by identifying the tasks that are the highest priority.
How do you do that? Take some time to map out all your tasks and deadlines on the calendar. Be sure to include internal audits and reports, regulatory deadlines, and permit requirements.
Simply being able to see all these deadlines in one place will help you take control of your schedule instead of letting it control you.
3. Harness your cell phone
If you’re like most people, your phone is always within reach while you’re at work. That can either be a huge productivity killer, or a major asset — but there are a few simple steps you can take to make sure it’s the latter.
First, move your most addictive apps — Facebook, YouTube, and so on — off your home screen. That way, when you pick up your phone, they’re not the first thing you see.
Then, turn off unnecessary notifications. While notifications like calendar alerts can be helpful, others — like social media updates and promotional emails — take your focus away from important tasks.
Once you’ve cleared the distractions, check out our list of 20 must-have mobile apps for EHS managers. You’ll find the best apps to help you manage your day-to-day responsibilities, save time, and get more done.
4. Stop duplicating work
Duplicate work is one of the biggest time-wasters for EHS managers. How many hours a week do you spend recording data with pen and paper and then re-entering it into a spreadsheet, or correcting duplicate entries?
Evaluate your current workflows for places where you're currently duplicating work — either your own, or your coworkers' — and look for ways to eliminate them.
5. Keep everything together
Managing your workflows is much more tolerable when you don't have to hunt down the items you need.
To make things easier to find, mechanics store all their necessary tools in a toolbox. Similarly, EHS leaders can benefit from storing all their necessary 'tools' — data, reports, audit records, corrective action plans, and so on — in a single, centralized location.
If you don’t yet have a centralized system for your EHS documents, 2019 is the year to put one in place. Modern EHS software can be up and running in a matter of weeks, and can save you tons of time and frustration looking for what you need.
Your next steps
By following the steps above, you'll be able to be more efficient at work and focus your energy on high-value tasks. For more, check out our article on how EHS software can make you more productive, read our EHS automation guide, or request an ROI assessment to discover your biggest time savings opportunities.