One of the most unique characteristics about the technology industry is the speed with which innovation moves. As a result, this shortened cycle coupled with an ever-changing regulatory environment often presents hidden environment, health and safety (EHS) challenges—especially as companies expand operations internationally.
So how can EHS managers keep pace with change and drive continuous improvement? A great starting point is to look to those you admire most for insight, best practices and inspiration.
To give you a little bit of that inspiration, below we share six quotes from iconic tech leaders from across the industry, as well as some EHS tips to go along with them.
1. “Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.”
– Steve Jobs, Co-Founder, Apple
The takeaway: Be a visible EHS leader. If you want your employees to embrace EHS, you need to walk the walk. Take the lead by making EHS an integral part of company culture. In addition, promote your EHS programs and champion those who are taking an active role. By consistently showing concern for your employees’ well-being and acknowledging good practices in action, employees will feel valued and more compelled to participate.
2. “It's fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”
– Bill Gates, Co-Founder, Microsoft
The takeaway: Track the right data to understand what’s working and what’s not. Don’t just focus on the number of incidents. Track what people are doing to prevent incidents, too. When you’re able to pinpoint what’s working to prevent incidents, you can develop processes to ensure that those proactive activities continue to happen—and you’ll be able to share what you’ve learned across operations.
3. "The question I ask myself like almost every day is, 'Am I doing the most important thing I could be doing?' ... Unless I feel like I'm working on the most important problem that I can help with, then I'm not going to feel good about how I'm spending my time.”
– Mark Zuckerberg, Co-Founder, Chairman & CEO, Facebook
The takeaway: Prioritize risks and focus your efforts. Start by assessing your organization at the enterprise-level through a risk assessment, then move on to studying risks at the facility- and individual-level. Use your findings to create an action plan that’s designed to help you tackle the most pressing EHS issues first, as well as any low-hanging fruit items that can be quickly or easily remedied.
4. "You can focus on things that are barriers or you can focus on scaling the wall or redefining the problem."
– Tim Cook, CEO, Apple
The takeaway: Go beyond managing risk to take advantage of short-term and long-term opportunities to improve your program. While risk management is a core responsibility, innovation should also be a priority.
5. "Work for someone who believes in you, because when they believe in you they'll invest in you."
– Marissa Mayer, CEO, Yahoo!
The takeaway: Get buy-in from top leadership by selling the business value of EHS. From avoiding regulatory penalties to improving employee productivity, if you’re able to convince top leaders that EHS is a smart business decision, their support and positive attitude toward EHS will trickle throughout the ranks—and they’ll continue to support the investment.
6. “Don’t be afraid to change the model.”
– Reed Hastings, Co-Founder & CEO Netflix
The takeaway: Refine your program regularly. From emerging trends to new regulations, stay up to date on the latest best practices and requirements to help you continually improve your program. This will not only help you manage risk and compliance, but also show employees that their health and safety continues to be a priority.
Ready for more inspiration? Find 5 tips that can help your tech company overcome common global EHS compliance challenges.
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