Advertisement

Participatory Ergonomics: A Leadership Style for Improving Employee Performance

Participatory Ergonomics: A Leadership Style for Improving Employee Performance

Ergonomics is a science covering how to design and arrange objects and tools to achieve the most safe and efficient interactions. This doesn’t just apply to objects, though. It also applies to employees and how their managers interact with them.

Gene Woodard, building service director for University of Washington, recommends a principal called participatory ergonomics, which strays away from the top-down leadership model and replaces it with an inclusive style in which all employees are involved in learning, teaching, idea creation, brainstorming, and more. Emphasizing this type of employee participation cultivates an environment where employees feel valued, respected, and heard, which leads to increased team morale, employee retention, and employee dedication. This leads to a new style of leadership, which Woodard says is for the best. “It takes leading in a different way—an inclusive way—to build a culture of safety and trust,” Woodard says.

Woodard says most people don’t learn by exclusively watching or listening to instructions or demonstrations. A participatory ergonomics-centered leadership model underlines the process of reinforcing new learned behaviors among employees. Committing to positive reinforcement, supervised practice sessions, and training not only reduces risk of injuries, but also raises employee confidence, organically leading to heightened efficiency.

Participatory ergonomics isn’t just an idealistic philosophy; it works. Woodard has applied the practice at University of Washington with outstanding results, reducing expenses and chemical waste. Attendees of Woodard’s session will learn how to accomplish this as well as how to quantify this data.

Woodard’s session is for building service contractors and facility managers looking to analyze their organization and customize participatory ergonomics for their staff. Woodard’s building services department has received several awards for its work, emerging as a leader in the green cleaning industry, so there is no better teacher to expand upon how leaders can create, nurture, and reap the rewards of an inclusive environment.

Tip: Faster rarely, if ever, translates to better

A common misconception about ergonomics is that it encourages increasing the speed at which people perform tasks. In fact, speeding up cleaning routines often sharply raises the risk of injuries among employees, making it the enemy of ergonomics. The participatory ergonomics solution is to hold a brainstorming session—or as Woodard calls it, a “huddle session”—where employees and leaders alike discuss and highlight aspects of routines where time is wasted. For example, switching to microfiber pad mops that dispense cleaning solution can help eliminate the time spent switching out dirty water in mop buckets.

Note: This session will also feature co-presenter Tracey Mosier, employee safety manager at University of Washington.

Don’t miss other informative articles on hot topics that are guaranteed to help you with your company or facility:


 

 

Posted On September 24, 2018

Jack Brosnan

CMM Staff Writer

Jack Brosnan is Cleaning & Maintenance Management’s former interim assistant editor. He is currently pursuing a degree in media advertising at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN.

Topics Tags

Also in Training

CMI Certification Princeton
May 13, 2020 CMM Staff

Princeton University Takes a Professional Approach to Cleaning with CMI Certification

April 28, 2020 John M. Poole Jr.

Removing Gray Areas

April 9, 2020 CMM Staff

CMI Certification Creates New Opportunities for Facility Director

April 7, 2020 Brant Insero

Are You Future-Ready?

Sponsored in Training

CleanCheck® – Training Made Simple™
May 2, 2018 Sponsored by Spartan Chemical Co. Inc

CleanCheck® – Training Made Simple™

December 12, 2017 Sponsored by CMI

Industry Leading Training Solutions

October 1, 2016 Sponsored by ProTeam, Inc.

Jan-Pro of St. Louis Recommends ProTeam Backpack Vacuums to Franchises

September 28, 2015

ProTeam

Recent News

Keeping Casinos Clean Amid an Epidemic
July 7, 2020 CMM Daily News

Keeping Casinos Clean Amid an Epidemic

July 7, 2020 CMM Daily News

Cleaning Robot Assisting in Facility Reopenings

July 7, 2020 CMM Daily News

Coronavirus Continues to Complicate Child Care

July 7, 2020 CMM Daily News

Coronavirus Government Response Update—President Trump Signs PPP Extension

Participatory Ergonomics: A Leadership Style for Improving Employee Performance
Share Article
Subscribe to CMM