We talk a lot about investing in your workers, investing in your safety program, and investing in your team. And while all three are essential to a successful EHS strategy, there is another important element that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Investing in yourself.
In EHS, it’s easy to spend all your time looking outward. Looking at how to improve your program, how to assist your team, how to make your tools better than ever. But if you don’t invest in yourself, you’re not making strides to build a better future for yourself, be a better leader, or just perform better in the future.
Here are three reasons why it’s vital for EHS professionals to invest in themselves just as much as their programs and teams.
Invest in Your Knowledge
In safety, knowledge is power. The more you know, the more steps you can take to protect those in your care and learn from past mistakes.
Here’s the thing about learning: the more you learn, the more you realize you have yet to learn. Which is why it’s vital to learn the right questions.
For example, safety is centered around details. But if you don’t have the skills to understand the details, they’re just facts and numbers without context. Your analytical skills can always be better, and critical thinking will serve you well in any workplace.
Think of it like safety training. You tell your workers all the time that even veteran workers need retraining to ensure they don’t get rusty or careless. The same thing applies to your analytical skills and your safety knowledge as a whole. The more time you spend honing your craft, the more you can bring to the table.
Bolster Your Creativity
Creativity can’t be taught, per se, but you can invest in strengthening what you already have. And while EHS is strongly based in concrete facts and numbers, creativity is vital if you want to elevate your program from a system of rules to a truly effective safety culture.
This can help you in almost any area of your career, from solving chronic safety problems to presenting safety information. Think of the best safety meeting you ever attended. Chances are, it was a meeting that added some creativity to the usual formula to show you something in a truly unique way.
Seek New Opportunities
Last but not least, investing in your own growth gives you the chance to pursue new opportunities whenever they arise.
As a safety leader, you have to be willing to lead fearlessly. You have to embrace hard conversations with both hands and tackle big challenges without hesitation. Approaching learning as an ongoing process allows you to better identify new safety opportunities when they arise – and have the tools to pursue them.
Continuing Your Journey of Growth
Your journey of growth as a safety professional is never over. And we’re honored to be a part of your lifelong learning process, whether you’re a brand new EHS professional or a 30-year veteran of the industry.
If you’re ready to keep learning to be a better safety professional for your team, your colleagues, your managers, and your customers, make sure to check out our blog for more great tips, like these tips on improving your communication skills.