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Take Care of Your People
Look out for their mental and physical health
I write this hoping that Damar Hamlin will have a full recovery.
When we see someone has been injured on the job, we might also look around to see if there is potential damage in our own sphere that we can prevent. For most of us, our professional activity is probably a bit less physically intense than professional football, but we can still consider ways we can protect out people and our customers.
Tripping hazards: Check that electric cords aren’t exposed, that rugs aren’t frayed or sliding, etc. Basically, make it so that that people would be able to safely navigate the office areas if they had a visual impairment (or were carrying a big box and could not see in front of them).
First Aid: Do you have a first aid kit? Do people know where it is? Have any of the contents expired? Now is a good time to check, and, if needed, replace any expired items.
Safety equipment: Are your fire extinguishers, your smoke detectors, your defibrillator (if you have one), etc. in usable condition? Do any of them need their batteries replaced?
Ice and snow: Do you have sand or salt available by the doors to help keep your walkways from becoming ice-rinks?
Mental health: Consider ways to alleviate seasonal affective issues, since people get “down” in the winter months, particularly in January and February. If someone is having clinically significant problems, please consult HR and work to get them the help they might need, but for the “winter blahs,” consider changes such as: adding something fun to the office, adding some full-spectrum lighting, adding live plants to improve the air quality, or other ways to keep people engaged, focused, happy, and effective. And feel free to ask your people what would make the next few months more engaging and successful for them, as well—they might have some great ideas you haven’t considered.