The other day, I was in my HR Lead's office doing a quick meet up with her and our General Manager. The GM was letting us know that the new director, his boss, was coming to town in a couple of weeks and sharing insight into his top priorities. One of them was to reduce worker's compensation costs by increasing options for onsite accommodations to our injured workers. I thought about it for a second and said, “Oh! What about this position, this position, and this one? They are all light duty. I could have my team run a JHA, and we can solidify them as a real process path. Then we can have documentation to back up our light-duty options!”
“Yes! That's excellent!” the GM replied, and he started spinning about the different ways to twist that and add to it. Then he finished by saying, “That's a great idea! I added value today. I can go home now.”
There was a brief pause while he had a huge smile on his face. Inside, I was screaming. I could see Dr. Cori Wong, hear her encouraging me to be my own Feminist Friend at that moment, so I took a risk.
With bated breath, I responded, “Weren't those my ideas? So really, I added value today!” [insert emoji with smile and sweat on brow here]
There was awkward laughter, and instead of letting that be the last thing I said in the meeting, I gave my team a gift. I followed up my statement with what I've found to be an excellent bridging technique when I'm “calling someone out,” even subversively. I asked for help. Perhaps all this does is soothe the white man's ego, but I've found it an effective way to extend a hand and remind them that we're all on the same team, and I just want to share recognition on that team. My “call-outs” tend to be better received.
Perhaps all this does is soothe the white man's ego, but I've found it an effective way to extend a hand and remind them that we're all on the same team.
“I don't have access to our WC costs, is that something I could review with you?” My GM eagerly responded yes, he'd be happy to go over them with me. In turn, I offered to go over all of our current open cases with him, so he's better prepared. He was eager to hear that as well.
I left with my head held high. I will be expanding my business knowledge, I'll be helping my GM understand our caseload a little more in-depth, and most importantly, I was my own Feminist Friend at that moment. I did not let my ideas get stolen in a brief moment of excitement, and the company will still benefit from the whole conversation.
As a side note, you better believe I'm going to quantify and use the data to explain the measurable impact and cost reduction that my idea brought to the company. #DataNerd #DataIsPowerful