Better Roads

August 2013

Better Roads Digital Magazine

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 21 of 84

Applications & Innovations By Brian Moore Get ready for Your Best Winter Make the most of this cold season H ere comes winter! It's that time when little road construction will be underway and highway and street maintenance programs shift gears. Although fair-weather activities won't kick off until spring arrives, attention should be focused on a few key areas that can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization. Management best practices suggest that government road and highway departments should focus on "sharpening the saw." That is, employee training and development, performing preventive maintenance on equipment and facilities and taking the opportunity to capture institutional knowledge that can be used to improve processes. Train, Train, Train Although training should occur throughout the year, the winter months are a great opportunity to focus on those training activities that would otherwise take people away from important duties during peak production times. Some oft-cited examples include first aid training, OSHA certification courses, CPR, etc. At the beginning of the winter slowdown, assign someone the task of reviewing all employee training records to identify those that will need recertification during the coming year. Be proactive about getting the training done while it's less disruptive. Rather than have a few people each month attend a training event, consider bringing it in-house and recertify everyone at the same time. Don't limit winter training only to the rank and file. Supervisors, managers, and executives should take the winter months to build their capabilities as well. Some high-priority topics to address include communication skills, negotiating skills, presentation skills and financial management. In addition, nearly everyone could benefit from improving their leadership competencies, and some key areas you could focus on this winter include: • Understanding the difference between management and leadership. What does your current role require of you in each of these two areas? As you develop in your career, what areas do you need to improve? How can you do a better job of motivating your team and energize their performance? • Improve your ability to give and receive feedback. For organizations to excel, it's important that employees be effective in giving feedback to one another so they can learn and improve. • Consider implementing personality profile assessments so that everyone understands their tendencies and how they impact their leadership and management styles. • Time management is often rated as one of the skills that people would like to improve. It's a critical component of good management and leadership. 20 August 2013 Better Roads A&I_BR0813.indd 20 8/1/13 9:48 AM

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Better Roads - August 2013