Traditionally, workforce management and EHS have been separate entities, as were most company departments. With the rapid adoption of digitalization across corporate structures, it’s now possible to embed workforce management and EHS throughout an organization, allowing for greater collaboration, transparency, and workplace efficiency. Here, we’ll examine how EHS software, in particular, is changing workforce management strategies and processes.
A Few Definitions
You may be well aware of the nature of EHS software and how it applies to workforce management. If not, here are some answers to common questions related to EHS.
How has EHS management changed in recent years — and more importantly, what trends will affect the future?
Digital Transformation and Business Integration
An EHS management system can no longer work in isolation. Organizations are increasingly turning to software to help integrate previously independent departments into a collaborative whole, with each organizational entity supporting the overall company mission.
As a result, EHS managers must be prepared to prove how their processes create value for the company. How do healthy, safe employees impact the overall business? How do unsafe practices adversely affect the corporate mission? EHS managers in the modern workplace are expected to align processes with organizational initiatives, backing up how they affect employee excellence, productivity, and profits with hard data. One of the great strengths of EHS management software is the ability to produce important data quickly, and deliver it in terms the executive body can understand.
Responding to Generational Turnover
With the baby boomer generation reaching retirement age, workforce management will need to replace large amounts of talent in a competitive job market. The younger workers replacing boomers — primarily Millenials and Gen Z — have very different expectations about work-life than older workers.
Younger workers have grown up using technology and expect instant access to information at home and at work. They value the chance to learn new skills and are comfortable using online tutorials and training opportunities. They also place a high value on transparency and are generally more interested in collaboration than competition.
These trends can challenge a traditional workforce manager, but they also offer opportunities. Younger employees intuitively grasp the advantages of interactive EHS software and the ability to report issues — and receive feedback — through mobile devices as they work.
Younger employees are not the only stakeholders interested in transparency. A combination of social conditions, legal demands, and economic factors have placed greater attention on business practices and how organizations treat employees.
A transparent EHS management system provides easy access to insightful data for all stakeholders. Transparency also builds trust and encourages feedback for further improvements.
The Future of EHS Software
While many organizational sectors have adopted digital technology, it must be said that EHS management systems have lagged behind the curve. Expect this to change as EHS software continues to evolve through the use of predictive analysis, augmented reality (for training courses), and wearable tech that can monitor ergonomic data and report on employee fatigue.
The delay in EHS software adoption has been due, in part, to a lack of case studies proving the efficiency of such software. Reports are just coming in on the impact of EHS software on early adopters, but they speak to the business value of combining workforce management with predictive risk analysis, wearable technology, and AI/machine learning.
The first step in the digitalization of your EHS management system is to standardize your processes through cloud-based software and make EHS processes available to employees through mobile apps. From there, EHS software can be used to:
- Report safety issues in real-time,
- Record video and images to support reports,
- Provide in-the-field support to employees working in distant locations,
- Set alerts to ensure compliance documentation is submitted in a timely fashion, and develop an online library of tutorials, task instructions, and training materials employees can access as needed.
EHS management software has the potential to revolutionize how your company manages its workforce while streamlining processes and, most importantly, keeping your workplace as safe as possible.