With the 2016 college football season just two weeks away, University of Alabama head coach Nick Saban is once again implementing his well-known “Process” for developing a winning team.
According to a recent USA Today article:
“The Crimson Tide coach is among the best ever at collecting, organizing and motivating talented players toward a single goal which is not so much to win as to improve. Winning is simply what happens, as a result of continuous progress. In Tuscaloosa, they call it the Process, and it might just be more finely honed than anywhere else.”
So what does all of this have to do with SOCMA’s ChemStewards® program? Our member companies can take this Process Saban has developed into an art form and apply the same principles to implementing the environmental, health, safety and security (EHS&S) program at their facilities.
Saban uses his Process, which is based on continuous progress, year after year to build championship-caliber football teams. ChemStewards members are daily striving to continuously improve their environmental footprint and ensure the safety of their employees and the communities in which they live.
The Crimson Tide head coach collects players, organizes a team and motivates them to be the best they can be as a player and a person. That’s exactly what our ChemStewards members should be doing to build winning teams in their facilities, and our flagship EHS&S program provides the perfect framework to help them succeed with its Plan – Do – Check – Act approach.
In the planning phase, our member companies should be looking at hazards and risks, setting objectives and targets, and considering legal and other EHS&S requirements. The implementation, operation and accountability phase involves training, awareness and competency. These facilities then must have performance measurement and corrective actions in place, as well as internal management system audits. And finally, they must review the management system to ensure it is operating properly. If these steps are being followed on a daily basis with a group of people who want to improve their operational performance, then our members will succeed.
But as with any program, there can be challenges and obstacles along the way.
When it comes to talent, Saban has become the master of attracting the best of the best, which is easy when you’ve won four of the last seven National Championships. But even with all of the talent Saban has stockpiled in Tuscaloosa, the players must come together as a team and improve on a daily basis to achieve their goals and objectives.
The same can be said for employees at our chemical facilities.
A big obstacle for many of our member companies is finding a trained workforce. As we learned during our 2016 ChemStewards Regional Roundtables, our members are constantly looking for trained workers, but they are few and far between and extremely hard to find. Some of our member companies now look for people with a good work ethic and essentially train them in-house, which is crucial to the continuous improvement Process. These companies are utilizing SOCMA’s Chemical Operator Training Program and local community colleges to ensure their employees can safely operate equipment and meet other safety guidelines outlined in the ChemStewards program.
Another key to a successful EHS&S program is buy-in. From the president of the company to the chemical operator on the plant floor to the bookkeeper, everyone must believe in the Process. ChemStewards provides the framework for every company to achieve EHS&S excellence, but without support from everyone on the team, continuous improvement can’t happen.
As we traveled across the country to the four ChemStewards Regional Roundtables, one thing came through loud and clear, our member companies are striving every day to build winning teams at their facilities. From training employees, to holding safety meetings, to tracking key performance indicators, to third-party audits, our members are working toward continuous improvement and improving the overall operational excellence at their facilities. And by being vigilant and adhering to the Process, success is sure to follow. Just ask coach Saban and his Alabama Crimson Tide.