how-to Nov 28, 2019

Finding connection points between your ergonomic services and the clients you want to serve is absolutely essential for you to have a successful consulting business. 

*Preaching to the choir*

Without a proven strategy on how and who to connect with it will just plain be a lot harder to attract the clients you desire to work with. In fact, you'll likely be feeling like you're stumbling between mass cold calling or mass cold-emailing a bunch of different companies... just to leave a message and never have it returned! 

It makes it so much harder to generate an income.

Diving into the best methods to present your offer and market your services is a whole other blogpost that I will eventually jump into. With the post today I want to take it a few steps back and talk about the performance metrics of probably your BIGGEST ally. 

Leveraging Performance Metrics

In many smaller organizations it's HR's responsibility to manage a variety of programs including safety and ergonomics. Heck in even larger organizations there must (or it is highly recommended) that HR is involved in ergonomics since there is such a direct relationship with their daily responsibilities and the effects of poor ergonomics. 

Let's take a moment and go over some of the more prominent lagging/leading indicators that HR may be dealing with that are directly related to ergonomics.

Lagging/Leading Indicators

Lagging and leading indicators are ways to investigate what is really going on in an organization and a method for you to communicate value and help HR achieve targets. Really, it's about making their job easier - the ultimate symbiotic relationship!

Leading Indicators (Proactive) 

  • Regular Safety Committee Meetings: Allows ergonomics to be accountable with proactive (including educational and other safety initiative) strategies and remain on the top of mind. If ergonomics isn't being talked about in these committees or if there aren't any actionable items, it is a MAJOR opportunity for you - however you may need to provide the workplace some education on why it's so important (aka alignment with Health & Safety Law).
  • Proactive Equipment/Furniture Selection: Incorporate Purchase Guidelines into all new equipment entering the workplace. This ensures that only items that have superior functions and are aligned with good ergonomics are brought into the organization in the first place! It could be that you provide the workplace several options for each item, but the actual selection is an employee decision!
  • Proactive Surveying: Using a Proactive Survey, like Discomfort Surveys is an efficient way to target employee discomfort before it develops into long-term chronic pain. This can be done periodically through the year and should work hand-in-hand with any other employee wellness programs that the workplace has.

Proactive Surveying is a bit of a conundrum for workplaces and this should be clearly communicated to them. You see, at first when these are deployed many employees will report discomfort and an investment of equipment or resources (for ergonomic assessments or training) will be necessary. However many research articles have PROVEN that these smaller action items almost (or significantly) eliminate big ticket and costly Workers' Compensation fees, other direct costs, and (the more expensive) indirect costs. 

  • Leveraging Employee Discomfort Data: The next step is to take action on any employees who are considered to be 'at risk' for considerable ergonomic risk exposure. These would be staff who scored over a certain level on the Discomfort Survey. The action taken would be a one-on-one Ergonomic Assessment. Perhaps those who had lower-moderate scores require to be trained (via the next point...) instead. 
  • Staff education: It's incredibly valuable (and aligned with Occupational Health and Safety Legislation) to have a clear process so staff know what to do when they start to notice warning signs and how to avoid ergonomic related injury in the first place! 

Lagging Indicators (Reactive) 

  • Sharing Best Practices: Once a certain situation has been resolved and a 'best' practice has resulted that is pertinent to other employees work setups (aka same type of chair or other equipment/habits/work practices being used) communicating opportunities, suggestions, etc. via Safety Committee Meetings, Bulletin Boards, etc is important for all other can avoid ergonomic related concerns. When done well this is incredibly effective! 
  • Leveraging Lagging Data: This is when opportunities for improvement (severity/high injury rates) - Workers' Compensation claims, internal injury reports, worker/supervisor comments are used to learn from. 
  • Investigate Injuries: Whenever a workplace injury occurs, it MUST be investigated in order to prevent it from happening to anyone else. The result of a workplace injury is that improved ergonomic training, or setup is required for all staff and this is where your services would come into play. 
  • The Follow-Up: The least sexy yet incredibly useful tool for any ergonomic assessment is to follow-up on the whether the suggestions, adjustments, or equipment changes were actually useful to reduce injury and improve productivity. However being productive with this can generate information that you can use to build the Business Case and other ROI documents that either the workplace can use or you can use them to develop marketing materials to help you land new clients! It's a continuous cycle of awesome!
  • Return-to-Work: Whether it's for compensable (work-related) or non-compensable (not work-related) any employee who is in discomfort or injured at the job should have a one-on-one ergonomic assessment. Often times a different setup or equipment means that you can speed up someone's return-to-work which means productivity, revenue and even a reduction of Worker's Compensation Fees for the employer.

Learning how ergonomics fits into these Lagging and Leading indicators lets you get an insider's view of how to market to HR. In my experience most HR don't even realize that they are responsible for these, and knowing exactly how it fits in their day-to-day or how it can resolve their biggest fires is incredibly useful. 

The thing I like the most about these are that they are low-cost. It's making their system more effective instead of spending a lot of money in something that they don't need. 

Incorporate these details in your marketing and outreach campaigns. Like I mentioned above, it could be that your HR contacts aren't aware how you can help them reach their targets and even that they're already responsible for these indicators. 

Next Steps...

If you've read up to this point then I know that you have a burning desire to get started and learn about office ergonomic assessments, consultations, and trainings. And good news for you is that I have an ultra-exclusive offer just for you. My transformative course on how to do one-on-one office ergonomic assessments is called the Ergonomics Blueprint. You can sign up to the waitlist here, where I'll share with you exclusive updates and I'll also let you know when I open enrolment because ... I only open it a few times per year! 

Why would I do such a thing (open enrolment so few times)... well the easy answer is that I have a vested interest in my student's success. Not only with learning the course material, but applying what they learn to get their first paying client! My students have been getting awesome results and I want to keep it that way! 

Interested in hearing more? Well you can sign up to the WAITLIST RIGHT HERE! Can't wait to tell you about this amazing course that's been getting my students awesome results! 🤗 🤩

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