Owners and managers can learn a lot from employees but the processes needed to gather information employees offer are not developed in the world of business and industry. People “higher in status” in organizations do not grasp how to gather information from “lower ranked subordinates” because the culture of communications has rules that we never examine. When employees try to communicate with upper management hierarchical boundaries are too steep preventing the message from reaching those “in charge”. Those “in charge” need to develop systems which encourage communication and maximize the benefit of the wealth of knowledge employees can add to allow for managing emergencies and disasters. Managing emergencies begin at the “lowest levels” in the organization. Employees have “eyes” on the developing situations and are more aware of potential problems far more than any manager can ever be aware.
Owners and managers are less likely to know how most of the equipment and processes actually work in the most practical terms. Owners and managers rarely have the skills to perform most of the functions “lower level” employees have. So most of the time safety incidents occur in large part due to the culture of divide in organizations. It is assumed many employees cannot communicate on the “level” of the CEO or manager so important safety information is lost in translation. Organizations need to reorganize how employees communicate safety issues in a way that is meaningful to those who receive the information.
Employees can praise company officials and they also warn company officials. It’s up to those in charge to make sure the praises and warnings are heard and responded to in a timely manner.