Managers on Duty Ensure Employee Safety in Business and at Work


A great sale on flash drives brought me to a big-box retail store today. A good chunk of my HR experience was spent at the corporate level for a national retailer, and old store-visit habits die hard. I was pleased when the Manager-On-Duty (MOD) at the front service desk cheerfully greeted me, and efficiently directed me to the sale items that interested me. The MOD was simultaneously unpacking a shipment, which made me wonder how the upcoming changes in the Fair Labor Standards Act (and accompanying scrutiny) would impact this particular retailer.

As I browsed the aisles for other office supplies on sale, the MOD also made their rounds of the store, checking in with their Sales Associates – another positive store-visit indicator.

However, the highlight of the MOD’s performance during my store visit was when we both rounded an aisle corner to discover an entry-level Sales Associate perched precariously on the ledge of the lower rack of a rolling shopping cart, using it as a (albeit unsteady) stool to sit on as they re-stocked the lowest shelf. “What are you doing?” the MOD asked Sales Associate. “Please get up – that’s not a safe place to sit,” the MOD continued. “I don’t want you to hurt yourself, and I don’t want you to have a Worker’s Comp incident.” I was pleased at how the MOD succinctly conveyed both genuine concern for their employee’s safety as well as the business case for working safely, while successfully preventing an injury / accident. Sales Associate smiled, nodded and stood up. As I left them to check out, the MOD and Sales Associate chatted and laughed together – they obviously liked each other.

How do you (or will you) ensure employee safety as the Manager (and/or Leader) On Duty, in business and at work?

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