We’ve all heard someone say “My boss doesn’t know anything!” But once you become a manager – if you are a good one, you begin to realize that you don’t have to know how to do the work yourself, if your people know their jobs. Instead, you need to focus on how the different people, roles and responsibilities fit together, and how they work towards achieving company goals.
And when that company goal is environmental excellence, your knowledge should be at the appropriate level. Too often we see managers thrown into operational training sessions for their EMS (Environmental Management System). Operational training is critical for operational people, but managers need to understand the mechanics and goals of the EMS more than the details. This conceptual training is important to assure that each piece of the system isn’t operating independently, without coordination.
As well, there are aspects of every EMS that are more suited to administrative personnel. You don’t expect someone on your factory floor to be constantly filling in reports and determining monthly totals, averages, diversion %, etc.
One size fits all training is not suited to an EMS any more than it works for any other on-the-job training. There can be a common overview of the system and its purpose, but effective training needs to be specific to each person’s interactions with the EMS. And managers don’t necessarily need to know how to enter data properly, but do need to understand implications of the data, how the processes are faring, and governance concerns.