Good Work Design is a Journey

The Humans Factors and Ergonomic Society of Australia (HFESA) has produced a podcast featuring a conversation between Associate Professor Nektarios Karanikas, and Sharon Todd, the President of HFESA. The podcasts can be accessed via the HFESA website or the HFE Hub website.

Nektarios Karanikas is an Associate Professor at the Queensland University of Technology in Australia, specialising in the Health, Safety, and Environment discipline. Prior to his current role, he served as an Associate Professor of Safety and Human Factors at the Aviation Academy of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands. Nektarios has extensive experience in the field, having worked for 19 years as an officer in the Hellenic Air Force, where he held various positions related to maintenance, safety, and quality management. He holds a master’s degree in Human Factors and Safety Assessment in Aeronautics from Cranfield University in the UK, and he obtained his doctorate in Safety and Quality Management from Middlesex University in the UK. Nektarios has a diverse range of professional qualifications and is actively involved in numerous scientific and professional activities, including publishing books and articles, presenting his work at conferences, and volunteering in various capacities.

Rethinking Work Design: A Path to Safety and Efficiency

The podcast presents the concept of good work design challenging the traditional view of work as a set of prescribed procedures. It emphasises the importance of aligning design requirements with safety and efficiency outcomes. Good work design is presented as a comprehensive vision encompassing procedures, hardware, software, and human factors. By reevaluating traditional approaches and prioritising safety, organisations can create effective systems that are also adaptable to changing circumstances.

The podcast delves into the notion of work as a dynamic process influenced by multiple factors. It highlights the significance of understanding how individual characteristics and external factors impact the way work is performed. This holistic perspective enables organisations to develop work designs that consider the physical and cognitive capabilities of workers, as well as their interaction with technology and the overall work environment. By integrating these elements, organisations can optimise safety, productivity, and employee well-being.

Breaking Down Silos: Collaboration for Effective Work Design

Throughout the podcast, the significance of collaboration and integration in work design is highlighted. Work is viewed as a collective effort, not isolated actions. The podcast encourages organisations to bridge gaps and overcome silos by fostering open communication, sharing knowledge, and aligning objectives.

It stresses the importance of multidisciplinary collaboration, where departments such as health and safety, quality assurance, and compliance work together to achieve common goals. By involving stakeholders from different departments, organisations can incorporate diverse perspectives and expertise, leading to more robust and comprehensive work designs. The podcast also emphasises the need for inclusive language that engages stakeholders from various backgrounds, ensuring everyone feels valued and included in the design process.

Embracing Change and Building Resilience

The podcast emphasises the need for organisations to adapt to change and embrace resilience in work design processes. It challenges the notion of perfection and control, recognising that no design can be flawless. Instead, the focus is on building capacities and capabilities within individuals and teams.

The podcast explores the concept of resilience as a crucial aspect of work design. It encourages organisations to cultivate a culture that embraces continuous learning and improvement. By fostering a mindset that welcomes experimentation and iteration, organisations can effectively respond to uncertainties and emerging challenges. The podcast also emphasises the importance of building individuals’ and teams’ resilience through training, professional development, and a supportive work environment. This approach leads to the development of sustainable work environments that balance organisational goals with employee well-being and satisfaction.

By reimagining work processes, breaking down silos, and embracing change, good work design becomes a transformative force. It enables organisations to create environments that foster innovation, engagement, and well-being. Safety, efficiency, collaboration, and adaptability are at the core of this approach, paving the way for a harmonious integration of human potential and organisational objectives. Let us apply these principles in our respective fields, shaping a future where work becomes a pathway to fulfillment, success, and the unleashing of human potential.

Why Tune In?

The podcast is relevant to individuals interested in occupational health and safety, work design, human factors, ergonomics, and related fields. It would be beneficial for professionals working in these areas, such as safety managers, human resources personnel, occupational health practitioners, researchers, and consultants. Additionally, anyone seeking insights into creating efficient, productive, and safe work environments would find value in listening to the podcast. The content covered in the podcast provides a comprehensive understanding of work design principles and their impact on organisational performance and employee well-being.

Please Share

This page can be shared on social media platforms and forums (e.g. Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook). It would also be beneficial to share the podcast with individuals or organisations interested in the topics discussed in the podcast. When sharing, please use the hashtags below: #HFES #HFESA #HFEHub #OccupationalHealthandSafety #WorkDesign #HumanFactors #Ergonomics #SafetyManagement #Productivity #WorkEnvironment #HealthandSafety #PodcastRecommendation #WorkplaceWellness #SafetyCulture #WorkplaceDesign #OrganisationalPerformance #EmployeeEngagement #HealthandWellbeing #SafetyFirst #ProfessionalDevelopment #WorkplaceEfficiency #SafetyAwareness #IndustrialSafety #PodcastDiscussion


Prepared by Michael Dubos

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