Streamline - Spring 2015 - (Page 11)
Communication... Say What?
BY LUCIAN LINEBERRY, CIRCUIT RIDER I
COMMUNICATION IS THE BASIC
and best method for everything, for everyone, at any level, in any occupation, to get the
ultimate results for any problem.
The initial statement is a "definition" or
"topic sentence" of this article. Did you
understand the statement enough to interpret what the article will consist of? Was
communication made? As with any initial
statement for reports, articles, evaluations,
etc., the intent of communication should be
to foster understanding between the giver
and receiver, allowing further needs and
questions to be realized.
Effective communication in any work
environment, from management to maintenance personnel, ensures a safer more
efficient work place. Most questions or
problems involved in treatment are solved
by experiences, tests, ideas, etc., which are
expressed by verbal communication. Job
related issues may be communicated across
various levels of organizational structure
until a satisfactory solution is reached.
Realizing that some decisions are the
responsibility of designated personnel, that
decision could/should include any employees who are directly involved with the
problem; i.e., job communication. Suppose
the system's budget director notices that a
change in chemicals used has an increase
in cost for the new chemical. Without
discussion with any plant operators, he
changes the order status back to the previous chemical to balance his budget to a
savings in cost. Upon the next delivery, and
after being questioned about the change,
he realizes the new chemical requires less
application because of better treatment
results, therefore, costing less in the long
term usage, resulting in budget savings.
Poor job communication? Probably, he
didn't discuss the change with plant operators. But wait ... he wasn't made aware
of the chemical change, nor its purpose.
Poor job communication? Yes, but by both
parties involved. Thus, all personnel, at
all levels, should discuss system related
situations with each other. No one, at any
status in a system, should consider being
the decision maker without first communicating with others involved, and/or who
may be affected by the results.
This brings us to a very simple, up-front
method of good job communication: cross
training. Cross Training, of course, allows
everyone at their level of importance to
understand each other's job. Realizing the
responsibility of other employees in relationship to each job field involved helps all
employees through job communication to
result in better problem solutions. Referring
to the previous example, cross training
should be done through all levels of concerned departments. Water and wastewater job communications should include
PSA board/director/engineer/;director of
finance, public works, safety, etc. , department supervisor/foreman; treatment plant
supervisors/chief operators ... any and all
infrastructure personnel who's position
might relate to the existing problem.
At this point we must refer back to job
communication. Remember Management
to Maintenance? When decisions are to be
made, it is of the upmost importance that
the people directly involved are asked for
their input. In water and wastewater, this
is usually plant operators, and/or personnel
of water repair and maintenance crews.
Their hands on knowledge, experience,
and expertise can be of great value in problem solving and positive decision making.
This information may include such things
as cost for materials and labor, repair time
needed, safety factors, tests needed and
results, prepared emergency measures,
and sited future repairs in need, just to
name a few.
Job communication, concerning management to maintenance, could also be
discussed among all levels. System communication might be improved with
a communications program involving
The intent of this article is to realize that
everyone at any level, and at any position, is
important in order for the system to operate
at its upmost. Job communication should
involve employees directly with their
knowledge and ideas. Applied positively,
this will boost employee participation and
morale, therefore allowing the system to
operate in a more related manner.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Streamline - Spring 2015
From the President: Power Failure
From the Executive Director: Highlights from 2014
The Sustainability Managed Utility
Communication… Say What?
Flushing Away the Ebola Threat
Hazard Communication Standards – Guidelines for OSHA Compliance
State Water Control Board Approves Controversial Permit
VRWA Said Goodbye to Past Executive Director
USDA Rural Development
The RATES Program
Adequate Rates versus Affordability
Debt Refinancing: An Alternate Source of Capital
How the Cloud is Revolutionizing the Future of Water Utility Management
Southern Corrosion Supports Victory Junction
Throwing My Loop: Call Me Anytime
Do You Know What Your VRWA Benefits Are?
Board of Directors
Index to Advertisers/ Ad.com
Streamline - Spring 2015