Pauses for reflection at the metro depot
“Electricians at the metro depot sit down and pause to reflect so that they can solve, in a relaxed atmosphere, challenges that come up in their work,” says supervisor Markku Hukka from Kaupunkiliikenne Oy.
The fault repair team at the metro depot consists mainly of electricians, whose tasks range from replacing fuses and lamps to repairing heating equipment and other technology.
Quite often, we take a break and pause to reflect in order to deal with all kinds of issues related to work, such as upcoming tasks, solving an individual challenge, near misses and occupational safety issues.
We have not reinvented the wheel, but we strive to make things easier and safer for the employees: we sit down, discuss and reflect on things.
Sometimes we just bring the matter up without particularly calling everyone together.
Our daily routine includes morning meetings with supervisors, where the day’s tasks are reviewed. However, we take a joint pause for reflection later if, for example, the work situation changes after the morning meeting or something comes up that needs to be shared with everyone.
Employees, experts and supervisors alike can participate in these sessions. Sometimes we just bring the matter up without particularly calling everyone together.
These pauses for reflection promote smooth teamwork and contribute to a more efficient and meaningful way of working. Employees come face to face and learn about other people’s ways of solving various challenges.
The feeling must be just right so that we can get the employees to express their views.
Our work requires creative problem-solving skills, and during the pauses for reflection, everyone can brainstorm and come up with ideas – we talk about how things work out best for us and take the team’s opinions into account.
We use the term ‘pause for reflection’ because words matter: if you are called to a meeting, the whole thing may seem too official. A pause for reflection is a more relaxed approach, even though important issues are discussed.
People are more likely to express their ideas and thoughts in a relaxed situation than if they convened in a meeting that can be perceived as rigid. The feeling must be just right so that we can get the employees to express their views.