It’s hard to believe that another year has come and gone. I don’t know about you but, frankly, the last two years have been a blur with our world turned upside down — the COVID-19 pandemic, working from home, virtual meetings, supply chain issues, retirements and workforce challenges, vaccine mandates, the vitriol and partisanship in our politics that have infused our daily lives, and the isolation of living behind masks and closed doors. With a new year always comes hope for new beginnings and positive change. So here are my New Year’s resolutions:
- Let’s get back to some semblance of “normalcy” in the workplace. For many of us who have been working from home for the last two years, it is time to get back to the office and re-establish those productive working relationships — where we can more easily and efficiently collaborate and where we can share our humanity and care for one another. It may no longer be the traditional five days a week in the office, but likely some hybrid combination of work in the office and work from home. Ultimately the goal should be to find that right work-life balance that provides efficiency but also allows space to meet personal needs.
- Let’s find a way to close the ever-growing workforce gap: by bringing some of our retirees back part time to share their knowledge and mentor the next generation of leaders; by working with our community colleges, vocational trade schools, union training programs, and apprenticeship programs to educate and train those skilled workers we desperately need; and by finding ways to share the good that we do every day with the next generation, so that they can find the same satisfaction and fulfillment that so many of us have found.
- Let’s find a way to solve our supply chain issues and ensure that we have the goods and technologies we need to do our jobs, provide safe drinking water and a clean environment, and ensure that our cutting-edge technologies can be used around the world to solve the many pressing climate and humanitarian needs. That means finding the right balance between sourcing products domestically and abroad, creating a diversified global supply chain, and making sure that the products and services we use every day are available for everyone.
- Finally, let’s find a way to regain our civility and respect for each other: to see each other as human beings, all sharing the same planet, and wanting to provide the best for ourselves and our families. The vitriol, animosity, and hate has got to stop. We have the ability to create a just and fair society. That should really be our ultimate resolution. WW
Published in WaterWorld magazine, January 2022.