“People Power” by Karen J. Hewitt

People Power: Transform your business in the era of safety and wellbeing

Karen J. Hewitt
Panoma Press Ltd (2021)
ISBN 9781784529529
Reviewed by Jill Rey for Reader Views (11/2021)

“Health and safety is the ultimate team sport. It’s a contact sport where we all have to be up close and personal. This takes honesty, introspection and therefore courage at every level.” – p. 10.

“People Power” by Karen J. Hewitt targets senior managers, health and safety professionals, and human resources, marketing and communication teams. In an unprecedented time of a global pandemic, I cannot think of a more aptly timed book. Aimed at providing a step-by-step roadmap for organizations to build trust, engagement, and transformation in their workplaces as it pertains to health and safety measures. The goal of this transformation is to build psychological safety, innovative teams, and trust.

Build, buzz, and bake. These are the key ingredients in author Karen J. Hewitt’s formula for creating and maintaining a health and safety-first culture. Using foundational research to tie health and safety concepts to well-known researchers, Hewitt shows readers how health and safety is not just a well-being issue, but a performance driver as well. 

The research facts cited within are primarily out of the United Kingdom, but the general arguments still prevail in the ultimate concept, learning points, and application of this read’s insights. Furthermore, the research facts and figures tie together with more popular and buzz worthy business theorists such as Daniel Pink and his theory of motivation and John Kotter’s eight-step change model. 

As a reader hoping to garner further excitement for the health and safety argument made within, I had hoped for more detailed and applicable examples from someone in the professional field, instead readers are given rather high-level examples. For instance, at one point an experience is referenced in which a speaker was having trouble engaging a select few business professionals, so rather than give up on these few individuals out of hundreds, they chose to tell an emotional story to attract them and get them on board. As a reader hearing this example, I was hungry to know the story told, the emotional attraction they provided to the health and safety concepts. But, rather than dwell on referenced conversation further, we were propelled onwards in our journey toward embracing and activating health and safety as a priority in our workplaces.

Regardless, “People Power” is an ever relevant, ever important read as workplaces navigate the return to the office, the new normal, and the emotional experiences of the last many months.

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