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We're in the People Business
Written by: Shilo Terek, Investigator, Employee Concerns, Pacific Gas and Electric Company's Diablo Canyon Power Plant

Dozens of employee concerns professionals from across the country convened in San Diego at the end of February for the National Association of Employee Concerns Professionals (NAECP) Winter Conference. Speakers from all aspects of the discipline - legal, leadership, and line - united to deliver one message: We're in the people business.

The role of an employee concerns professional goes beyond investigating 10 CFR 50.7 allegations or requests for information provided by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). The role encompasses and supports the very real objective of employee engagement. In our role, we are confidants, protectors, counselors, sounding boards, supporters, and mentors. We have the unique privilege to uphold the most valuable piece of nuclear safety, the safety conscious work environment.

One important step in doing that is creating a safe environment for clients to share their concerns. Where is your office located? How does it feel? Do clients feel comfortable coming to you? Do they believe that you are a trusted resource to address their concern? Carey Foy, keynote speaker and owner of Carey Foy and Associates reminds us,

"I've never had a valve walk into my office with an issue."

We must show that we value our clients, strive to connect with them on a personal level, and promote confidence in our program’s integrity and effectiveness. Our clients are living, breathing and complex entities. It is our responsibility to foster and demonstrate an environment within our own disciplines to encourage their engagement and use of the program when necessary. If you find you have opportunities or gaps in these areas, act on them. Accept the honor of supporting a thriving safety conscious work environment by designing and implementing changes that transform your program into a trusted alternate source for resolution.

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