We all want to work in environments that foster health and happiness. Whether you are a business owner or a manager at work, it’s hugely beneficial to build a positive culture. And, of course, take steps to ensure workspaces are safe and welcoming.
Here’s five ways to create safe, healthy, happy workplaces.
One – Safety
Safety should be a priority for every employer. Whether you have a team of five or five hundred, it’s critical to ensure that you comply with the relevant health and safety measures to keep your employees safe. Some jobs carry more risks than others and some working environments are more hazardous by nature but every company owner should be aware of their responsibilities. Ensure that you are familiar with the latest guidelines and legislation and make sure you are familiar with any additional requirements that apply to your industry.
You may need to undertake training or provide extra safety measures for your team if there is a high risk of accidents or you offer a service to the public. Explore programs such as reasonable suspicion training and courses that relate to specific hazards or tasks your team will face or undertake. It’s also wise to encourage employees to flag any issues they encounter and address them as quickly as possible. If the flooring is damaged or safety equipment is worn, for example, act swiftly to prevent accidents.
Two – Wellbeing
Studies suggest that more and more employees are prioritizing wellbeing, job satisfaction and work-life balance when looking for jobs. Work can be stressful at times but as an employer, you can help to champion wellbeing and boost morale. Talk openly about mental health with your employees, provide support for those who may need it and try to introduce measures or policies that create positive, inclusive working environments. Try to be flexible when it comes to workload and scheduling to give employees time to take regular breaks, get some fresh air and stretch their legs and encourage people to talk. Work-related stress is one of the most common ailments among employees. If your employees are struggling, or they have concerns, they should feel able to come to you or a senior member of staff to seek advice or share their thoughts.
Three – Morale
Team morale is important for individual health and wellbeing but it’s also critical for productivity. If you have a healthy, happy team, this will reflect well on your business, enhancing your reputation, and it should also improve performance. Listen to your team, encourage communication and interaction, promote inclusivity and try to inject a bit of fun into the working day. If your team has been working flat out to hit a deadline, for example, reward their efforts and do something to celebrate together. Simple things like having a half-day, going out for lunch or drinks after work or having a day out at the weekend can lift spirits and foster togetherness.
Four – Promoting healthy living
Health has dominated the headlines in the last year and it has become clear just how important it is to look after yourself. You cannot dictate how your employees live but you can help to encourage them to adopt healthy lifestyles. There are several ways to promote healthy living, including offering time out to exercise, providing benefits like discounted gym membership and ensuring meals and snacks available at your work premises are nutritious. It’s also a great idea to use health-focused activities for team bonding. You could plan a charity fun run, set up a sports league or create teams to enter local sporting competitions, for example. It’s also beneficial to look into stress-busting activities. Some workplaces now offer access to massages, meditation and yoga sessions.
Five – Communication and engagement
Communication is key when it comes to building strong, cohesive teams. Social interaction is linked to improved mental health but talking can also help to reduce stress and prevent underlying tensions within a group. Urge people to share any concerns or grievances with their manager or a senior colleague, discuss issues with the people involved and be proactive in bringing groups together. Give every individual the chance to speak and get involved in meetings and make time for one-to-one as well as group discussions. Communication can prevent molehills from turning into mountains, clear up cases of crossed wires or misunderstandings and make people feel more confident and comfortable.