11 Ways to Promote Safety and Wellbeing in the Workplace
A majority of businesses are slowly opening back up around the world. The COVID-19 crisis is still among us, and it has understandably caused a lot of fear for employees who have to return to work.
This re-entry anxiety could be caused by a lot of factors. Many employees were isolated for months, only needing to go out of their house for groceries or errands. But this is also due to many people questioning their safety. This safety can include the fear of being exposed to the virus and could contribute to how they feel at work, the environment, and even employees (such as attitudes).
It’s important to make employees feel safe; now more than ever, employees who feel unsafe or question their work environment are looking for other companies to work for.
Retention rates are important to any business and can put your business at risk. If you expect your business to survive, you need to think about your employees and their feelings.
Establish a safety protocol
If you want employees to return to the office or even not quit at all, it’s best to begin having a safety protocol. This includes ensuring that all safety protocols are met and that nobody loses sight of them. Fearful employees are very unproductive, and it’s very understandable too.
It would help if you prioritized their wellbeing and safety. These safety protocols can include temperature checks, checking who is vaccinated, longer breaks to thoroughly wash their hands, and educating people on why this protocol needs to be followed.
If your employees begin to get terrified that their mistake will cost them their job, you need to reevaluate your management and work environment. Employees need to feel safe, not just physically but also emotionally as well.
Allowing mistakes in the work culture, even embracing them, can turn into something positive. People should learn from their mistakes, grow from them, and not have them rubbed into their faces. The key to success for any business is to have a positive work environment.
Trust can go a long way. When it comes to any relationship, that has to be trusted for the relationship to function. Trust is formed through supportive and authentic relationships, and it’s not something that can be forced. This will allow your employees not to be afraid of being vulnerable around you.
This also can help out with your leadership skills too. Employees are human, and they go through things just like you do. So allowing this trust to be built will help a lot in having an employee feel safe at work because they know they can rely on you.
Allow positive feedback
In many offices, toxic work environments are created because positivity is not celebrated. Instead, there always needs to be room for improvement. This isn’t healthy, and it will make your employees question their work ethic and skills.
Creating a space of positivity (including positive feedback) will allow the organization to have more emotional safety, letting the employees just be themselves. Praising people and encouraging positive behaviors are excellent ways to boost productivity because the employees will be happy in their work environment.
Celebrating individualism is one of the best things you can do. This allows emotional and physical safety. You shouldn’t expect everyone in the office to be a clone; not only is that boring, but that’s not going to be efficient either. Let people be who they are, celebrate their achievements, their milestones, and this only allows them the opportunity to grow within their career.
Wellbeing in the workplace: allow employees to speak up
Employees need to be heard, and they have a voice, after all. Allow employees to express their thoughts and viewpoints freely. They are there every day, just as much as you are. So they’re entitled to speak up, especially if they don’t like their work conditions. Let them know that they’re being heard and are being listened to. Consider then feedback as a way to do more.
Emphasize community safety
It’s best to have some agreed-upon procedures that everyone in the office can follow. This will help avoid any misunderstanding, but it will also help make the employees feel safe. Safety means continued productivity, so allow them to speak up on what they would like to have changed to ensure safety is paramount. This can also mean raising whether anybody in the office will need to look into personal liability insurance.
Even if safety protocols are at the office, some employees will feel safer at home. They have their reasons for it, especially if they or someone in their household has bad health. If your employee can still get their work done effectively via remote work, allow it until the COVID crisis dies off.
Wellbeing in the workplace: salt parking lots and pavements
This tip is mostly geared towards the winter, more specifically when it snows. Many employees will feel unsafe driving or walking to work, especially knowing that the parking area around the office is always snowy. You can salt the area yourself or hire a snow shovel service to do the salting, but in the end, this is a great way to help employees feel safe and to avoid any accidents.
Some employees who feel excluded are not going to feel safe, both emotionally and physically. You’ll need to look at ways to create inclusivity and diversity in the office.
This can include asking employees what can be approved, setting up networks to promote greater inclusion, allowing for more flexibility, and creating opportunities for marginalized groups who struggle to meet specific requirements to get a job there.
Wellbeing in the workplace: Recognize efforts
Your employees are working hard, and it gets stressful with the things happening in the world today! Let them know that you appreciate their efforts and that they’re all a major part of the company and they’re needed in the team. It would help if you showed this appreciation on an ongoing basis.