Nurture a happy and safe workplace to build teams that stay, play and grow your business!
There is growing global awareness of just how crucial it is to prioritize the health and happiness of our workspaces. The Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) legislation and Psychosocial Health Regulations in Victoria focus on employers and their leadership teams responsibility to ensure workplaces are safe, both physically and emotionally for employees.
It can be overwhelming to try to work out how to approach this and do it well.
Some simple suggestions might demystify the terrain a little. Read on to find out where you could start.
Understand your obligations
As employers, we have a responsibility to create a safe and healthy environment for our employees. There is never a one size fits all approach. The best place to start is to identify and control risks, communicate with workers about safety matters, provide the right safety training and information, and keep accurate and timely records.
Keeping the physical safety of employees front of mind is not new, but what else needs to be considered?
Focus on Psychosocial Health
Taking care of employees’ mental health is just as important as their physical safety. We know that work-related stress, bullying, and harassment can have a big impact on well-being. Inclusivity and diversity are also vital considerations and obligations as we build our workforce.
Key Things Employers Need to Action:
Assess For Risks to Positive Mental Health
Identify any potential hazards to your employees’ mental health. That means looking at workplace practices, job demands, workloads, how people interact with each other internally and externally with your customers. Your workplace culture is visible in everyday behaviours. Take time to observe what yours shows. Risks to wellbeing are easier to manage once they are identified.
Stamp Out Bullying and Harassment
Put clear policies in place and make sure everyone is aware of them. Act! Be available to support employees and resolve issues with kindness and respect.
Leadership Skills and Awareness
Risk assessment also includes assessing your business structure and your Leadership skills through a ‘wellness’ lens. According to a McCrindle survey of 1000 employees, management or leadership were identified as 9 of the top 10 blockers to well being in the workplace, either directly or through the permeating culture! This leaves employers with not only a legislative imperative to improve but also a massive educational opportunity for your leadership teams not to be missed!
Modern leadership fosters open and feedback rich communication. Develop agreements and commitments to wellness and build awareness around emotional and body intelligence. Find out from employees how the workplace could create a sense of belonging and support a balanced life. Regular check-ins also help spot signs of stress. Make sure you are there to lend a helping hand and that the established culture encourages this.
Knowledge Is Power
We want our leaders and managers to be the best they can be so not only can they walk the wellness talk but they can also talk about the walk! In other words, they are skilled enough to apply strategies to themselves, model these strategies and then teach these strategies to their teams. What do you have in place to upskill your leaders?
Investigating Flexibility for the Win!
Embracing the idea of flexible work arrangements to find that perfect balance between work and personal commitments creates a win-win for everyone. This cannot happen without clear and respectful communication and agreements. Ask questions to give you a clear picture of your employees best case scenario and then looking at ways this can also work for your business.
Helping People Bounce Back
Life can get tough. Having trust, clear communication and a wellness agenda in place that is flexible enough to create fast, five minute check ins that are effective or time and space for deeper discussions supports those who might need a bit of extra help. A business culture that has wellbeing as a primary focus creates safety for all.
Let’s get Engaged!
Understanding that engagement is a key indicator of employee satisfaction is not enough without understanding what it is your employees really want to achieve from the work they do.
Do you know why your employees even come to work?
What are their goals and aspirations?
How is your workplace helping them to achieve?
Create safe and supportive communication channels that allow for deeper insight into what drives employees. Find your existing wellness superstars! You might have a pocket rocket with the enthusiasm to help build your wellness culture.
Whilst this may sound daunting, there is a lot of fun, satisfaction and reward waiting to be had from building teams that are happy and thriving. The mission is simple – to ensure your fantastic teams feel valued, supported, and safe, both physically and emotionally so they stay, play and grow your business knowing they are your most valuable asset.