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Creating a happier and safer workplace: 8 Top tips for managers

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Our workplace is the place where we spent the majority of our time during the week. The personal relationships we create in our workplace are the ones to last through the years, and your office is where you can enjoy personal and professional achievements. However, it has never been as crucial to creating a safe workplace for all of your employees.

This is especially true when your teams return to work after the start of the pandemic. And, aside from personal hygiene and social distancing measures, it is essential to create a healthy and happy environment for everybody. Here is what managers – in any industry – should know!

Promote a workplace safety culture

Often, managers and employees are so focused on achieving monthly and yearly goals that they forget about creating a healthy workplace culture. However, we are often impacted physically and mentally by our work environment, commonly more than we realize. So, putting a stronger accent on communicating the importance of workplace safety and health becomes paramount.

How are you currently discussing this with your employees? Are there conversations, training courses, seminars, or meetings about it? Or have you been overlooking the importance of this aspect?

Speaking to an occupational health expert and workplace safety professional can help you understand the causes of workplace injuries and the systems to implement. Creating a safe workplace culture is a journey that can require a steep learning curve – also from your part. Speaking to such professionals might help you find the guidance you need for positive change.

Encourage time off and breaks

If you have just launched your new company, it might be hard to find the perfect work-life balance. And, if it is so for you, your employees might also be suffering from it. Indeed, burnout is one of the most common conditions for entrepreneurs to experience at the beginning of their journey or during high-stress moments.

Taking time off, allowing yourself breaks, and saying no can help you manage stress, avoid burnout, and regain your balance. This is also important for employees to understand. Indeed, your best team members might always try to be present at work and say yes to your request, often in the prospect of promotions, raises, or just personal rewards.

While they might not necessarily be able to control this, you can encourage them to look after their health, sleep quality, and work-life balance. You can be sure that they’ll come back to work fresher and more motivated!

It is all about training

Growing a company from scratch is more than just ordering in stock, beating the competition, and increasing profits. Indeed, at the core of a company’s sustainable growth is employee culture and workplace environment. You can communicate the importance of these aspects through training, but you will be responsible for starting such a project!

This kind of training aims at educating your workforce about the importance of workplace safety, providing them with the particular skills and knowledge to address such issues. Training your employees towards this goal can also help you organically improve the workplace – since inputs will come from the employees themselves!

Additionally, you should consider the other essential aspect of workplace safety training. This includes providing your team members with the instructions and certifications necessary to identify hazards and deal with accidents.

When looking after your teams, don’t forget to raise awareness about the hazards involved with drug and substance abuse. In certain industries, such as transportation, certain training courses for supervisors might be required, like the DOT reasonable suspicion training.

The comprehensive training courses will allow your managers and supervisors to recognize drug abuse signs and report them. This can help your company deal with the situation in a way that is safe for everybody.

Encourage dialogue

Long gone are the days in which employees were not allowed space for development and dialogue. Today, smart managers know that the best ideas, positive change, and innovation come from within each company. Being able to listen to your employees’ ideas can offer you valuable insights that can help you sustainably develop your company.

However, it is also crucial to be there for your team members when they need it the most.

Workplace harassment statistics from 2019 show how over half of the individuals who suffered abuse and harassment were too scared or intimidated to report the incident. And, just under a third of employees in all companies report having experienced harassment.

Being open to dialogue and ensuring that all employees have a direct communication line with managers and supervisors is essential. This is among the best ways to encourage conversation and trust in your workplace. Don’t underestimate it!

The environment can influence employees health

The “Sick Building Syndrome” (SBS) is no longer something that concerns only office workers stuck in poorly illuminated rooms for many hours a day. Indeed, an increased number of professionals have reported that the building or environment in which they spend their days is making them sick.

The symptoms of SBS range from mild allergies to asthma attacks, respiratory issues, and skin rashes. However, the effects on our mental health are also noticeable. A poor work environment can be the cause of depression, stress, and anxiety – conditions that will end up affecting wellbeing and productivity.

Many aspects of your office or workplace could be making you sick. These include dirty facilities, water damage, mold, poor illumination, and fresh air.

You can improve all of these conditions by creating an environment that is more organized, clean, and aesthetically pleasing. For example, embracing minimalism can help you create easy to clean spaces, and they never look cluttered. Additionally, deciding to bring nature indoors, leveraging natural light, and dotting the office with plants can help you make the atmosphere happier and more livable.

Mind industry-specific requirements

Each industry and workplace have specific risks that need to be addressed. As we have seen, the transportation industry requires specific supervisors’ training. Other industries, such as construction, might require employees to be aware of the dangers of maneuvering certain machinery. Or, certain training for the use of chemicals and hazardous substances might be required.

These might also be much more than simple guidelines. Indeed, they might be law requirements that your company needs to implement to align with local regulations. Checking the type of training necessary for your industry is essential to operate safely and correctly.

Don’t hold back on PPE.

There are many aspects of a business in which entrepreneurs might decide to save on. However, PPE or Personal protective equipment is something that should always be readily available to all employees and made of high-quality materials.

PPE can represent the only layer of protection for team members while completing their daily tasks at work. Making sure that they can access it without obstacles might encourage them to be safer while at work.

Make mental health services available

Lastly, you won’t be able to create a safe, happy, and comfortable workplace for all of your employees without addressing potential mental health conditions. Indeed, today’s professionals tend to live hectic lives, and conditions such as anxiety, stress, and depression have become increasingly more common.

Even if you don’t feel comfortable speaking to your employees about these issues, it is essential to consider what you can do for them. Partnering with a counselor or mental health professional and making their services available for your employees at all times can already be an excellent starting point.

Promoting dialogue in the workplace and encouraging your team members to work on their work-life balance can also help them find a safe place to feel free to communicate. Moreover, it is worth informing yourself about industry-specific charities and organizations that look after a specific workforce’s needs.

About Business Woman Media

Our women don’t want to settle for anything but the best. They understand that success is a journey involving personal growth, savvy optimism and the tenacity to be the best. We believe in pragmatism, having fun, hard-work and sharing inspiration. LinkedIn

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