How Employers Can Ensure a Healthy Workplace Environment.
In conjunction with November being Mental Health Awareness month, here are little suggestions on how you as employers can help ensure a healthy workplace environment for all your people.
First thing you wanna do is make sure you exhibit your attentiveness for the health, safety and well-being (both physical and mental) of those working for you from the very first step of building the workplace to your everyday behaviour in the office.
Make The Rules.
Protect the safety of your employees with rules and guidelines in the workplace. Employees will feel more comfortable when the people in charge are enforcing a no tolerance policy for discrimination against race, gender, religion and sexuality. Strive to uphold the set boundaries whether it be between employees or with the employers. Make sure that stepping out of line will result in the proper consequences. Take their complaints and accusations with the utmost seriousness. Remember, your people will look to you for motivation and leadership and if you fail to follow thru on staff stepping out of line, it will be the first stepping stone to a low morale environment.
Clear As Glass.
Honesty is the best policy! Of course, employees don’t have to know everything that is going on in the business or the company. Transparency should be kept within reason. But keep them in the loop about the things that matter the most. Be upfront about your expectations for them and their trajectory in the workplace. Make sure the company values are aligned with theirs. As every dystopian novel has proven, nobody likes a big boss with malicious hidden agendas.
Listen to Feedback.
Like a good cake, criticism should be shared both ways. The employer holds authority and the employees should follow under their leadership. But they can still make useful contributions outside of the boss’s instructions. Make it known that their voice matters. Listen to their ideas, opinions and suggestions and have meaningful discussions about them. Then, within reason, do your best to make that accommodation for your employees. How better to improve a workplace than to ask the people working?
Building the workplace is a big first step. Whether you’re a small business or a big company, having a designated space is essential to turn your work modes on. It can be a big building or just a room. Find an office suitable for your workforce and start there.
Some important factors to consider when choosing an office space are steady airflow and natural lighting. They are both proven to reduce brain fog, improve moods and energy as you don’t want people to walk around sluggish like zombies. Also consider putting in elements that elevate mental awareness like plants or spots for relaxation. If you are a business that has embraced the work from home module then by all means, set aside something that can help your mobile employees feel comfortable and conducive working from home. Touch base with them often so that theyre not working in a psylo.
Be on the look out for mid level managers who are on the same level as Gengkis Khan or a Miranda Priestly in the making. Power distancing should no longer hold a place in the modern working environment as studies have proven that its the leading cause of mental health issues in the work place. Replace tyranny and embrace a more holistic working culture. Easier said than done for sure but its doable.
A recent study also concluded that employees tend to be happier when working for a company that practices a proper work life balance. If its a 9 to 5 then its a 9 to 5. Sure sure, there will be times when out of office hours job fulfillment need to be tended to and thats okay but ensure that it doesnt become an everyday thing. Honour annual and medical leaves. Insist that your employees take time off from work to relax and rejuvenate. Don’t make a big deal out of your people applying for leave to do things that matter to them.
In conclusion, healthy workplaces are built on healthy relationships between the employers and their employees, boiling down to respect, empathy and communication. Listen to each other and read between the lines when necessary. Good luck!