Workplace safety should be at the top of your priority list if you are a manager or leader in a company. There’s nothing more important than the safety of your employees, both in a physical sense and a mental sense. And you may think that safety stops at making sure that everything is properly maintained and that the proper physical safety checks have been put into place. However, safety goes well beyond that.
We’re going to go into more of these details down below, so keep reading and you’ll learn five of the top ways you can make your workplace safer for your employee’s mental health.
1. Create A Safe Environment That’s Not Based on Fear
When you think of the worst workplace, what do you imagine? If you’re like most people, then you think of a workplace where there’s a couple of big bosses that scare the heck out of all the employees. You never want to create a workplace that’s based upon a fear if you want employees to be productive, efficient, and happy. When your employees feel as though they can speak to you on a one-to-one basis in a safe manner, then everything is going to be much better than if they were scared to speak to anyone in management. This is the first step you’ve got to take if you want a workplace that’s safe.
2. Make Sure Check-Ins Are Regular
If you think that employee check-ins are too “fluffy” to be important, then you had better think again. Many employees report that they don’t feel as though their employers care about what’s going on in their personal lives or even their professional lives beyond the work they’re expected to get done every day. A great way to start fixing those perceptions is by implementing check-ins every day between managers and their team members.
These check-ins can be about pretty much anything. Team leaders can speak with their team members about what’s going on in their personal lives. If there’s any trouble, then that openness is going to allow employees to talk deeply about what might be troubling them at home that’s making their work lives even more difficult. Or these check-ins can be strictly professional to understand what might be improved in the office or with management.
Plus, these check-ins don’t have to be anything too organized! They can be off-hand throughout the day at team member’s desks. You just need to make sure that you have set clear expectations with team leaders and managers that they should be doing these check-ins on a regular basis.
3. Always Go the Extra Mile During the Hiring Process
If you’re going to make your workplace a safe and comfortable place for all employees, then you need to start at the beginning – the hiring process. It’s been shown that even the top executives can make the worst hiring decisions if care isn’t taken to go the extra mile during the hiring process. This extra mile can look like any number of things. Maybe you should stop just asking professional references about whether or not a candidate met his or her sales goals. You can start asking how they worked in a team setting, if there were any troubles throughout his or her employment, or if there were any outbursts that led to negative action.
This is something that you should speak in-depth with your HR department about. If the extra mile is going to be taken by recruiters and HR professionals, then this needs to be implemented throughout the department.
4. Ensure Employees Are Aware That They Should Say Something If They See Something
One of the biggest issues that have been found in many unsafe workplaces is that employees aren’t encouraged to speak up when they hear or see something potentially dangerous. In fact, many managers will tell employees not to speak up when they see something that could be too personal. However, this is not the best way of going about things.
As a manager or team leader, you have a ton to do. You have so many things on your plate that it’s nearly impossible for you to keep an eye on everything. This is especially true when it comes to the personal lives of your employees, which you should also care about. When you encourage employees to speak up when they see or hear something that they find concerning, this is going to make your job much easier. It’s like having tons of eyes and ears open to potentially disastrous situations.
5. Care About Your Employees Mental Health
And lastly, in order to create a truly safe environment, then you need to really care about your employee’s mental health. There’s a whole lot more to a productive workplace than your team members getting their work done on time. When you encourage these team members to take care of their mental health and not work too hard, then you’re going to see a huge boost in productivity in the long-run.
Telling your employees to not work as hard might seem contradictory to everything you’ve ever learned about business, but you’ve got to remember that you’re dealing with humans here. Your team members have real emotions, personal needs, and issues that you should care about as much as they care about them. Take the time to understand your employees beyond their job descriptions and care about their health. This is going to pay off a ton in the long-run when you have employees who are happy about their work-life balance and feel comfortable with the work space they find themselves in.
Making your workplace safe should be the top priority on your list right now. If you don’t think the workplace you have created is safe for employees, then drop everything and start working on this. The above tips are going to help you start on this process, but there’s a lot more you can do. Just do a quick Google search or find some experts to help you out – there are plenty of more ways to make this happen.