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The Importance of a Healthy Workplace: Are You Prioritizing Your Team?

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Employee retention, new employees, and employee wellness initiatives are all the domains of human resources departments. With so many stressors in the workplace, ranging from the coronavirus and the polarized stances around safety programs, increased employee turnover and burnout, and even inflation rapidly outpacing earned dollars, your team needs a leader in their corner.

When other members of the leadership team point to revenue and marketing as bigger priorities than employee wellness, bring these statistics from TeamStage to the table:

  • 94% of entrepreneurs and 88% of job seekers say that a healthy culture at work is vital for success
  • 86% of job seekers avoid companies with a bad reputation

Prioritizing employee safety by creating a healthy workplace is fundamentally good for business, and everyone needs to be on board. There are several initiatives you can undertake to create a workplace with stronger safety and health norms, a better sense of workplace wellness, and thriving company culture.

See how, as an HR leader, you can start getting more insight into how your team is feeling and what you can do to substantively address their workplace concerns, fears, and frustrations.

Keep Your Employees Informed and Take the Lead in Supporting Them

Employee morale and wellness suffer in the face of uncertainty. COVID-19 variant waves, the Great Resignation, and severe economic shifts give members of your team enough uncertainty to increase burnout and anxiety, so start making transparency and proactive communication a core business practice. 

But that communication is just the first step to becoming an advocate for your employees and prioritizing your team through turbulent times. No matter what size your organization is or what competing objectives your HR department has, you can champion your team members and start creating a work environment that optimizes employee wellness, employee engagement, and productivity. The right environment — and communication practices — will bolster your company's overall strength.

Now that you've firmly decided to prioritize your team, it's time to ask yourself: how are you going to get it done?

How Are You Prioritizing Your Team?

We recommend starting off with initiatives that both clearly communicate to your team that you are prioritizing them and which start to provide better working conditions, morale, and information immediately. This positive signaling, especially if it's combined with actionable changes and information-gathering campaigns that improve the status quo, is a great way to improve buy-in from employees and leadership.

Start off with these three actions:

Seek Feedback

You know your workplace needs changes to better support employee health, wellness, and engagement. But looking at general industry trends and brainstorming solutions only within your small team won't help you find the most substantive changes. Instead, start the journey by seeking feedback from your department and employees throughout your organization.

Research multiple ways of gathering feedback and insight from employees so you have an accurate assessment of the status quo, problems that are top of mind for employees, changes they'd like to see, and more. Over time, as you continue to seek feedback and start making changes, you'll get feedback on the degree to which changes are making a positive difference and continually be able to refine your initiatives.

Some ways of seeking feedback include:

  • Daily sentiment checks: Even simple check-ins during which employees choose from a range of smiling to frowning faces can help you get a feel for the vibe of in-person and remote employees.
  • Anonymous surveys: More in-depth Q&A surveys can help you drill down into complex problems and specific concerns.
  • One-on-ones and two-way communication: This style of feedback requires the most trust. Employees need to know they won't be penalized for the feedback they give, and they need to feel comfortable giving honest insight. But regular meetings and conversations give you the most nuanced insight into problems, solutions, and progress.

 

Prioritize Wellness

The second step is to prioritize wellness and put all of your feedback to good use. Some areas to focus on with new initiatives or programs include both physical and mental:

1. Physical Health

Physical health is on a lot of employers' and employees' minds, especially as COVID-19 cases continue to return in spikes and waves. Monitoring systems, resources for tests and vaccines, and remote working opportunities for employees all contribute to better physical health and keep your workplace safe from outbreaks.

2. Mental Health

Stress, anxiety, and burnout all hurt mental health in the workplace. Showing compassion and helping employees resolve stressors in and out of the workplace can help. Hybrid work environments that allow employees to work where they're most productive are an important tool for improving mental health.

 

Improve Resiliency

Lastly, hybrid workplaces also go hand in hand with making your organization more resilient. If your company has sick leave policies, COVID-19 monitoring, hybrid workplace norms, and other flexible systems in place, your workplace will be more resilient in the face of what challenges come next. Both creating and demonstrating resiliency help your employees make plans for the long-term, which ultimately keeps them engaged in your company long-term.

What's the Result?

Any steps you take to prioritize your employees and create a safer and healthier workplace are steps in the right direction. The results of any of these actions, especially as part of sustained efforts, will be a company culture that you enjoy being part of and are proud of building. As an HR leader, the processes you create and remain dedicated to make all the difference in how employees view your organization and how well your organization thrives over time.

Prioritize Your Team's Safety and Health With Support From ReturnSafe

At ReturnSafe, we offer resources to help you create a healthy workplace, both in terms of physical health and business growth. Our tools can help you keep track of isolating and quarantining employees, testing and vaccine requirements, hybrid work arrangements, and other means of staying resilient in the face of variant waves. Contact us today to learn more or to see our tools in action.