It’s important for members of the workforce to feel safe in their respective places of business. Unsurprisingly, employers who consistently fail to take steps to create safe work environments often find themselves on the receiving end of lawsuits and reputational damage. Furthermore, such employers tend to have trouble recruiting and retaining top talent. So, for the sake of your business and its employees, make an effort to create and maintain a workplace that exudes safety.
Work to Prevent Workplace Abuse and Harassment
Preventing abuse and harassment should be at the top of every small business owner’s to-do list. In the interest of keeping your workplace free of these issues, make sure to educate your workforce on the various types of abuse and harassment, as well as the negative effects they have on worker well-being. Giving talks on the subject and distributing informative literature can help ensure that every member of your team is on the same page about what constitutes abuse and harassment – and what the consequences for engaging in either one entail.
When stressing the importance of a safe workplace, experienced motivational speakers can be invaluable allies – especially on subjects like abuse and harassment. So, if your speaking skills could use some work or you think your employees are more apt to heed the words of an expert, don’t hesitate to start looking for qualified speakers. For instance, if your company is largely tech-based, seek out an expert on women in technology.
Promptly Make Necessary Repairs/Renovations
If your workplace is in need of repairs and/or renovations, it’s in your best interest to get around to them sooner rather than later. For example, if certain parts of the property aren’t up to code or present clear safety hazards, refusing to address the issue opens you up to a host of legal consequences – especially if any employees are injured as a result of your negligence.
With this in mind, make a point of having your workplace inspected by a certified professional on a regular basis. This will help ensure that small issues are caught before they’re able to become far more serious problems. Additionally, while you may not be keen on the idea of spending money on repairs/renovations, addressing such issues in a timely manner is likely to cost far less than adopting a “wait and see” approach. The longer potential safety issues are allowed to linger, the more likely employees are to become injured and take appropriate legal action.
Provide Schedule Flexibility
One of the worst things about the modern work experience is the lack of schedule flexibility shown by many employers. It should come as no surprise to no one that getting up uncomfortably early hours, braving a congested commute and dealing with vexing office politics can prove tremendously stressful. This is doubly true for members of the workforce who are already saddled with family responsibilities and other personal obligations. Needless to say, none of this is conducive to favorable mental health.
Employers can help alleviate some of this burden by providing workers with a greater level of control over their own schedules. For example, instead of requiring team members to spend eight hours in the office each day, why not allow them to come in as often or as little as they feel necessary – provided, of course, the quality of their work remains consistent and deadlines are always met? In addition to fostering a more relaxed workforce, this approach to scheduling can be a boon to employee retention and help ensure that your business is able to hang on to top talent. After all, even if a high-performing employee receives another job offer, there’s a good chance they’ll turn it down if schedule flexibility isn’t part of the package.
It is the responsibility of every employer to create and maintain a safe work environment for their employees. Allowing safety issues, harassment or abuse to fly under the radar or be willfully ignored represents a massive failure on the part of any business owner. In addition to creating a miserable work situation for your team members, such behavior opens you up to a host of consequences. From decreased employee retention to costly lawsuits, an unsafe work environment is liable to cost you. So, if a safe work environment is what you strive for, put the advice outlined above to good use.