Starting and growing your own business can be incredibly rewarding, but it can also be stressful and physically demanding. The last thing you need are employees who are too stressed out to complete their tasks or an employee who feels unsafe at work, such as in the case of sexual harassment, discrimination or workplace bullying. This guide will teach you how to create a safe and productive workplace for all of your employees, which will increase the morale of your entire team and give your business long-lasting success.
Inclusive workplaces don’t happen by accident. They result from targeted and strategic management practices that make a difference. A diverse workforce has many benefits—which may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised by how few companies actually take steps to make their workplace truly inclusive. McKinsey & Company describe up to 17 practices they have implemented to create the backbone of inclusiveness in the workplace, including the integration of a safe space for employees to express their views and a principle of meritocracy for rewards and promotions.
Health and Safety
Businesses are often at risk of running afoul of local regulations when it comes to health and safety. If you’re operating a business—or planning on starting one—keep up-to-date on your local laws by researching them (and talking with professionals) regularly. Avoiding violations can be just as important as avoiding legal actions in court.
The health & safety coin has two sides, and if one side focuses on the introduction of adequate procedures and policies, the second side must include appropriate training. Providing the tools without the training is just as ineffective as not having any H&S guidelines in place at all.
Developing fair procedures helps create a structured work environment by providing employees with a concrete channel through which work issues can be handled. Companies must have established policies in place to properly address any issues, including complaints and a disciplinary procedure that follows the relevant guidelines. Providing resources that both management and workers can access is one of the most important elements of establishing fair procedures; these should include company guidelines as well as referral sources that are available to everyone.
Indeed, the last thing employees need is to face sudden and unexpected dismissal without being given a chance to explain themselves. This can only create an environment of fear and mistrust in the workplace.
It’s important to make sure employees have an equitable workload spread across all members of a team. If not, even small variances can lead to staff dissatisfaction or burnout. That’s why it’s important to make sure everyone on your team is getting their fair share of work! It also helps with retention: happy teams tend to stay together longer than unhappy ones do. Unbalanced workloads, whether it is too much or too little, can lead to:
- A high turnover rate
- A drop in quality
- Reduced productivity
- Increased costs
- Complaint of discrimination
- Loss of loyalty
- Low engagement
The bottom line is that a safe and productive workplace is good for your business — plain and simple. So, next time you’re concerned about productivity loss, or staff quitting the business, ask yourself what you’re doing to create a workplace your employees enjoy coming to. You might be surprised at how much difference it can make in the long term!