How to Set a Healthy Culture in the Workplace
Some workplaces want to be known for their collaborative, creative, goal-oriented, or fast-paced cultures. There are even those who are proud to be traditional, upholding the values of their founders.
In the end, however, none of these workplace cultures will matter much if people aren’t in a good place health-wise. Indeed, if an organisation is to succeed, it must care about its employees—whether they’re working on-site or remote, full time or part time.
The question, then, is how to set a culture of health and safety in the workplace and maintain it so that everyone at work is energised and motivated. Here are some tips to get you started:
Encourage Employee Engagement and Participation
One of the best things you can do to ensure that a policy is implemented as seamlessly as possible is to involve employees from the very beginning. When people know that their feedback is valued, they’ll be more than willing to participate in any initiative.
When it comes to your health and safety programme, it’s best to have a supervisor or team leader. This helps streamline communications and also makes employees more comfortable with coming forward with suggestions. (Because, let’s face it, some employees are shyer than most.)
After gathering feedback, make sure to act on the most viable ones. This is the most effective way to show your employees that what they have to contribute matters. It may even be more encouraging to let others take the lead; taking ownership of a project may give them more motivation to see it through.
Provide Health Education and Training
Another crucial element of setting and maintaining a healthy culture in the workplace is to provide health education and training. With proper knowledge, your employees can take charge of their overall wellbeing.
In addition, providing health and safety training is an empowering move that gives people the confidence to handle emergency situations effectively. It’s also another way of showing your employees that you value them and their contributions. This does wonders to their motivation and loyalty.
Bring Health Options Closer to Your Employees
Being healthy, admittedly, takes a lot of work. It requires a lot of patience, commitment, and self-discipline. At times, people also don’t have access to health and fitness facilities; perhaps they are also busy juggling work, family, and other obligations.
To support your employees, it’s a good idea to bring resources closer to them. For example, you can invite experts to share knowledge and tips about healthy eating and meal planning. It’s also important to talk about mental health (see more coverage on this below).
If you have the space and budget for it, consider putting up an on-site gym. For smaller companies where this isn’t feasible, offer to cover part of the cost of membership in a fitness centre to encourage attendance.
You can also provide some healthy snacks and beverages at work. At the very least, a water cooler or two situated in strategic and easily accessible areas is a good way to help ensure that your employees are adequately hydrated throughout the day.
Last but certainly not least, preventative care helps a lot in keeping your workplace and workforce healthy. Even routine screenings can do a lot to head off an impending disease. You can even host annual flu vaccinations at work.
Remember the Importance of Mental Health
While physical wellbeing is important, particularly for jobs in industries like mining or construction, mental health is also crucial. Keep in mind that a person’s state of mind can affect not just the way they work, but also other aspects of their personal lives.
If you don’t have counselling services yet, it’s a good time to start a programme now. Encourage people to take a break and let them know that they can talk to you about mental health concerns.
It’s also helpful to have orientations about mental health. Remember that even until now, there are still plenty of misconceptions and stigma that surround mental health issues. Understanding mental health matters better can go a long way towards providing a healthy environment at work.
Pay Attention to Overtime
With a positive work environment, people tend to be more motivated. However, keep in mind that there’s such a thing as too much. While working overtime is sometimes necessary, an excess of it can lead to other problems like high levels of stress and burnout.
For your workplace to be a healthy one, make sure that there’s a policy regarding overtime. Compensate people accordingly if they work long hours, but also emphasise the importance of work-life balance. Give your employees paid leave and make sure that they take their days off accordingly.
With a healthy, well-rested team, your company will be better poised to succeed in a holistic manner.
The bottomline here is that a healthy workforce means a successful business. Consider the following suggestions above to help engender a healthy culture at work. Before long, you’ll be noticing a huge difference!