Karen, from Arkansas Answers the Freedom Friday HR Question: What are the Ways of Managing staff in a Healthy Environment?
This is a great question! Often, managers/HR professionals focus on managing people, instead of the overall HEALTHY WORKPLACE ENVIRONMENT!!! Awwww… the sound of sweet, sweet music to myself and I’m sure millions of other HR professionals’ ears!!!
Let’s first discuss a “healthy workplace environment”. A Healthy Environment involves the physical environment of the office or workshop and the occupational health & safety of your employees. A healthy environment reduces the worry of your employees by considering the safety of the workplace. When considering a healthy workplace environment, you are encompassing the mental and physical well-being of your employees.
Secondly, a Healthy Workplace Environment begins with YOU! As a Business Owner and/or HR Professional it is your responsibility to ensure a Healthy Workplace Environment. A healthy workplace environment has everything to do with the outlook of the organization and the physical surroundings.
The most important components of a healthy workplace environment include: workplace culture, fair practices and procedures, communication/engagement among all employees, health and wellness, team-building practices/activities, and clean and inspirational physical work environment.
Workplace Culture, encompasses: management style, employees, physical environment, dress code and business values. These components are essentially what the business owner wants its employees to know about the company, and represent to the world. It also includes the business purpose, the opportunities available to its employees, well-being of the employees; and leadership and/or management style that leads the organization.
Fair practices and procedures: Fair practices and procedures mean there are set practices and procedures to which all employees must adhere in the Company. This does not mean practices and procedures are etched in stone however, it does mean when rules and/or practices and procedures change, they change for everyone and not just a select few or for selective situations.
Communication and engagement: Communication is essential to achieving and continuing growth within any Company. As times, industries and demands change, communication must be the vehicle to stay in synced with change inside and outside of your Company. Engagement is just as important as communication, as engaging employees is the projector of the exchange of information. What is critical is that HR professionals and business owners set a foundation that encourages communication and engagement. In other words, as you grow your organization, you must continue to encourage communication and engagement with all employees. You must let employees know you want them to communicate and engage; and in fact, Encourage and Need Communication and Engagement on both sides from everyone in the Company. Then, and only then, can you truly begin to know that motivates and inspires your employees to be Great!
Health and Wellness: Health and wellness in the workplace is just as important as health and wellness in your home life when it comes to a healthy environment. When health and wellness is included within the Company, it encourages and transfers to your teams, as well the home life which also reflects how important employee well-being is to the employer.
Team-Building practices/activities: Team building practices and activities build and promote respect and camaraderie within the Company. Team-building is a great way to grow healthy relationships among teams, family and friends. While building healthy relationships and friendships, team-building is also another vehicle for a Company to continuously reiterate its commitment to strong values and trust in their employees. It’s also Fun! If you have not had the opportunity to join our Facebook Group, there are a 11 great workplace culture team-building exercises you can pick up by clicking on the icon.
Clean and inspirational physical work environment: I wonder how many business owners and/or HR professionals do not believe this is true? Because it is!!! The physical work environment can have a negative or positive impact on employees. In fact, it plays a major part in motivating employees. Characteristics such as cleanliness, bright or nice colors, windows and office décor can increase employee motivation and morale, versus an unclean, dark décor with little to no windows which decreases employee motivation. Business owners and HR professionals must keep these things in mind when selecting office decor.
While as an HR professional, we may not be able to have control over the mental and physical well-being of our employees in their home life, you can sure do our best to ensure a Healthy Workplace Environment!!
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