Build a Positive Workplace
MARCH 05,2019 | MANAGEMENT | By SARA KELLY
Mental health is an important safety issue affecting all businesses. Therefore, businesses should focus on each staff member's well-being and morale.
Many factors affect your staff's morale, including excessive hours, position insecurity, heavy workloads, and outside personal issues. Staff need to feel safe in their work environment and understand they have the full support of the team surrounding them.
Here is a quick guide outlining the actions you can take to build a happy and positive work environment for your team:
Sit down and discuss with staff the support they require from you as a manager or business owner. Find out what is working and what changes you will need to make. For example, are staff working too long hours? Do some staff need extra support or training to manage the workload?
Build nurturing and quality relationships with each of your employees. Treat your employees with respect and dignity, and your staff will be able to trust you and ask for further support. A supportive and constructive workplace will bring about a team culture that is willing to sacrifice and help the team.
Setting aside a couple of hours a week will create a safe environment for employees to voice their opinions. In addition, your business can utilise support agencies such as Beyondblue, Mental Health at Work, or Black Dog Institute. This will allow managers to seek expert opinions and a reference point to help their staff feel more comfortable and safe.
Know when staff require further support from you and constantly communicate with staff. Support should be available through different people and channels, allowing staff to feel safe helping with their issues.
Allow staff managing new tasks and workloads to communicate with business leaders to help guide them in their new duties. Especially with new people, staff will feel very overwhelmed if support isn't offered or readily available—show staff how they can prioritise new duties and where they can find extra help.
By putting forth the foundations for a safe and cooperative family environment in your workplace, staff can clearly understand their duties and not dread going to work. As a manager, it is crucial to understand the needs of each staff and ensure they trust you to support them; if you cannot offer full support, research which agencies or organisations can offer some advice.
Your employees should feel safe going to work, not worrying if they will be let go of their position, given excessive hours or don't believe they have the right support network around them.
The number one priority for your business should be your staff's mental and physical health and not revenue. Revenue is an outcome. You should treat your business like a family if it is to last for many years and not be established just to make money.
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