As an employer, you owe your team more than just pay in return for their services. As well as benefits and provisions, you have a responsibility for their well-being. Quite a few employers don’t take that responsibility perhaps as serious as they should. Yet those that do reap the rewards. Those rewards include a workplace that has fewer incidents interrupting the workflow and a more engaged, happier, and healthier workforce. If you’re wondering how you could do more to look after your staff, then keep reading.
Shutdown conflict early
Unfortunately, one of the greatest sources of stress and a negative atmosphere in the workplace comes down to how individuals treat one another. This includes you. If your business is prone to seeing fights, side-taking, and even rumours circulating, you’re dealing with a hostile work environment. In that environment, people feel much less invested in the success of the team and their own work. It can also lead to severe emotional trauma if it goes on at an extended rate. You should take a proactive approach to sorting conflict. First, make sure you have a no-tolerance policy on any kind of bullying and harassment. When conflicts start, talk individually to begin with, then as a group identifying the source of strife. Team building exercises are a good way to lessen the risk of conflicts when not directly dealing with one. When team members see one another as human beings, it makes them a lot less likely to start trouble with them. Naturally, sometimes you just have to be able to identify a toxic influence on the workplace. While you should do work to help them address their problems and behaviour, don’t feel like you have to keep them around if they fail to reach your standards.
Make sure people don’t have too much on their plate
Another common source of stress is down to the work itself. Particularly, you need to keep an eye on just how much work is being assigned to the individual. If someone believes they have more than they can handle, it’s as likely they will try to cope even if they know they can’t. Look at processes and see whether they can be outsourced or given to someone else, or if you have the tools and software to make those processes easier and less time consuming. It’s a good idea to keep an eye on the amount of overtime your team is doing as well. While it might be a good way for them to make some extra money and for you to get extra work done, impacting their work-life balance too often will cause them problems down the line.
Don’t make every task do or die
There’s also a real issue of prioritising in a lot of workplaces. If you stress the importance of every task you delegate, it’s going to make it a lot harder for people to figure out which to tackle first. Not only does this make them feel like they’re dealing with too much, but it also confuses communication and makes them a lot less productive and efficient. You also need to take more serious what exactly you’re asking them to do. Employees might succumb to employer pressure on things like attending social events or donating to charity. Make sure you’re not inadvertently abusing more authority than you have a right to. It’s alright to incentivise, but not to pressure.
Operate an open door policy
The truth is that a lot of the problems above can be handled a lot better if people are simply willing to talk about it. But in most workplaces, there is an invisible barrier between the employer and the rest of the team. If you haven’t noticed it yet, that might be because you have taken the first step to break it down. The onus of opening the lines of communication is always on the employer. Don’t just make it clear that you’re willing to talk. Take a moment in team meetings to address common problems. From burnout and overwhelming demands to stress and mental health. Broach the topic broadly, inviting anyone to talk more in depth with you if those factors are impacting their satisfaction at work.
Lend a hand in a pinch
Sometimes, it’s simply too late to identify and deal with a problem before it becomes a major crisis for the employee and the business alike. If you’ve been unable to identify a problem, it might grow the point that it becomes a full-blown crisis. Medical costs, work stress, and familial issues can all drastically impact an employer’s ability to give their job the focus and attention it deserves. Rather than letting them struggle to deal with it themselves, an employee should be able to lend a hand. By implementing benefits like critical incident stress management services, you can use the advisors and counsellors as your disposal to deal with these crises in the timeliest fashion possible. Otherwise, many of your employees might find the stresses of life making them entirely unfit to continue working, which benefits neither them nor you.
Show your care in the environment
Naturally, there’s a link between the physical and the mental that goes a long way in making sure that people are fit to work. There might be some aspects of the physical working conditions that seem negligible to you, but do harm over the long term that can contribute to the dangers of stress. For instance, repetitive strain injury caused by poor posture and little activity. Or the impact of how too much contact with a computer screen with little lighting and not only cause headaches and eyestrain but lead to a lack of sleep. Make sure you’re doing what you can to create a healthier working environment for your staff.
You want to do everything you can to make sure that employees are healthy, comfortable, and engaged at the workplace. To that end, you need to establish the right culture. It’s one of open communication, problem-solving, and paying attention to the risks. Do that and your business will immediately see the benefits.