How To Make Your Workplace Safe and Happy
Far too many businesses place their financial future on establishing a culture of cutthroat competition, tremendous pressure, and a no holds barred approach. A focus on workplace well-being is a better strategy.
An extensive and rising body of research on positive organizational psychology shows that not only is a hostile workplace detrimental to productivity over time, but that a positive environment has significant benefits for employers, employees, and the bottom line.
The costs of a hostile workplace
Despite the widespread belief that stress and pressure motivate employees to perform more efficiently, more effectively, and more quickly, competitive firms fail to see the hidden costs incurred.
First and foremost, healthcare costs at high-pressure corporations are nearly twice as expensive as those at other organizations. According to the American Psychological Association, employee stress is estimated to cost the United States economy more than $500 billion per year, with 550 million workdays lost each year owing to workplace stress. In addition, stress is believed to be responsible for 60 percent to 80 percent of workplace mishaps, and it is thought that stress is responsible for more than 80 percent of doctor visits.
The second consideration is the cost of dissociation. However, while a high-pressured workplace and a culture of fear might maintain motivation for a while, research suggests that the inherent stress that results from these conditions will most likely result in disillusionment over time. Engagement at work, which is connected with feeling appreciated, safe, nurtured, and respected, is often negatively linked to a high-stress, cutthroat workplace culture.
A third expense is a lack of loyalty on the part of the employee.
According to research, office stress causes a nearly 50% increase in people who leave their jobs. People quit their jobs, go on the job market, or decline promotions. Furthermore, the costs associated with turnover, such as hiring, training, decreased productivity, lost knowledge, and so on, can be substantial. According to the Center for American Progress, it costs around 20 percent of an employee’s wage to replace a single individual.
Employees tend to place their well-being above everything else above all of the perks and benefits and material incentives. Here, we look at some of the ways that you can ensure your employees are happy.
Make acknowledgment and praise an integral part of your company’s culture
Providing employees with simple recognition for their efforts and accomplishments is one of the most requested – and quickest – workplace well-being initiatives that can be implemented.
The use of praise is especially beneficial for younger workers, who have grown up expecting to receive it from a young age. Because they are a part of the so-called “self-esteem generation,” they frequently desire recognition rather than a pay boost.
It takes little effort to create a positive emotional environment that promotes well-being. A handwritten thank you card, formal recognition program, and other such actions can make a significant difference.
Provide incentives for employees to express gratitude
The expression of appreciation is linked to happiness, healthier relationships, and overall better mental health in studies.
One of the benefits of having peers express gratitude for one another is its two-way effect.
The encouragement given to employees to call out their colleagues for good behavior, on the one hand, keeps them on the lookout for victories. On the other, it primes their attention to be more positive. As you might see, this mindset shift has the potential to be transformational in terms of establishing a positive mindset in your organization’s employees.
Make sure the work environment is physically safe
Healthy working environments include the physical environment of the office or workshop and the occupational health and safety of your employees, among other things. In addition, monitoring workplace safety can help to alleviate the stress that your employees are experiencing.
Simple things, such as ensuring that all electric cables are covered and firmly taped down to avoid employees from stumbling over them, are among the issues that should not be a source of concern for your staff. Instead, make sure that wherever they stand or sit is safe, clean, and pleasant.
Stop micromanaging and allow employees to set their own schedules and targets
Most roles inside your organization are likely to be accompanied by a detailed job description as well as a list of priority objectives. Knowing how those pre-set goals contribute to the company’s mission will almost certainly motivate employees to do their best work. However, allowing employees to set some of their own goals and develop their strategies for achieving those goals may result in employees feeling even more motivated and fulfilled at their jobs in the long run.
According to the research, high degrees of job autonomy is associated with positive well-being and contentment sentiments. While workplace autonomy encompasses a wide variety of aspects other than setting goals, providing employees with the flexibility to participate creatively is a good choice for organizations that do not have the resources to provide benefits such as flexible work hours or other benefits.
Create a systematic approach for employee goal setting to guarantee that everyone gets something out of the process so that you can give employees more autonomy without running the danger of undermining essential corporate objectives. For example, provide your team members with a list of company-wide strategic goals, but allow them to develop their plans for reaching those objectives.
Encourage people to be open and transparent
Our teams and the entire organization benefit when we engage in vulnerable and transparent communication with our employees. We build connections, strengthen trust, and raise employee engagement when we communicate in this manner.
The level of cooperation and innovation will be at an all-time high if employees feel comfortable openly expressing fresh ideas. As a result, when employees cannot communicate their ideas effectively because of weak communication skills, likely, they will not be implemented to their full potential.
With increased employee engagement in your organization and the development of a culture of workplace transparency, open communication will become second nature.
When your organization is transparent about its everyday triumphs and missteps, it encourages employees to bring concerns to management’s attention rather than suppressing them or shifting responsibility to maintain the appearance of perfection. Remember, if your employees think that something suspicious is going on behind the scenes, they may want to employ the services of a whistleblower attorney. Avoid this situation by ensuring that a) you are above the law at all times and that b) you communicate everything open to the people that you work with.